Snowball & the Click

Posted in Eternal Love | 4 comments

Frank and I were good at working together, and had fun doing so with each other.

Frank loved to get a rise out of me because he knew that I was a spitfire, but he also knew that all he had to do was flash his amazing dimples at me to put out the spitfire.  Frank would learn one more thing about me that I did not know about myself.

The summer was coming to an end, and Frank had signed up to go to Coaching School in Dallas, Texas.  My sister-in-law and her two girls had come to visit with Scotty and me while Frank was in Dallas.  One of my nieces was the same age as Scotty, and the other one was about thirteen months old.  The next story is about what happened during their visit.


My Dad had bought Scotty a puppy for his birthday the year before, and we named her, Snowball.  She was nearly a year old and was a beautiful white Siberian Huskie mix with big black eyes and a black nose.  Snowball was very protective of our family but never barked without reason.  She was an outside dog, and at night, she slept in her bed on our screened-in front porch.

My sister-in-law, two nieces, Scotty, and I were sitting in the living room, finishing up supper.  It was a hot August night, so I had all of the windows open in the house. I was sitting in a chair in the living room next to the window when I heard Snowball bark then start making snarling noises. It was evident that she was baring her teeth at something outside the window. I stood up then went to the window to tell her that everything was alright, but she continued to growl at the bushes between our home and the next-door neighbor’s home.

Since I could not see anything in the bushes, I decided to go outside the front door, walk around to the left side of the house, and see why Snowball was growling.  The front of our home faced a road with the High School on the other side.  Since our home was on a corner lot, the right side also had a street running alongside it.  The back of our house had a fenced-in backyard, but behind it was a field and woods.

As I walked around the corner of the house to where Snowball was, she came running to me, but then ran back to the bushes growling.  While trying to see in the dark why Snowball was barking and snarling, I was startled by my neighbor’s voice, which came from the other side of the bushes.  Our neighbor, who was elderly, was lying in her bed next to her open window and she was frightened.  She told me that she had heard Snowball bark then she saw a man standing on her side of the bushes looking at our home.  It was apparent that she was terrified and, of course, from her words “man in the bushes” the hair on my neck started standing up.  I told my neighbor to make sure her doors were locked while waited outside then I would go inside to call the police.

When she came back to the window to let me know all her doors were locked, I walked then ran into the house.  My sister-in-law asked me what was going on, and I told her what our neighbor had said, then I went to the telephone and called the police.  When the police arrived, I told them what was going on, and then they informed me that there had been a report a week earlier of a peeking tom down the street from our home.  The police did not let people know because they did not want people to panic.

The police with me alongside them checked all around the house, the garage, and the neighbor’s yard, but did not find anyone hiding.  I locked up our garage which had the Volkswagen inside it, and I made sure the doors were locked on our truck too. Frank had bought a new Ford pickup which he had left parked in front of our home because we only had a single car garage.  All of the coaches had ridden to Dallas together in another coach’s vehicle.

The police told me that they would patrol by our home during the night, but if we heard anything to call them.    After thanking them, I walked over to my neighbor’s house and let her know what they had told us.  When I returned, my sister-in-law and I got the kiddos ready for bed then cleaned up the kitchen.  Before we went to bed, we closed and locked all of the doors and windows. While letting Snowball into the screened-in front porch, I realized the screen door to the porch did not have a latch, and that the front door to our home had a huge plate window which I had not put a curtain on yet.  All of that had not seemed immediately important the day before, but suddenly it seemed very necessary at that moment.

House in Hubbard, Texas

Front of our home showing sidewalk and screened-in porch

After the kiddos were sound asleep, my sister-in-law and I talked for a while then decided to go to bed. It had been a stressful evening. My sister-in-law and my nieces were sleeping in Scotty’s room, which had French doors that opened to Frank and my bedroom.  Scotty and I were sleeping in Frank and my bedroom, which was at the front of the house. This bedroom had two large windows that were hidden from the front of the house by the screened-in porch, so I opened those windows to let air into the house to flow through the bedrooms.

The house was quiet when I drifted off to sleep.  Suddenly, I was awake by the sound of Snowball growling.  My heart was beating fast as I sat up quickly in the bed.  I go out of the bed then went into the hall to look out the window in the front door.

A sidewalk led from the screened-in porch’s screen door to the curb in front of our home, and Frank’s pickup parked against the curb had the driver’s door in line with the sidewalk.  From the window in the front door, I could see Frank’s truck, but what made the hair on the back of my neck stand up quickly, was the man leaning against to the tailgate going through the cargo bed of the truck.

Quickly, I left the front door then ran into Scotty’s bedroom to wake up my sister-in-law.  I told her what was going on then asked her to call the police while I watched the man from the front door.  When I got back to the front door, the man was trying to open the driver’s door of the truck, then he turned and started walking down the sidewalk towards the screen door.  I was in a panic, but knowing that I had to make a move to protect us.

Frank had hung some rifles on a gun rack in the entry hall.  This rack was behind me, so I turned and grabbed his deer rifle off of the gun rack.  Even though knowing that the gun was not loaded and the ammunition was in a locked drawer on the back porch, I put the stock against my shoulder and aimed the gun at the man weaving and walking towards the screen door.  I could hear my sister-in-law talking to the police on the phone, and she was frightened as I was.

When the man got to the screen door and opened it, I pulled the trigger on the gun, but all I heard was click.  My finger kept moving, trying to fire the gun but to no avail. Suddenly, I heard the sound of police cars screeching to a stop in front of my house, and they came running towards the door, and there I stood  in front of the window in the front door, in my shorty pajamas, pointing a deer rifle at them, with my finger still trying to pull the trigger.

It took a minute for it to register in my head that I needed to put the gun down, but it probably helped that they were shouting at me to put the gun down, go figure.  I put the deer rifle back on the gun rack then unlocked and opened the door.  The man that was weaving down the sidewalk was with them when they came inside the entry hall.  One of the policemen explained to me that when they had left from the first call, they had left a night watchman to walk around our home to help protect us.  Feeling sick to my stomach, I told them that they should have told us.  Of course, they already knew that. I asked one of the policemen to stay until we could pack up to leave, and they obliged. My sister-in-law, my nieces, Scotty, and I quickly got dressed then I called my parents to tell them that we were driving to Hico, and we would explain when we got there.

We all stayed at my folk’s home until Frank got home from Coaching School, then we returned to Hubbard.  I cried when I told Frank what had happened, and he held me in his arms for a long time.  Frank was proud of the fact that I had tried to protect us all, but he was not happy with the police department and let them know how he felt and his love for Nancy Lou.

It is funny how the memory of this event in our lives is still so vivid. What did I learn about myself that night? I am a survivor, a protector who will pull the trigger, but I also thank God that the gun was not loaded.

<<<Book One | Next Chapter >>>>

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  1. Texas gals seem to be ‘fearless’.
    One question.
    Was the rifling through the PU truck the “watchman’?
    If so that was a poor decision on the Police department

    • Chuck, yes the watchman was rifling through the truck. From his weaving walk down the sidewalk, I think he might have been a drinking watchman. I guess he was rifling through the back of the truck out of boredom.
      The police made a huge mistake by not telling me they had left the watchman and I am so thankful the deer rifle was not loaded.
      Thank you for your comment Chuck.
      God Bless You,

  2. Wow! What a scary night. I’m glad nothing worse happened. I can understand how it is still so vivid in your mind. And I’m glad your dad had bought Scotty that dog. What would have happened without that warning system?

    • So true, Diane. We loved Snowball, and she was an excellent watchdog. I shudder to think what would have happened if the police had not arrived and the man had not been a watchman for them, but I do believe that God was with us all and we would have handled it.
      Life is full of so many uncertainties, and we never know what tomorrow may bring. One thing I did know that night was that we could not stay there. I could not take any more suspense.
      God Bless You and Thank You for your comment.

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