Today is Wednesday, August 16, 2017

POSTSCRIPTS Breaking and Entering

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One pleasant day early this summer, I decided to empty and clean the hot tub on my front deck. It was a lovely morning and I had opened windows for ventilation purposes. A sliding glass door and screen in my bedroom lead out to the deck and this is where I left the building!

Emptying the tub requires that I turn off the power and fetch the hose. Open the side of the tub, attach the hose and open the valve. When I had assured myself that the drainage hose was properly attached and the water was running out, I started back into the house to attend to other matters. Or so I thought.

I pushed back on the sliding screen. But the sliding screen did not slide. I tried again with the same result. I stood there and looked at it accusingly and tried a third time. Well. Somehow it had locked itself. I figured I could get the scissors I keep in a storage closet and cut the screen and get in that way so I went to the back of the house.

I tried the back door in the off chance that I had left it unlatched. I live in the woods sort of isolated and I generally take normal precautions and sure enough, the back door was latched.  As I started for the scissors I noticed the bathroom window. It was raised. I had an idea.

I reached up and removed the screen from the window. Then I stood in a nearby chair and peered in the window. The bathroom window is small, and situated higher than other windows, the outside opening at my chin level. From the inside it opens about chest high. I looked down at the floor. You know, in the books and movies how people who are breaking into houses through windows generally do a head dive right in the window?? I decided that was definitely NOT going to happen. That left feet first.

Because of the multiple screws in my right knee as a result of a car crash, it does not bend very well. My left knee would have to do that job. Then I realized that from the chair seat I could not get my leg up and through the window. I gingerly put one foot on each of the arms of the chair and tested the stability. Okay. Here goes.

I scooted my body as far to the right as I could, folded up my left knee, squeezed and poked it through the opening, then pulled it inside. Very slowly. That left me straddling the window sill with my left foot dangling about two feet from the inside floor and my right one hovering over a not-too-stable chair on the outside.

One inch at a time I eased myself down to the bathroom floor. As a result of the aforementioned, it really hurts if it receives a blow. So there I was, half in and half out, oozing myself into my own house and hoping that no one picked that particular time to come up my driveway!

Talk about doing the splits. Too bad I had not been a cheerleader! It wasn’t easy, believe me. My toes finally touched and I felt more confident in my eventual success. Pulling the right side of my body into the house went a bit quicker … and I was there! 

I went over to the culprit – that sliding screen – and looked at it. It was definitely locked.  I stood there playing with it, opening and closing it a number of times to see if I could manage a repeat performance. I finally managed. If the catch is in exactly the right spot, and closed with exactly the right force, it will self-lock. I have lived here for over 30 years, have been in and out of that door thousands of times and this has never happened before. Thank goodness it was a pretty day and I had windows open. Of course I could have proceeded with my original plan of cutting the screen. But then I would have had to have it repaired. Or used Duct tape. Now I am really careful with it and all it cost was a bruise in a sort of strange place.

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