Lyle's Blog

One Crazy Week

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I hope that I don't have too many like this and I am sure that there are some of you who want to hear it straight from me so here goes:

Monday morning started early with Casey waking me up to let me know that he was leaving for Colorado. I drove to the diner to sit with him as he ate breakfast before leaving. He was anxious to get on the road so we walked out to his car and said our goodbyes. People say that goodbyes get easier the more you do them.......they lie.

I drove back to the house and as I walked in, I could feel the difference. As if the walls were telling me that they missed him also. It was an empty feeling. Judy and I didn't need to talk. We knew our grief was mutual. Later she mentioned to me that she felt a feeling in the house like it was suddenly missing something and I told her that I shared that feeling.

We went about the day and tried to keep busy and keep our minds off of things. Around noon, Casey called as we entered Walmart. He wasn't sure where he was. He had taken the directions from map quest and they had sent him off on another road after leaving Burns. "Oh my goodness", he said, "The sign says that I am in Nevada.". I went to the magazine section and got out a map book. He was just 70 miles or so north of Winemucca. So, I had him continue on and pick up Interstate 80 there. "Looks like you are turning this trip into an adventure.", I joked.

Later Trin and I picked up Jayden from school and stopped to pick up some pumpkins. Trin had decided that she and Jay were going to carve pumpkins for Halloween. I helped them set up on the deck outside the diner while I set up the room for the poker tourney that evening. I ended up going back and forth between them and the set up as they were having some trouble with the carving. The last pumpkin was a surprise for me as Trin attempted to carve "Jakes" in the side of it. They set them up in front of the register and brought me around for the surprise of three lit jack o lanterns.

I hadn't eaten well that day and wasn't feeling really great but got the poker tourney started on time. I was playing very well until I made a bad read and knocked myself out of the running. So, I spent the rest of the evening managing the chips and working on paperwork. With the tourney finished, I went out to my office and put the money in the drawer of my desk. I then went home and waited for Casey to call. He called around 11 to let me know that he was in Green River, Utah and should be in Denver on Tuesday around noon. Comfortable with his safety, I pulled myself into bed.

Around 2:45, the phone rang. I looked at the caller ID and my heart sank. It was the security people. "The office alarms are going off", they said. I told them that I was on my way. I jumped into my pants, threw on a sweatshirt, and with my slippers on, grabbed my coat and hat on the way out. Trin and Judy both yelled to me to be careful.

I arrived at the diner just a minute after the police who were shining their lights in the back area. I unlocked the gate and they all went in with guns drawn. I didn't need to be told to get out of the way, I just did. I watched as they backed each other up and went into the rooms just like you would see on tv. No one was there and we looked through the door into my office. I could see that my desk had been broken into. I could see that the drawer where I kept my backup had been pry ed open. It is hard to describe the feelings that go on inside of you so I wont even try. The police asked me to stay out until the dogs got there to try and get some scent.

The dogs arrived and so did Judy and Trin. We were told that the dogs might come to us because of our scent so if they did, that we should just stand still. Instead, we climbed into the van so that we would not disturb the trail. The dogs headed out down the hill and we were able to go in. Trin had noticed a car sitting outside the liquor store with the engine running and an officer went up to check it out. He returned to inform us that it was just the Bulletin paper man.

I looked through my desk and found that our back up money was missing along with the bag of habitat money. The money from the night before was still there along with a few other important things that they had not gotten. I felt good about that but horrible about the other. I checked my records that I keep and realized that there was over a thousand dollars of Habitat money that was missing.

The dogs lost the scent and only a few footprints were found. The police left me with their cards and I attempted to reset the alarms but since the door in the office had been broken was not able to do so. I called Jim to see how far away he was and found him just driving in. So, we went home and attempted to get a little rest before starting up the new day.

I had a deposition on an accident that happened a few years ago where I had been involved in a six car wreck being the last car. The person two cars in front of me was suing for his damages. My damages were minor and I drove away. I still cant figure out how they can blame me for any of his but it is in the insurance and lawyers hands but the deposition certainly added to the stress level. I remember feeling very confident but when they started questioning me, my gut started to shake. With that behind me, I returned to the diner to begin working on repairing the damage from the break in.

KTVZ called and at first I refused their interview. As we spoke, however, I had a change of mind. The main money taken was charity money and that needed to be told. So, I agreed to their interview. They came by and talked to me and then to a couple of the players who happened to be there eating.

I picked up Jay from school and we talked about what had happened the night before. "Did they get anything?", he asked. I told him of what was taken and of the habitat money. Jay went silent and I knew that that information had hit him since he lives in a habitat home. "Those guys are turds!", he explained. "Yes, son, they are", I replied, "but they will be caught.".

Jack, our repairman, fixed both doors and made them close able for the night. He promised to return the next day to secure them even more. I worked till around 6 and then drove home, thanking the KTVZ crew who were set up in the parking lot. "My hope is that we can make a positive of all of this and see Habitat gain back ten fold.", I stated. But in the back of my mind, I could feel the stress building and longed to just go home.

Trin and I watched a movie after she got off work and I pulled my self off to bed feeling rather beat up.

At 3 AM, I awoke. I got to thinking of something that Trin had said that night before. She had said that I should drive down around the same time and see if that same car was parked in front of the liquor store. So, I decided to do so. I walked down the stairs and as I was going out the front door, my phone rang. It was Trin. I told her that I was just taking a drive to check out what she had asked but when I realized that no one was on the line, figured that she must have figured it out so I just hung up. I drove to the diner and around half way there, my phone rang. It was the police asking me where I was. I told them and they asked me to return to my house. I took the swing by the diner noticing that the paper boy was still there waiting for his papers. Sherlock Trin was not right on this one.

I arrived back at my house to find it surrounded by police. Trin had heard my footsteps. Her call to me was to ask if it was me. When I could not hear her and hung up the phone, she thought something had happened to me. She feared that someone had just broken into the house and called the police. The police asked her to check for my car and she could see that it was missing so that was how I was called. I apologised to the police and then went inside and talked with Trin for an hour or so. At the time, I was pretty mad but looking back now, I can see more clearly how she had pieced all of those things together and was worried for the safety of Judy and I. We both agreed that if it had not been for the happenings of the night before, this would not have happened. I took the liberty to remind her, however, that she had given me permission to tell her that I told her so when she watched that scary movie a few days back about people breaking into a home and killing the occupants. She was clearly not moved by that.

I struggled to get some more sleep before taking off again for another day of work. The diner was busier probably from the news reports and I spent the day between security, diner business, and other issues relating to the break in. Around noon, the cashier told me that he had a couple of dollar coins in his register. I bought them out as I always do and went out to the desk. It was then that I realized what else was missing. I have been collecting dollar coins for years now. I had hoped to do something for Jayden later on in life with them...at least that was the plan. I had felt something else was missing and now realized what it was. I had a poker chip case that I kept the dollar coins in. I had collected two to three lines of them. Probably between two and three hundred of them. I got angry all over again and my stomach turned thinking of it.

I admit that the rest of the day was kind of ruined after that but I had to continue doing what I do. I took Trin off to the airport to return to Portland and upon returning wolfed down some dinner before going to the VFW hall for the last Veterans day parade meeting. I met a couple of friends as I walked in who told me they were sorry and asked if we had any leads. One of them told me to tell the police that if they caught the guys to just bring them down to the VFW hall and turn them over to them. My heart really wasn't there and I left as soon as I could afterwards.

I came home, cracked open a beer, and sat on the couch talking with Judy, when the phone rang again. It was after 8 and Ricci was calling from the diner. "There was a robbery at Safeway and the police have asked businesses in the area to secure themselves.", she stated. I grabbed my hat and Judy asked me to be safe as I went out the door. I called my buddy, Frank, who agreed to meet me at the diner and we arrived to a locked up building.

One car showed up shortly thereafter, and I opened the door for them explaining what was happening. They were passing through the area and were sent over by a local motel. I spent my time checking on diners and watching for more customers to let in before our closing time of 9. I asked the visitors how they liked their food and they said that they loved it, especially the spaghetti sauce. I chatted with them about their trip and they bought a whole Marion Berry pie to take to their relatives in Utah.

Frank and I helped the crew finish and locked the place up with Frank and I setting security before we left. Now wide awake, I winded down by watching some TV. As the evening got later, I felt worse so I took myself off to bed. I awoke early this morning with the stress of it all hitting me. I decided not to go to work today. I just need to recharge a little. I must admit that writing this is a little therapeutic and I do feel much better than I did. It is hard to explain the feeling. It is kind of like being angry, hurt, depressed, and pressured all at once. I just need to take my own advice a little. When someone is going through a hard time, I always give them a piece of sage advice. "This to shall pass."....and it will.

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