St Croix River Road Ramblings

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Cabin Break In -- A Picky Robber

   This morning I got up early and headed north from Pine Island, MN to the cabin at Cushing.   There was no snow south of Stillwater, and only a little north until I got up closer to St Croix Falls.   Driving up the river road, the St Croix still frozen over at St. Croix Falls, but just a few miles north, from Spanglers Bay to Nevers Dam, it was fully open.
Burglar Tracks leading to and from the Cabin

   The snow was melted down mostly at the cabin, so I unlocked the big gate and drove in.  The hillside and driveway were very icy, the melting snow of the previous day was mostly ice this morning.
   I got out my key and slid down my walkway to the cabin door and opening the screen door, found the main door broken open!   It is an old door I rescued from a sale at Almena 35 years ago when they had a sale on fixtures in a school that was being closed or remodeled.
   When I built the cabin, I was a school teacher and had absolutely no spare money so salvaged all sorts of used items to build.  The big interior door with half glass was quite attractive—nicely varnished.  However, 35 years of being exposed to the weather has given it more than a patina, sort of a rot-tina.   Years ago, it had been kicked in so my fix at that time was to put a padlock and hasp on the door and frame.  The breaker inner had kicked it and the screws came out showing lots of wet rot behind the crinkled veneer.
   I went in and looked around.  Every cabinet door open, most of the drawers in the kitchen and storage bins (high quality Wal-Mart plastic ones) all open; some of the smaller ones dumped on the table.
   I am pretty careful to never leave anything that would have any pawn shop value at the cabin, so after looking around and straightening up, the only loss I could find was my bowl of about $5 of quarters saved for the Laundromat.
   It appeared to be a person in search of something I didn’t have.  I doubt the person was after drugs, because my Ex-Lax, Tums, Bayers, and Preparation H were all untouched.  My computer was untouched!  Of course, it may be that because I hadn’t take the time to remove the $12 garage sale sticker from the big old tower case advertising XP 1.1 GHz 512mb and the big heavy CRT with the duct tape holding it together nor the 7 year old HP All-in-One printer/scanner with it’s own $3 garage sale sticker.
   The most valuable item, my 1957 paint-by-numbers maple syruping scene was still hanging on the wall, next to the new, but likely to be valuable someday,  painting of Atlas Lake by my neighbor,Ed Emerson.
   My large box of books including “History of Maple Syruping…” just out last month, was untouched; strange when one thinks of tremendous value for only $10 each at Anderson Maple near Cumblerland, WI.
   The tracks leading to the cabin showed the burglar had walked in from the road through the old cattle gate then to the driveway and to the cabin, and back out the same way.  The tracks were since the big snow, but before the big melt this week.
   I called the Sheriff’s office and after they found out I didn’t have a loss or damage, they unenthusiastically took my report and asked me to followup by phone if I found anything else missing.
   Incidentally, when I checked the phone messages (I have a vintage rotary dial beige table top phone put in 35 years ago with a garage sale message recorder) and I had two interesting messages.
   Local game warden, Jessie, had left a message that they had picked up a deer poacher in my neighborhood and found he had stolen some stuff from a hunting blind in my area or just north.   I don’t have any hunting blinds, although I do let my next door neighbor hunt there, so don’t know about that.  I have to check with the game warden and find out when he picked up the poacher and see if that fits with my robbery.   If the poacher has a pocket full of quarters it might be him.
     The other phone call was from a local newspaper reporter wanting to get together to do a story about maple syruping.  Normally I would be tapping this weekend, but with the new knee scheduled Monday, I was going to leave it to son Scott and let Margo baby me for a couple of weeks after the surgery.  Since she had to go to Milwaukee where her Dad is recovering from heart bypass surgery and will be there the rest of March, Scott will be my baby sitter for a week or two before we get around to tapping the maples, unless I am up and kicking quickly.  It is hard to think about giving up the fame of a newspaper article on maple syruping, but it does just not look like this year will be the one I finally get my 15 minutes of fame.
   As my break in was not very serious, I don’t really feel violated.  I guess mostly I am sort of disappointed that I don’t own anything that a burglar thinks would be worth stealing.  I guess that is a comment on my thriftness!