3 AM In A Driveway

I woke up to the sound of Scott moving with purpose.  Usually if he’s just going to the bathroom I don’t even wake up.  But it’s a different sound when someone is being discreet, direct and diligent.  Whatever part of my brain is turned on to monitor the outside world, it notices that in a big way.

Me in a raspy ugly whisper, “Babe?  Are you up?”  

Scott, “———.”  Zippo. Nothing.  Silence.  Everyone in my family knows a verbal response is required, the louder the better, or I get cranky.

“Hello?!?! What is going on?  Where are you?  I know you can hear me.”

The outside door opened (oops) and rather unexpectedly, his voice showed up right beside me.  No, he doesn’t have ninja skills. I have night blindness.  It’s super not fun.

“There’s someone in the driveway.”

That begged so many more questions.  Just as I sucked in a deep breath to start listing my top 20 or so, he put his hand on my arm to stop me.

“It’s 2:40 am. Three men showed up about 5 minutes ago.  Two are in a truck, a third is on a red motorcycle, probably a Honda.  They are parked approximately 30 feet from the front of the RV.  They are talking and smoking.  Someone got out of the truck and walked a few feet, but got back into the truck.  I can’t hear what they’re saying.  They did not enter the driveway in a way that indicated they were trying to be quiet, so that is good.  But I don’t know what they’re doing in a driveway that isn’t theirs in the middle of the night.”

His tone indicted he was finished.  No more questions.  He sat in the dinette to watch out the side window of the slide out.

Who would be trying to rob us or the home owner in a sweet, residential neighborhood outside of Duluth, MN?  The biggest controversy up here is Paul Bunyan’s citizenship.  This didn’t make any sense.

Ok.  It’s a stake out then.  Cool… I can get into a stake out.  Let’s do this!  Pop the popcorn?!  Look at me, a cross between Magnum PI and Veronica Mars.  Queue the music.

5 minutes pass.  10 minutes pass.  

A stake out is only cool for the first 30 seconds.  After that, it gets very old very fast.  That is especially true at 2:45 am.  After a solid 11 minutes I was all done waiting.  No more stake out.

Me {too loudly}, “I think we should turn the lights on.  You know, let them know we know that they’re there.”

Scott {sounding suspiciously like I might be an idiot}, “No.”

In no self defense class I’ve ever had do they say if you think you’re about to be robbed: stay silent, keep the lights off, get yourself ready to pounce, wait.   No, no, no.  That’s not what they tell you to do.  That’s actually the opposite of what they tell you to do.  Make noise.   Don’t let them think they have the element of surprise.  Don’t be an easy target.  Be loud.  If you’re going to be a single female and live in a city, these rules are mandatory.

I finally persuaded Scott to turn on the lights…. let’s trigger some action, baby.  One way or another, let’s do this.  Come rob us or leave so we can go to sleep.  I have kids and breakfast comes rudely early.  You’re killing my sleep mojo, Brother.

After we turned the lights on, broadcasted our awakeness and turned them off again,  the truck turned over and the motorcycle prepared to leave.  Mazel tov!  Great!! It’s time to go back to bed!  Hello sleepytime!  

Unfortunately, the poor may-be robber on the motorcycle had mechanical troubles.  He either flooded it or something was seriously wrong with his bike.  He tried and tried to start it.  I watched and snickered.  {In retrospect, with a more accurate picture of the events of last night, that was not nice and I apologize for snickering.  It was rude.}  Scott just watched… without moving much or saying anything.  He just watched.

When the guy finally got it going I wanted to cheer for him but I looked at Scott and he shook his head.

All told, the whole thing took about 35 minutes.  I went right back to sleep after they left and slept like the dead.  I’m not sure what Scott did but I know he didn’t come back to bed right away.  I know he didn’t think the stake out part was fun, not even the first 30 seconds of it. I can swear under oath that he did go back to sleep at some point because he was out cold at 7 am when I got up with the kids.

It turns out, one of our friends’ sons was helping a buddy who did, in fact, have issues with his motorcycle.  They came by to borrow Dad’s tools.  Who hasn’t “borrowed” a tool or 2 from Dad in the middle of the night when Dad may or may not be super excited to lend it?!  I knew there would be a logical explanation.   

Thankfully the guys in the driveway did not approach the RV.  Approaching our RV during the witching hour should be handled with care.  That’s true of any RV with occupants.  The world’s modern nomads are generally an affable group but there are limits.