Our little cabin in the Ozarks was broken into!
The last time we were down to Roundrock — more than two weekends ago — we arrived to find the door to the cabin wide open and a squirrel scrabbling at one of the windows to get out. I stepped away from the door and the frantic squirrel must have decided the time was right to exit there, and did so. Then I stepped into the cabin, half expecting other varmints to be inside, perhaps ready to leap onto my head and claw at my eyes.
There weren’t any, but there apparently had been many; they left their evidence behind. From what we could discern, the door to the cabin had been open for several days given the accumulation of “evidence” in many places. And more precisely, the cabin had been open for several nights because that’s when all of the birds in the forest would have been in there roosting.
I had a fifty-pound bag of black-oil sunflower seeds for the bird feeder sitting on a table inside the cabin. It is too big to fit in any of the metal containers I normally use for edibles we keep there, but in all of our years, we’ve never had critters get into the cabin. So I wasn’t worried about it sitting out. My plan was to use the sunflower seeds in the feeder until the bag was diminished enuf that it would fit in the old metal popcorn tin I had. Our furred and feathered invaders decided to help me with that ambition. We found the bag torn open and seed scattered all over the cabin, behind the furniture, on the window sills, and even cached in the pocket of a small backpack hanging from a nail. (Fortunately, the varmints didn’t molest the beds/sheets/mattresses/pillows!) The bag of seed now fits in the tin, by the way.
So, much of the furniture and fixtures got moved out of the cabin and the broom was brought into service, poking into corners it hadn’t visited in a long, long time. Wet rags were then employed to remove other manifestations of our visitors. And we consoled ourselves with the observation that it could have been a lot worse (had raccoons or coyotes moved in, for example).
The odd thing about it was that the door was locked. The lock is in the handle, and although the door was hanging open, the handle was firm; its lock was applied and the handle wouldn’t turn.
My guess is that when we last left, I had locked the door and pulled it shut behind me but the bolt didn’t seat itself in the frame. There were windstorms in the area in the preceding week, and it seems possible that the door could have been blown open since it wasn’t actually latched (I’m further guessing).
Once we got all of that work behind us, we proceed with our intended agenda for the weekend, which included cutting more wood with the chainsaw and then splitting that wood with the sledge and wedge. A campfire ensued, and some beer was consumed. Much needed rain came the next morning, and a text from my son had found its way to us (despite the spotty cell reception on our side of the ridge) asking for our help with his effort to complete his master’s degree (our help being watching the baby while he went to the library), so we cut our weekend short and headed for home. And, of course, as I left, I tripled checked the door to ensure that it was closed, locked, and latched.