Sun City Lock Down

Living in Sun City means living behind securely locked, iron-barred security doors and dead bolts that are firmly latched and windows that are never opened to allow a fresh, cool fall breeze to flow through the house – unless you have burglar bars installed.  However, leaving the garage door up a foot or so to help keep air – or critters – circulating inside is permitted.  And so is having a sun porch that is encased in window screen that can be pushed out of the aluminum frame by an angry finch even though the sun room door to the outside must remain securely locked.

Mom’s latest bug-a-boo is the lock on the sliding glass door that opens into our sun porch.  She’s suddenly decided it needs to be locked all the time, even when Bill and I are home and sitting in the room.  It doesn’t matter that we’re working outside and are coming and going through the sun porch, into the Arizona room and then into the garage.  It doesn’t matter that it’s broad daylight, the sheriff who lives four houses away has his car parked in his driveway, and neighbors are walking their dogs and chatting on the sidewalk.  The garage door must be down, ALL the locks on ALL the doors and windows must be in place, double-checked, and remain that way – ALL THE TIME.  It makes going outside for more than 3 minutes difficult and makes coming back in even harder since she tends to wander around after we’ve gone outside and lock the doors, completely forgetting that we’re still home, just not in the house.  This leads to ringing the front doorbell, waiting for her to retrieve her walker and make her way to the foyer, waiting while she looks out the peephole, then waiting some more while she unlocks the two locks on the front door, followed by the security door deadbolt and the lock on the door handle. 

And she never fails to look surprised to see us.  For example, a couple of evenings ago we were talking to our neighbor, Art.  When we tried going back inside, we discovered she’d locked the patio door.  We trudged around the house and found the garage door was down and the front door was locked.  So Bill rang the  doorbell.

“What are you doing out here?” she asked, once she finally managed to get both doors opened.

“We were in back talking to Art and you locked us out,” Bill said, wiping sweat out of his eyes.  “Why do you have to have everything locked up tight when we’re home?” he asked, somewhat testily.

“Because, you never know who’s going to break in and steal your stuff.  That happens to old people all the time here,  I know because I read the crime statistics in the paper, right after I check for my ex-husbands name in the obituaries”  she replied.

“If you’re nervous we can get an alarm,” offered Bill, even though she turned it down when we suggested bringing our alarm system from our house in Boise.

“No, I don’t want one of those things.  They’re loud and they don’t always work and they cost money.  Besides, I’ve got you and Bill,” she continued.  Little does she know that Bill, the coward that he is, is more likely to shout out “Shoot her first, she’s old” while diving through the broken – but still locked – window that the intruder came through.

“Bill and I being here doesn’t help if you keep us locked outside,” I argued.  “You know, the best deterrent to a burglar is a dog.  We could get a dog,” I said hopefully, trying again for the puppy she won’t let me have.

“No, I told you before, I can’t take care of a dog,” she announced, then turned abruptly and shouted out “LAS VEGAS STRIP TEASE!” smiling proudly as she solved the latest Wheel of Fortune puzzle.

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