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West Virginia Day 1 – In Which we Received a Surprise

What kind of person takes a girl’s unicorn hat and coffee pot?

I mean, those are some seriously important things. Especially that coffee pot.

unicorn hat

As some readers already know, we arrived in West Virginia to discover that the family house there had been broken into. It isn’t the first time this has happened in the house’s long life – an earlier break-in caused my grandfather to create a system of plywood and 2x4s to help secure the windows and doors. Unfortunately, we didn’t realize the wood in a a window overlooking the back porch was actually very old particle board. Womp womp. I can’t imagine it put up much of a fight. Once inside, the intruder eventually literally broke the door frame to get the back door open to haul out our portable generator, some various electronics, and a large plastic bin containing spare batteries, a small fire extinguisher, my beloved unicorn had, and our percolator. Truth be told, I’m glad he (I say ‘he’ because the Deputy Sheriff I spoke to thinks it was probably the same person they suspect of breaking into other properties nearby for items to sell for drug money) didn’t take anything of sentimental value.

back-door

back-window

While items not specifically belonging to my husband and me in the house were not damaged, I am very upset that the intruder did damage the house. Not only was the back door frame broken and the original window (specifically the “muntin bar”) damaged, but he hit the inside of the front door with a hammer. Many times. It’s heartbreaking to me to see damage inflicted on such beautiful old wood. The lovely, old hardwoods used to construct the house are a quality that you simply cannot find today – modern building supplies just can’t compare. Even though it’s split, I insisted on saving the broken piece of doorframe in case we can repurpose some of the wood for a repair elsewhere in the future. I hate that the house has stood for 108 years, only to be mindlessly hit with a hammer by someone looking for drug money.

farm-house

It makes me feel bad for the house, too. See, I have this sort of Velveteen Rabbit impression of the house. No, I don’t think the house is a bunny, but it’s been there so long I feel like it has a personality and almost like it can feel feelings. That makes me sound kind of weird, doesn’t it? But I do think the house knows and appreciates when people who care stop by.

Since we discovered the break-in after dark, there wasn’t much we could do right away. Luckily, we already had a room at a nearby(ish) motel reserved, so we returned to prepare ourselves for Saturday because we knew our week had suddenly just become a whole lot busier.

lacing-up-boots

Over the next few weeks, my normal post schedule will be switched around a bit so I can write more about our recent trip. Throughout the remainder of December, I’ll be writing about our stay in West Virginia on Tuesdays and Fridays. I have plenty of fun photos (including adorable animals!), a side adventure to an antique store, and more to share, so I hope you stop in again soon!

Natasha - The Artisan Life

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{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Rose December 6, 2016, 08:04

    It’s so awful someone broke into the house and even worse that they damaged it like that. You’re right about the wood. You simply can’t find hardwoods of that quality anymore. I’m sure you’ll be able to find a way to repurpose the salvaged wood and keep it in the house.

    • Natashalh December 6, 2016, 08:51

      I was reading up on repairing old windows instead of replacing them. Most of the window wood around the house is in pretty good shape, but the door frame should help us fix up a few spots where the window wood is damaged, when we get to that point. I guess that’s my silver lining in the cloud. =)

  • Duni December 7, 2016, 02:40

    What an awful thing to have happened! I’m truly sorry about the damaged door. How sad. Glad you kept what’s left and I’m sure you’ll find a way to repurpose. Were you able to secure the house before you left?

    • Natashalh December 7, 2016, 09:06

      The door and back windows are now more secure than ever before. =) Unfortunately, if someone is determined to get in and doesn’t care about damaging the house, it’s impossible to completely keep them out. We did our best, though, and reinforced the defenses on the doors and windows you can’t see from the road, so hopefully it helps.

  • Marieken December 8, 2016, 01:19

    Must have been horrible finding out about the break in! On a happier note, I like your unicorn cap, and I love seeing your animal photos 🙂

    • Natashalh December 8, 2016, 07:14

      It was upsetting, but things could have been way worse. It looked like it had happened in the past couple of weeks (and two different sets of neighbors had checked on the house in October without seeing anything wrong) so it hadn’t been long enough for too many critters to move in!
      I have more animal shots from our trip to share soon. I had a lot of fun spoiling the neighbor’s critters!

  • Cynthia December 17, 2016, 05:11

    Wow, so they hit the door and window with a hammer? that is terrible, and I do hope they are able to catch the ‘guy’ who is responsible for the break ins.

    • Natashalh December 17, 2016, 09:32

      They kicked the window in (There was a boot print) then hit the door with a hammer before eventually breaking the frame because the deadbolts did their jobs so well. Actually, the deadbolts are still operable, in spite of being hammered! That lock brand has definitely earned my trust and business.

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