Taming the Scaredy Cat

Do you get scared easily? Are you afraid of your own shadow? I’m not a scaredy cat. I try to be careful, I watch what’s going on around me, mostly. I mean, I’m not going to fall into a manhole because I’m texting and walking. I might, however, trip over that root in the field because I’m watching the puppy bouncing around chasing bugs or frisbees.


When I was younger, my Granny lived in a small town with a prison in it. I was a teenager and my cousin and I would walk downtown to the drive-in for a burger and fries, or to the movie theater. We’d walk past the prison’s tall rock walls with the armed guards on top.image

I always felt I needed to be so stoic and somber walking past there, afraid if I did anything wrong I’d be behind those walls too, I guess. Anyway, my Mom and I were driving in to town late one Friday night after work. It was going to be late enough that Granny would be in bed and probably fast asleep. She said she’d leave the door unlocked “but make sure you lock it when you come in”, she said it several times. Not that I blamed her. Prisoners had been known to escape and they would head to the freeway on the other side of Granny’s place trying to get the heck outta Dodge. Actually it was Deer Lodge but, well, you know.

So, we drove in late that night got our stuff in the house and remembering our instructions I tried and tried to lock the door. It wouldn’t lock, it looked locked, but would open right up, so I got my Mom and she tried. I’m sure it would have been comical had someone been watching. We tried and tried, then one of us would go outside and try the “locked” door. It would open, so we’d trade and the other would go outside, “lock” the door and try it, and it would open. We knew we were in trouble when Granny found it the next morning but we gave up and went to bed.

Of course the next morning, my Mom’s Mom (Granny) reprimanded us for not locking the door. “One of those prisoners could have come in and killed us all in our sleep”, she told us. We defended ourselves, of course telling her how long we tried to get it locked but we just couldn’t get it. “Well, it’s easy” Granny said marching over to the door and “locking” it. “See?” She said stepping back, hands on her hips. About that time her husband, Harrison opened the door and stepped in. Mom and I burst out laughing and could hardly stop even with those scathing looks that only my Granny could give. Mom and I could collapse in fits of laughter at that scene any time it was brought up, even though it’s been many, many years since I was a teenager. Granny never really saw the humor in it, which only added to our laugh attacks.

So, back to the present. My husband works out-of-town sometimes and I have 2 or 3 nights alone. I don’t mind them, I have my Jasper with me and I get things done that I can’t do when he’s home. Now, Jasper may hide behind me if anything happened but I like having him there. I always make sure on these nights that I’ve locked the door when I come in. I have stoppers in the windows that I have open in the summer. As I said, I’m cautious.

So, you can imagine my surprise last night when I started off to bed in my comfortable smug safeness bubble. I turned off the light switch by the door and turned to go to bed when something just seemed off. I turned back around to find the front door had been unlocked since last weekend. 3 nights in an unlocked house, Eeeek! I laughed a bit and told Jasper “those escaped prisoners could have come in and got us in our sleep”. I know my Mama was laughing along with me from the other side. Probably Granny…not so much.

So, this is the question. Are we safe because we are careful, and/or lock the doors. Or are we safe because we choose to think we’re safe. How careful are you? Does it freak you out when you find something like an unlocked door?


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