As noted in my previous post, I’m almost totally consumed with keeping up with my Planet Whizbang mail order business these days. And I am growing weary of it. But I’m not complaining. I’ve experienced some very lean financial times in past years. It’s all good.
There is a lot of monotony to answering emails and packaging orders all day every day, but life got real exciting for a couple hours here last week. I posted the following story to my local town’s Facebook group a few days ago, with the above photo, and the title, “Oh What A Night”….
It started at around 9:45 last night. I was lying in bed upstairs watching a YouTube clip on my phone. My wife was downstairs, reclining on the couch, reading a book. All of a sudden, I heard her yell out my name with a tone of fear and urgency like I’ve never heard in our 40 years of marriage.
I was out of bed in an instant. I yelled, “WHAT’S WRONG?” as I headed for the stairs. I thought the house was on fire. She yelled back that someone opened the sliding screen on the back patio door.
I reached for my closest gun, a Ruger 9mm. I chambered a round and flipped the safety off as she was starting up the stairs.
Keep in mind that it is pitch black outdoors and we live on a rural road. No streetlights. No close neighbors.
My wife was totally freaked out. I told her to get the shotgun as I listened to hear any sounds from downstairs. Seconds later I put the handgun down, chambered a round in the pre-loaded shotgun, and flipped the safety off. Double-O buckshot is far better for home defense than 9mm.
I’m fanatical about locking our doors, even during the day when we’re in our house. I had locked all the doors before going upstairs. I asked my wife if she had unlocked the door. She said no. The patio door was locked. But she heard the familiar sound of the screen door slowly sliding open. She was startled, looked around, and saw the figure of a human on the other side of the glass. That’s when she yelled.
So, we were upstairs and I flipped on our outdoor floodlights. The entire perimeter of our house was illuminated. We started looking out the windows. My wife says, “There’s a person out there!”
I go to the window she’s lookin out and a person has come out from around the back corner of our house, into the light. It looks like an older teen boy with a baseball hat. We open the window. The person is talking to us incoherently. I realize it’s a young woman.
“What do you want?” I ask her. She doesn’t answer my question. She says, “I think my father lives here.” I tell her that her father doesn’t live here. We ask more questions: What is your father’s name? What is your name? How did you get here? She answers none of our questions. She talks about her father. She says repeatedly that God told her to come to our house.
My wife backs off and calls 911 while I’m still talking to the woman from the upstairs window. Finally, the woman says something that I can understand. She tells me her truck ran out of gas up the road and she needs help. I tell her that she needs to go back to her vehicle and we will get her some help. She says, “Okay. Thank you,” and walks away.
We leave the floodlights on and wait. About 10 minutes later a Trooper comes up the road and pulls up behind the truck. Minutes later, a sheriff deputy shows up. We watch, trying to see and figure out what’s going on.
Time passes. I see one of the cops walking down to our house with a flashlight. I go out to meet him. He’s wondering if I might have a gas can he can borrow to get some gas for the woman. I tell him I’ve got gas in the can and she can have it.
But it turns out that my gas can is practically empty! There is maybe an inch in the bottom. It might be enough to get her to the gas station in Moravia, 6 miles away.
The deputy tells me the woman is homeless, she is from out of state, and she is lost. There might have been other issues, but he didn’t elaborate. They wanted to get gas in her truck, then get her to a shelter in the city for the night, then someone could help her in the morning.
The Trooper tells me he’s going to buy her $10 worth of gas in Moravia. I had a crumpled $20 bill in my pocket and handed it to him to help get the gas. He wouldn’t take the money.
There might have been a quart of gas in my can. Her truck started right up, and they headed off. I hope they got to the gas station, and that the woman is going to be okay.
All’s well that ends well, but it was an unsettling experience. In the final analysis, I’m very thankful for law enforcement who will come and help in situations like we had last night!
Thus far that Facebook post has 52 comments and 274 emoticon “reactions.” Here are a few of the comments…
I worked the overnight at the apple. They did get her to the gas station, she put the $20 in her tank, I gave her a cup of coffee, and the 2 officers sent her in the direction of Cortland for the night.
White Chevy with stickers on the back? She paid us a visit yesterday. She was sitting down on my neighbors dock for a while on Owasco Lake, then she left around 8:30ish
Very scary story, glad all ended well. Lesson learned, don’t try to enter the Kimball home without their permission!!👍 I too keep arms near by just for situations like this. Unfortunately times have changed. My parents never locked their doors. My mom did after dad passed.
God sent her. And I can definitely see Marlene Kimball get the shotgun. You go girl. Scary as it was maybe she needs more than gas from you. After all, she went to her “Fathers” house.
My reply to the above quote…
If it were daylight, if I saw her coming, if she knocked on the entrance door, if I knew for sure she was alone, and if she was able to speak more sensibly, I would have felt like God wanted me to just help her and not call the police. It was not a comfortable context. The woman needs prayer, and I’m on that. God bless her!
As I read this and everyone’s comments my thoughts went to thank God that we live in a time where we can still own firearms and have helpful policing. Very grateful that you and your family practice that right. One other thought that I had as well was I’m thankful we still can pick up the phone as Marlene did and call and have help arrive soon. All I can say is this proves we need to continue as a nation to pray for government and those making those choices for us.
I’m glad everyone is okay. Sorry you had such a frightening experience. The state police once told me that we’re “pretty much on your own at the south end of the county.”
Guess I’ll be putting up my security camera again. Whatever the circumstances, if this person is indeed having mental health issues I hope they are being treated properly and with empathy. Whatever the case may be. We are a small town and I am glad I was able to read about this and make sure my safety measures are in place. Everyone be kind and stay safe.
That Facebook page is a real asset to my community. People get in heated debates there often, but the site serves a very positive purpose in many ways. One way is as a “watchdog” forum. If something out of the ordinary happens, it will be on that Facebook page. That’s why I posted my story, and people appreciated it, just as I would appreciate knowing of such an incident if it had happened to one of my neighbors.
But I had another reason for posting the story. It gave me an opportunity to make an important point. My home, located as it is, on a lonely rural road with no neighbors, may look like a soft target for a home invasion, but it is not a soft target.
All things considered, I live in a nice rural community. I’ve been here nearly 50 years. I’m surrounded by longtime friends and family. I expect to finish my heavenstretch here.
Thanks for reading my story. Have you ever had a home invasion close call?
Time for me to get back to work….
Oh, P.S. I neglected to answer comments on my last post and the time deadline for making comments has passed. My apologies. Note to David: The Planet Whizbang hats are sold out. 😦