Saturday, January 07, 2006

Home, quietly

After a two-day driving marathon that brought us from a warm beach to a frozen, snowy land, we safely pulled our minivan into the driveway around 1 this morning, carried our half-asleep kids inside and tried to go to sleep.

Little man (5) had spent much of the last two hours of the drive asleep. After a day of off-and-on napping in his booster seat, there was no way this bright boy was going to sleep. So with huge blue eyes framing an ear-to-ear grin, he played at the foot of our bed while my wife and I drifted off from exhaustion. We're not quite sure what time he fell asleep, but we're reasonably certain he outlasted us all.

Quick explanation: So you're likely wondering how I can take a two-week vacation to Florida without actually mentioning anything about it in my blog. The reason is simple: paranoia.

Since I publish under my own name - and was, in fact, filing columns from Florida and from the road on the way back - I worry that announcing to the world that I'm out of town is an invitation to unwelcome visitors to an empty house.

As if to underscore my point, I received a call from someone at home this afternoon. He had read my column in this morning's paper (filed from Calhoun, Georgia yesterday morning) and wanted to share his thoughts. Never mind that my e-mail address is printed on the bottom of everything I publish. Never mind that the paper's masthead includes all sorts of snail mail addresses for those who would rather not share their feedback online. No, this gentleman looked me up in the phone book and called. I suppose he could have dropped by for tea, as well.

I'm sure he's a nice guy. But it gives me the willies all the same.

Ergo, I don't make a practice of announcing when I leave an empty house behind. Sorry for the subterfuge, but it's just one of those vestiges of growing up in a large city that I can not shake.

I'll post lots of thoughts, pictures and observations from our travels in the days and weeks ahead. I hope you enjoy them.

Your turn: Am I being unnecessarily fearful?

34 comments:

Valderbar said...

It sounds reasonable and wise. Even a guard cat isn't intimidating enough to stop removal of your electronics. You do have a guard cat don't you?

Michele sent me.

WendyWings said...

I don't think you are being paranoid at all. I would not announce it to the world if I was leaving the house empty either.
BTW I just posted I got missed at Micheles then your comment popped up DOH LOL
Michele sent me back but that is good because you have a new post up !

craziequeen said...

It's your blog - you don't want to tell us, you don't have to!

Love the description of wide-awake Little Man - seen a few of those over the years :-D

cq

craziequeen said...

oops - here from Michele :-)

utenzi said...

Michele sent me, Carmi.

Well, it all depedns. You don't take risk by being careful so it's hard to naysay it. I don't see a lot of benefit to complete disclosure in this case either. How safe London, Ontario is I don't know, but you're better safe than sorry--as the old saw goes.

Welcome back home--sorry it was to snow!

Lynda said...

Hiya, Carmi - even though I am here via Michele this time, I stop by regularly. And I agree, being prudent is not being paranoid. You might consider an unlisted number, though. Can't wait to read about the trip!

A Woman Changed said...

I don't think of it as being paranoid - I think you're being reasonably cautious. And when you have a family to protect, that's a good thing. Now I can relax - the palm tress in a recent photo make sense! I was starting to get a different vision of Canada...;-)

Moogie said...

I think you are being safe and smart. You have a family to think of and are acting quite wisely.

Joan said...

I don't know who Michele is, so I think it's safe to say that Michele didn't send me - unless of course she has powers beyond mere mortals - then maybe she did. LOL!

I think it's very wise not to broadcast that you are gone. My bloggers only know me by my first name, but I still try not to broadcast I'll be gone when I am. I only have myself and 2 cats to protect. You have a wife and kids.

Ishavedmylegsforthis? said...

You can never be to safe.. especially with the kids. There are lots of wierdos out there.

Carmen said...

Both smart and sound.

As usual.

sage said...

gee, I try to stay annoymous in blog world and only a few who read my blog actually knows me! Hope you had a wonderful vacation.

Tammy said...

No, probably quite smart. I'm guilty of saying when I'm on a little mini vacation...but my blog doesn't contain my last name, so I'd be harder to find.

You should've emailed me, tho, silly...we would have loved to have met you and your wife, especially since Ben and your wife attended the same high school!

Now that you're home, do we get to see Florida pics? :)

WendyWings said...

I think we keep going back to Micheles at the same time !
Back AGAIN HAHA

AverageMom said...

God no. It makes me realize that I've been an idiot in the past, and told the entire world my travel schedule. Hope you had a great time....I'm pretty jealous!

Beanhead said...

Carmi you were here in my neck of the woods for two weeks. Where at in Florida?

Kat said...

Whoa, I can't believe he called you!

Maybe he is an older gentleman who doesn't use email??? But I think you're completely reasonable not to mention it when you go out of town, given that you use your full name on your blog.

Shane said...

nope, makes perfect sense.

btw, thanks for dropping by my blog and leaving good words. Looks like you have a great site too.

Tania said...

I think you were smart in your decision not to broadcast the details of your empty home. You can never be too careful, and would be kicking yourself if you had announced your vacation and someone had compromised your home in one way or another. This way you can pat yourself on the back (or let us, the commenters, do it for you!) on a good decision to keep quiet about it. :)

Personally, I'm looking forward to hearing about your trip and seeing photos. I sure could use some sun and warmth - even if it's only in photos - about now!

Carmi said...

Tammy & Beanhead: Sorry for the no-notice. We stayed in Delray Beach and then Deerfield Beach.

My parents had given me the names of at least a dozen extended family members and friends. If it had been up to them, I suspect we would have gone to visit all of them.

In the end, we kept things very quiet and fun for the kids. I'm going to need to start booking longer vacations so I can see everyone :)

The Cryer said...

Hey! Glad you got away... and you certainly don't owe us any apologies. You were just being safe (not paranoid). Bravo, good fella!

Ender said...

Yea, I don't blame you bro. You have to take care of you and yours, regardless of how paranoid it may seem.

You never know what idiot is prowling around your area. And, to add to that, the media is saturated with every terrible thing that happens to everyone, making it seem like life in itself is one big gamble against criminals. Bleh....

Laris said...

Sweet chickens, someone has some serious boundary issues!

Michele sent me.

Diva said...

Willies...no doubt! You're not paranoid at all. If you have a listed phone number, if I were you, I'd change it and make it unlisted. You're a great writer, but anytime someone is in the public eye, it increases the chances of some wacko latching onto you.

Glad you're home safely!

Shelli said...

NO! Absolutely not!

Shelli said...

By the way, that explains the coffee shop post!

Shannon said...

hi from micheles!
glad your back safe and sound....you and my hub would get along famously, both of you and your paranora :)

mar said...

Glad to hear you and your family had a nice vacation. The bad thing is nowadays we cannot be careful enough...We are not listed on the phone book. Michele sent me today, but I enjoy visiting on my own as well!

la la la I can't hear you said...

You're not paranoid. In fact, I recommend the peace of mind that comes with getting an unlisted number.

After I got that letter from the person in jail for murder, I changed our phone number to an unlisted one. It isn't that I mind the calls I've gotten about things I've written - in the past every call I'd gotten was positive.

But the $2.50 per month is so worth knowing that a person who may not be happy with you will not know where you live.

Plumkrazzee said...

No way! You can NEVER be too careful, especially when you are in the "public" eye. You have a family to protect, and some privacy to maintain. Good call. I have learned from lots of past experiences that if your gut is leery, go with it. Better to error on the safe side! Michele sent me today, but i'd be here anyhow. =)

ribbiticus said...

nope, i don't think you're being unnecessarily fearful. that would really creep me out too! there are a lot of lunatics out in the world and i'll feel a whole lot safer if a perfect stranger didn't try to contact me that way.

michele sent me back. :)

Sandy said...

I'm with valderbar - wise and reasonable.

Hope you all enjoyed the trip!

Here from michele's today.

Shannon said...

Not at all. I get chided by friends & family for being too paranoid - but why take any chances? It's just irresponsible NOT to be paranoid in this day and age. I often hear people say, "If a criminal wants to (do whatever), they will find a way no matter what you do." My response is, "So why open the door and make it easier for them?"

Michael Manning said...

Carmi: Your safety and the safety of all we Media types is incumbent on unlisting your phone number and address. THere is the worldin which we live and the world we desire, my friend. One has to remain alive to achieve the latter. I have not been listed my entire career. Be wise. Protect yourself and your loved ones. We need your common sense to we can continue to enjoy your great talent!