You are simply not going to believe this post. I was going to post about our hike on Friday to Calypso Cascades, but that will have to wait, because we had a REAL surprise on Saturday.
I like to read on Saturdays, and Ricki (when not home) tends to be a little (O.K., a lot....) bored. So I have made an effort to play with her a fair amount. So on Saturday afternoon, I promised Ricki that at 4 o'clock we go for a walk. She usually doesn't want to go walking with me, but if bored enough, I figured she just might want to. She said "Let's go now."
- "No, Ricki, it's too hot right now. Soon. At four." I suggested that she go down to our room and rest a bit.
About half an hour later, I went downstairs and saw that she wasn't there. A quick search of the house, garage, and yard yielded no Ricki nor no clues as to her where-abouts.
If Ricki was in Bnei Brak, I would not worry so much. But here in the US, in an area she is unfamiliar with, and with no friends living nearby, the situation was definitely one of "Pikuach Nefesh" (danger to life). I had visions of her getting lost, abducted, etc, and knew that even if a good person would find her, Ricki did not know my mother's name or address, and indeed she could not communicate in English at all. I quickly called my older brother and we set out to search by car.
We did a quick look around the area, driving the way I always walk with Ricki , and asked a few neighbors, with no results. We checked in at my mother's house to see if Ricki had shown up, but she hadn't. I went to get my passport so that we could go to the police. As we left the second time, the neighbor across the way said " I've called almost everyone in this area, and so-and-so said she saw a teen with a suitcase walking up the road towards the hill."
So we took off and found her two blocks away, along with a man who was trying to talk with her. (She doesn't know English.) The man saw her taking mail from the roadside mailboxes, and went to stop her. (Apparently teen vandals of the mail here has happened more than once, since the mailboxes are at street side, and not on the houses. Taking mail just happens to be a felony....) It also seems that he was as yet unaware that Ricki had Down syndrome, AND he had already called the police. I walked home with Ricki asking my brother to speak with the man. [Ricki at first was surprised to see me, said that she was just taking a walk, and had taken the suitcase with her because she "wanted to".]
In the end, it seems that she had emptied all the mailboxes on the way, tearing a few of the letters as well. Eventually the policeman, the scowling witness (who calmed down when he realized that this was not your ordinary teen vandal) and my brother managed to get the mail returned to the proper boxes, and the policeman came to take our name and phone number. Ricki only really started realizing how serious things were when the officer appeared. She made hearty promises not to repeat either mail removal or trips outside on her own.
"Well", I quipped to my mother a few hours later, "at least I have what to write on my blog". Never a dull moment......(except perhaps, for Ricki).