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Such an overused word, but it seemed like a good title for this entry.

My house was burglarized last week. I don't want to give a lot of the details about it in such a public forum (and I'd appreciate questions not being asked), but it was a bummer.

A lot of my parents stuff is in my house, and they went through my mothers old purses. I hated that.

I got a call today from a woman who lives in the neighborhood, up the street and around the corner. She asked about my mother, and I told her she had died in 1995. She told me that her sister, who was buying the house acruss the street from me, had found my mothers drivers license and social security card outside the house she was buying. I told her about the burglary, and she said she had been burglarized recently herself. She also told me she had been in the neighborhood for 40 years and this was the first time anything like that had ever happened to her.

I was a little surprised that she had lived in the neighborhood so long and didn't know my mother.

Anyway, I walked over to her house. She got the drivers license, etc. for me. She had put it all in a baggie.I can see where the baggie would seem too "crime lab" for a lot of people, but it made me feel really good that someone was looking after my mother's stuff.

We talked for a while in the front hall about a lot of things, mostly crime and how bad it's gotten in Charlotte lately. She invited me to come in and sit down, and we chatted some more. I found out she had worked several years ago at the same University where I teach. She seemed impressed that I taught, and she asked me if I had ever watched a show called Numbers. I had never heard of it. Apparently it's a show about a mathematician who uses his math skills to help the FBI solve crimes. Wow. I can't believe I had never heard about this show. I'm going to have to check it out.

That was almost worth getting burglarized for. Almost.

We talked about other things, like the Andy Griffith Show. She was definitely a true North Carolinian, because she knows about the decision to make Andy the straight man and Don Knotts the funny guy after the first season. She said she was glad of that, because she thought that Andy in the first season just made southerners look stupid. It kind of made me think of how my mother hated The Real McCoys for the same reason.

We also talked about how much both of us loved the book and movie To Kill A Mockingbird.
I think we got on this subject after I asked her if she had read The Curious Incident of The Dog At Night-Time, and it got us onto the subject of novels in general.

Her grandchildren who were visiting came in. There was an 8-year-old boy and a 6-year-old girl. The boy had found a green piece of fruit and was trying to decide if it was a cherry or a plum. Both of them had really thick southern accents. That seems like it would be obvious in North Carolina, but I really don't hear kids talk like that much anymore. We had just been talking about To Kill A Mockingbird and now I was in the middle of To Kill A Mockingbird. That is a good thing, by the way.

The little girl asked me to watch her do a somersault, and talked to me about her favorite cartoons (Popeye and Goofy.) She showed her grandmother where she had bitten herself on the knee. I said I would love to be ABLE to bite myself on the knee, even though I wouldn't want to actually do it. The grandmother agreed.

As I got up to leave, the little girl said "Don't go". Wow. She had only known me for 15 minutes and already she was missing me. The little boy asked me if I wanted to see the bike he'd gotten for making the honor roll. It was a Harley-Davidson bike, and it looked really cool. The little girl showed me her vehicle, and it was really REALLY cool. It was a four-wheeled vehicle with an electrical engine. It was being charged at the time. I want one.

They had a swing on the back porch. It was a big wooden swing, painted green, and looked just like the one that my grandmother had on her front porch.

So today was a very positive experience. I made some new friends, and in a strange way, got re-connected with my mother. It doesn't cancel out the burglary, or transform it into a good thing. To suggest that it would is new-age poppycock. But it was a happy experience, and it's important to think about the good things in your life as much as you do the bad things. This is very difficult, but it's a good habit to acquire.