Friday, February 29, 2008

I was very hesitant to post this. I know that the victims of crime sometimes feel embarrassed or even guilty. So here goes.

Yesterday, we received a call from our alarm company that the door to the mudroom had been breached. Diane hurried home because RCMP will not investigate unless an owner is on the premises. While she was on her way the alarm company called me to say RCMP would be delayed by more than a half hour. I couldn’t reach Diane on her cell so I immediately left work. I didn’t want her to walk into a situation alone.
As I was driving up the mountainous roads to the house I was passed by several undercover vehicles with flashing lights. When I reached the house Diane was standing out on the driveway holding one of our dogs. She met me at the truck and said that RCMP would not let us near the house until the canine unit had searched the house and premises. Someone had kicked in our door, shattering the frame and sending pieces of metal, drywall and wood about 20 feet into the next room. Our dog Scout was in that room. The RCMP allowed Diane to get Scout out of the room before that canine unit came in.
(Luckily I had set the alarm that day. I must say, we are not always diligent about setting the alarm, but Diane had had a dream 2 nights prior and had insisted we start setting it every day. I had had a disturbing dream about an intruder the night before. Question: Do we have a foreboding or do we create realty?) The canine unit (which was awesome to watch) cleared the house for entry and told us that the intruder(s) had approached and left in a vehicle. So hoping it had just been some kid making trouble was not the case. We were supposed to search the house and look for missing items. We could not see anything visible missing (jewelry, lap top, etc., all there) The RCMP said to keep looking; it was highly unlikely that they didn’t take anything even though they were probably scared away by the alarm. RCMP also told us how lucky we were that the dogs were not killed as they had seen this happen many times in this situation. Our insurance company sent over an emergency contractor to secure the door while a new door/frame could be ordered.
I am home from work today to meet with the alarm company, contractors, etc. We are pretty traumatized.
This is where the embarrassment comes in. We left the high crime and uncertainty of a large metropolitan and dangerous city. In Las Vegas we had (liberal readers don’t gasp) concealed weapons permits and were trained and authorized to use concealed hand guns. We gave this up gladly to move to, what is for us, paradise. Now, as victims we feel totally violated. I don’t know what level of security we can have to make those feelings go away. I am grateful that things did not go much worse. Believe me we have gone over the worse case scenarios last night. We would willingly put all our belongings out into the street with a sign that says “free” rather than have any harm come to our dog children or to each other. I guess that is the truth of the matter. It is all just stuff. But the emotions are all still there. Embarrassed and violated.

With all that said, this is still the best place on earth. We just have to reevaluate a few things. I’m going to be looking for a job that is closer to home, so that I can be here within minutes versus the more than half hour it takes now and come home at lunch. We are now hesitant to go on vacation. We have friends who will check on the house while we are gone, but is that enough? I have set it up with the alarm company that we will have a guard service. If the alarm goes off and we are unavailable a guard will be dispatched and he/she will call RCMP if necessary. Is that enough? We are talking with contractors about a gated entrance to our property and the quarter mile long drive. Will that feel like enough?

This weekend is our 1 year anniversary of our move to Canada. We love it here and don’t regret that move for one minute. We are just sorting out all these other emotions, as well. Thanks for listening.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

This weekend we had the pleasure of the WEB household (minus four legged child) as houseguests. We met Newly Canadian Doug and Dixon at a restaurant for dinner. It was really great to get together with part of the blogging family. Pictures above of the dining group. We had a cake for the guys when they arrived and some champagne.

Doug and Dixon presented them with a picture of the flag of BC and a caption “Welcome to Canada”. They guys decided to stay in our flamingo themed room (yes, we really have a room with 50’s kitsch flamingo stuff). Abbey fell madly in love with both of the guys and she has been threatening to run away from home since they left this afternoon.

It’s hard to believe, but in less than a month we will be celebrating 1 year in Canada. When we think of how much we have accomplished and how much has changed, it really is amazing. As I drive to work, walk to my vehicle or just look out the windows I think of all those things Canadian I would like to comment about and by the time I get to the computer I have forgotten about them.. I still don’t pronounce everything correctly Canadian (which some friends find amusing) but I did notice in conversation recently that I referred to tennis shoes as runners and was surprised when the person I was talking to was not familiar with the expression. I also made a credit card order over the phone as gave the phone operator my expiry date. I don’t think I can ever go back to writing a check, it’s now a cheque and we go to the theatre in the centre of town. Spell check still tells me that cheque is not spelled correctly. I don’t even notice the use of the word eh, as it is normal conversation. Life is a process (pronounced prohcess not prahcess) and vegetables in the market are produce (pronounced prahduce not prohduce). Inter-office envelopes are never called thousand milers here. My co-workers enjoyed making fun of that expression. I look forward to the rain as long as it’s not late at night and sure to turn to ice. The snow was not that bad this year here on the Island, although the Prairies were hammered. Shiraz wine is not pronounced Shirahz it is pronounced Shiraz as in raspberries (yes, like it is spelled). We don’t have a coffee break in the mornings at work, we go for tea.

They have returned the picture of the Queen to hang on the walls aboard BC Ferries as its removal caused much local uproar.

You can feel Spring in the air and see the light stay longer everyday. I can’t wait to put in my tomato plants and shop at the farmer’s markets on Saturdays.

I got my time off that I requested from work. So we have Seattle in March, Las Vegas in May and the Okanagan in August.

We have got a little dog at the vet today so I must sign off to check on her status. WEB will let you know, when we know anything.