Joyce, our next door neighbor, called us after she got home from work. Did we know anything about a small silver car parked in her driveway? We didn’t. We can’t see the front of her house from ours because of big evergreen trees. She and John came to the conclusion she should call the police. She had already checked through her house and found no evidence that anyone had tried to enter. Joyce called again after looking through the windows of the car and seeing a sweater and pocketbook. The longer you live with a mystery, the more it gnaws at you. Joyce was concerned that perhaps a woman had been abducted. Who was the owner of the purse? Who might have taken her? Where were they now? John offered to stay with her until the police came, and she eagerly accepted.
John locked our doors and turned on the porch lights as he walked next door. A bit later he called and said Joyce would feel more comfortable staying with us. Would I take his towels out of the bathroom? I did more than that. I cleaned the toilet and vanity. I also flicked the duster around the guest bedroom. I was very thankful I had changed the sheets on the bed that very morning.
I wasn’t expecting a policeman on the porch, but he began his search with me. I answered that I didn’t know anything about the strange car and explained that my husband was with Joyce. He told me the car was registered to someone in Clyde and that he suspected the driver was a high school student because of a parking sticker on it. He asked about the other neighbors and said he would check Amy’s house.
“Let me call her first,” I said. “She is alone and might be shocked to see you on her doorstep.”
I quickly outlined the problem for Amy and offered my phone to the policeman to talk to her himself. After her house was ruled out as harboring a fugitive, the man asked about the other neighbors. I lost sight of him as he headed across the street. That may have been when he noticed a car coming down the street.
A few minutes later Amy called, wondering what was happening. She was watching from her window and saw flashlights bobbing. It was John coming back, so we put the speakerphone on to hear the report together.
“It was Jean’s granddaughter and her friend,” John said.
Jean owns the house across from Joyce. We knew one daughter lived with her, but we didn’t realize there was a teen living there, as well.
John continued, “The girls went shopping at Walmart. The friend didn’t want to pull into Jean’s steep drive, so she parked in Joyce’s, and the granddaughter did the driving.”
Things were back to normal, so Joyce didn’t come to our house. I was a bit disappointed that we wouldn’t have a fun house party, but solving the mystery was better. Was there anything gained by this flap in our serene neighborhood? Yes, indeed! We had a freshly cleaned bedroom and bath, all ready for company!