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Nothing is back to normal yet. That’s to be expected. We are on high alert. It makes me think of a couple Friends scenes. One I just watched last night where the guys go on a ride along with Phoebe’s cop boyfriend. A car backfires and they all think it’s a gunshot. Joey reaches for his sandwich but it looks like he is trying to protect Ross. Chandler is put out by the situation.

Gary: We could use a guy like you on the force!
Chandler: Yes, a guy who jumps at loud noises.

That’s us. We jump at the slightest sounds. While I was at my Primary presidency meeting yesterday, Heath said he was sensitive to every sound he heard. Some of them made him jump out of his skin a little. The wind has been blowing pretty hard lately and it creates really scary sounds. Gwen was freaked out by the wind before our lives were turned upside down. We all sympathize with her.

Yesterday Heath was on a call when there was a loud knock on the door. Heath gave me a puzzled look and looked out the window over the banister. He told me to grab the phone and get ready to call 911. My heart started racing. Heath opened the door to a security system salesman. I stood in the upstairs hallway, phone in my hand, glaring at the guy. He bugged the crap out of me.

He was loud and obnoxious as he said he could see our no soliciting sign. (It’s so big no one can miss it!) But he decided to ignore the sign to let us know he was aware of a break-in in our neighborhood. Did we want to buy a home security system from him on our front porch?

Alarms were going off in my head. He fit the exact profile the police gave me of jerks who dress up as salesmen looking for empty houses to loot. It still burns me up to think of that guy. Even if he was legit I was in no mood to talk to a door to door salesman the day after being robbed. Go away creep! It took some time for our hearts to resume a normal pace.

A friend wanted to help us out any way she could. I had mentioned at our presidency meeting that Gwen had trouble going to sleep because she was scared. Marianne told me about a bell she had that was a motion detector. She and her husband used it when their kids were small. They would put it in the room with all the Christmas presents. The kids were not allowed in that room without the whole family being escorted in Christmas morning with Mom and Dad. The bell actually caught kids a couple of times.

Last night she dropped it off at my house. She thought it would give us peace of mind or we could put it outside Gwen’s door to help her feel better. It looks like a large Christmas ornament. It plays Christmas music when it detects movement. It’s not an alarm, it’s one of those decorations that plays music when it senses movement and eventually stops. If you wave your hands or whatever, it starts playing again.

I think we put it in our bedroom. I don’t remember because I was really tired. After two non-consecutive hours of sleep I was ready to hit the hay early. Heath decided to stop watching TV but he switched over to Pandora. He was going to leave it on the holiday station overnight. He thought maybe we wouldn’t notice as many house settling noises and could sleep a little easier. I wasn’t aware of his plans.

The first Christmas song came on and I sat bolt upright out of a dead sleep. Heath said I looked like Dracula sitting up in his coffin when someone suggested he eat steak for dinner.

Heath: What’s wrong!
Me: The bell! It went off!
Heath: It’s still in the bag over there. We haven’t even turned it on yet!

He then explained his thought process with the music while laughing at me. It is pretty funny. I’m telling you, we are on high alert. Don’t mess with us.

This morning I got up to grab my morning shake. I went downstairs in the dark. When I got to the edge of the wall into the kitchen, I heard a sound. My eyes immediately looked up at the blinds covering the boarded up hole where the sliding glass door used to be. There was no movement. I told myself it was just the wind or the house settling or some logical explanation. No one was in the house, I told myself. Still I immediately flipped on the kitchen lights ready to confront whatever made the noise, criminal or not.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw movement under the table. I focused and saw it was Parker hiding under the table.

Me: What are you doing? What in the *naughty word* are you doing under there?
Parker: I was looking for something.
Me: in the dark? Don’t do that ever again! My heart cannot take any more!

It reminded me of the Friends scene where Ross walked in and everyone yelled surprise.

Ross: What are you doing, you scared the crap out of me!
Phoebe: Oh you brought the cake? What kind of cake did you get?
Ross: It’s a lemon smoosh.

My heart was thumping a mile a minute while I chugged my breakfast shake. I remembered Parker as a toddler lurking. He has always been like that. He stealthily wanders through the house late at night or in the wee hours of the morning to watch TV is the best guess we can come up with.

A few weeks ago I went down for my morning shake and I saw the TV blink over to the no signal screen. This happens when we first turn on it on if we haven’t used another remote to turn on the receiver first. Not a soul was in the room. I looked. When I told Heath about it he said that he has seen Parker run to the bathroom and hide behind the door. The kid is quick and silent. I had no idea.

I had to get after Parker a bit for making me have a heart attack for breakfast. I told Heath the story and he laughed and laughed remembering me sitting up in bed thinking the bell sensor went off. Then he brought the bell down. We hung it up in the kitchen chandelier. It was soon turned off when it kept singing due to the changing images on the TV. Very sensitive little decoration!

If you can’t laugh, what can you do?

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