It all began quite simply as an overnight trip to the Atlanta area to complete
our Christmas shopping. As in past years, Melba invited me to join her on the
excursion and we shopped until we were tired of searching for that perfect
Melba's daughter Carla asked us to join her family for dinner at a Tai
restaurant in Decatur, and of course we accepted her invitation. Over dinner we
discussed homonyms, synonyms, and various subjects that John Griffin and Minnie,
the Stanford children, were studying in elementary school. It was a blustery
winter night and after dinner Chris drove us to their home where we continued to
visit and then decided to retire for the evening.
I was suffering with a painful knee and once it was comfortable, I fell fast
asleep on the sectional sofa in the third floor family room. I was aware of
Melba roaming around during the night and then later, the activation of the
burglar alarm, but it was soon incorporated into my dream and I continued
slumbering on the settee.
I became aware of shadows creeping up the dimly lit stairway, and before I
discovered their identity, I raised my head from the pillow and immediately
realized that I was staring down the business end of a Glock pistol. The female
police officer was as startled as I was, and thankfully I remembered to raise my
hands and immediately identify myself as a visitor to the home.
Here is vital information that was not revealed until later; Melba was
investigating the smell of gas fumes when the burglar alarm downstairs was
activated. She immediately went from the third floor to the second floor where
she found the family gathered around the telephone talking to a 911 dispatcher.
The police, actually numerous patrol cars, were dispatched because of the rash
of break-ins in the vicinity. The front door, possibly not correctly
thumb-bolted, was blown open by the wind and caused the activation.
The dispatcher advised the family to stay on the phone and inside their bedroom
until the police entered the house and cleared the area. Although Chris
continued to announce that a visitor was asleep on the third floor, apparently
the female officer never heard the notification.
So what did I learn from the harrowing experience, it could have been worse and
with the right set of circumstances, it could happen to anyone.
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