Okay so I'm no Joe Friday but what do you think about this? My sister was talking to me last week about what had happened to her neighbors and I'd love to get your theories . . .
This winter my sister's next door neighbor knocked on the door and asked her if they'd like to have a basketball hoop. "Sure! Thanks!" was the easy reply and the hoop sat on the side of the house ready to install once the spring came.
Well winter plugged on and Kendall (my brother in law) happened to mention to Carinne (my sister) one day not long ago, "Have you seen the neighbors lately?"
"Well sure," she said, thinking that of course she must have seen them coming and going at some point.
"Really?" He said, "Because I don't think I've seen them all winter."
This isn't that unusual, people tend to stay inside their homes in the winter, so they kind of tossed that idea around for a minute before forgetting about it until later that week when Carinne got another knock on the door. It was a stranger standing there on the front step. He wanted to know if she'd seen her neighbors recently.
How odd. (Yes, that was my thought too). Turns out the man was with an insurance company and was checking to see if Carinne knew the whereabouts of her neighbors because they had disappeared.
Yup, disappeared. As in vanished. The house was there and all the stuff inside but the people were gone. The house was declared abandoned and the bank was starting into foreclosure proceedings and the man had been sent to determine the amount of damage the house had sustained by not being properly winterized--i.e burst pipes, water damage, whatever.
Now before you dismiss this with a wave of your hand Miss wanna-be-Marple just give it a thought. First--Why would they abandon the house? If someone was having financial trouble then they would have declared bankruptcy and tried to keep at least some of their possessions. Even if you were an illegal immigrant afraid of deportation (and these guys didn't exactly fit the profile) one doesn't just walk away from a house and all the stuff inside--if you were an illegal it would be hard to even buy a house in the first place without proper documentation.
Second--Why would they just voluntarily disappear? If you wanted to avoid the creditors it's awfully hard to just disappear in this techy age--not unless you change your identity which isn't as easy as the movies would make it appear and would of course bring up all sorts of new issues.
Third--Why would they take an old lady? You see the family was a husband and wife but the wife's elderly mother was also living with them. The couple had two children, the oldest being in college and the youngest either still in high school or getting ready to graduate--Carinne wasn't sure. You can't exactly conveniently go on the lam with grandma in tow. Or maybe you can--who'd suspect someone collecting social security of running from the law? But what did they do with their kids? Did the kid in college disappear too?
So, given this stream of thought I'm thinking there's only one logical conclusion: my sister's neighbors were in the Witness Protection Program--probably for giving evidence in a mob killing--and somehow their cover was blown. Probably from someone on the inside which is why they had to make a run for it and not even take time to empty the house. That's the only possible solution.
But while I'm over here excitedly taking notes in my steno pad and dusting off my trenchcoat and best Bogart imitation Carinne only had one question: "So do we still get to keep the basketball hoop or what?"
So who won the two This Is Me Keepsake Journals? Stacy from Austin, Texas and Michelle from Killeen, Texas are our lucky winners this week (Texas was the lucky place to be this weekend I guess) but more is coming this Saturday. Don't give up yet! Thank you so much for the nice comments you often leave with your entries, they're such a nice thing to read each Monday morning and I appreciate every one of them.
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