having our house broken into

October 26th, 2009 by admin Leave a reply »

In broad daylight, on the corner of two busy streets, our house was broken into three weeks ago. The week after the break-in, the other executive editor in my department was mugged at gunpoint outside her house. This is my first blog since.

I wish I could report that I’ve been writing and baking, but instead I’ve been watching too much TV and eating too sugar, in the form of candy and readymade desserts, a la Marie Callendar. Yesterday, I went back to yoga class. Today, I made blueberry pancakes, rode my bike to the park with Carter, took a nap, and now I’m blogging after midnight, so it’s my first more normal weekend.

The break-in happened the first day back at work after vacation.  I knew it was bad news when Jeff called, rather than IM’ing, me: “We’re been robbed,” he said. “Again.” (A guy broke into our house eight years ago. He’s doing 25 to life, but that’s another story.)

Jeff came home for lunch and found a broken window and a ransacked house. The only lucky thing was timing. No one was home, Jeff didn’t walk in on them, and we had the entire afternoon (which we needed) to clean up, so when Carter came home, things looked as normal as possible. We told Carter simply that some bad guys took some of our stuff and the police came to help, and he’s mostly taking it in stride.

They used our tools to take down the big-screen TV, my kitchen stool to pick and chose from what few wine and alcohol bottles we had on top the refrigerator, and our duffle bags, still out from vacation, to cart stuff away.

The electronics, including three laptops and monitors, can be replaced. What can’t: my jewelry, including my engagement and wedding rings, which were home because they needed to be repaired.

I use my grandmother’s sewing cabinet as a bedside table, and I kept the jewelry I wear in the top two drawers, each about a foot square and a few inches deep. They didn’t just take the jewelry—they took the drawers—along with a jewelry box full of childhood keepsakes, like the charms I collected when my family went camping in Europe in 1975.

Aside from my wedding ring set with my grandmother’s diamond, no individual piece of jewelry had any monetary worth to speak of; it was all sentimental: my grandmother’s crystal beads, my mom’s gold heart locket my great aunt gave her for her first communion, the silver bangle bracelets my mom got in Acapulco on her honeymoon, the sapphire earrings Jeff gave me, the earrings our friend made me as a wedding present…most of my jewelry was gifts from friends and family, all with their own stories.

Their loss is also a story now. I just wish it weren’t mine.

More thoughts to come.



  1. Julie says:

    Elizabeth! I’m sorry I’ve been out of touch and hadn’t heard. My condolences for your loss of such extraordinary keepsakes.

  2. admin says:

    Thanks, Julie. I feel like I lost a big piece of my history. Sympathy helps a lot, as does time. Empathy does, too, but I’m dismayed at just how many people I know in my small world who have experienced something similar.

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