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I heard my friend Heather Weidner on a podcast, and she mentioned she is a cop’s kid. I was intrigued and asked her to share her story with us, and she graciously accepted.
I’m a C. K. (Cop’s Kid). Growing up, I thought everyone talked about murder and crime at the dinner table. It wasn’t until I got to college, that I learned this wasn’t always the best conversation.
One of my first jobs was to pick up the shell casings at the range after my dad practiced. My sister and I would “borrow” his nightscope and high-powered binoculars to see what we could see in the backyard in the dark (usually the neighbor’s poodle). I loved the green glow. Way before paintball was popular, he and I melted down my old crayons to made dummy bullets for the SWAT team to practice with.
I can’t count the number of times we went out that he got paged to report to work. One time, we were returning a rented video to the store (that tells you how long ago this was), and a guy ran out of the A&P. He was being chased by the manager and some staff for shop-lifting. My sister and I spent the afternoon waiting for my dad to do the booking paperwork. I learned most of the police ten-codes for the radio by elementary school. That radio’s squawk was just part of our daily lives before cell phones. And I got in trouble once when I was helping wash the police car, and I turned on the siren. I’m pretty sure I startled our neighbors.
He was a superhero to my first grade class on career day. He blasted the siren in his police cruiser, and then the police helicopter landed in the field next door to the school. (It was way cooler than the insurance guy’s presentation.)
My dad always gave interesting gifts. Through the years, I’ve received a DNA kit in case I ever disappeared, and I needed to be identified. One year, he gave us a folding ladder in case of a fire on the second floor. I have lots of containers of heavy duty pepper spray and those little gadgets that will break your car window and cut your seatbelt if you drive off a bridge.
I have loved mysteries since Scooby-Doo and Nancy Drew, so it was a natural fit to write what I loved to read and watch. My dad is still my best resource. He’s now retired from forty-six years of service on the Virginia Beach police force. He has lots of amazing stories. Plus, there are just some things you don’t want to Google like, “Hey, Dad how long will a body stay submerged, what does a meth lab smell like, or what’s a handy poison that folks have around the house?”
I was so fortunate to have such a great childhood in the 70s and 80s. He put in long hours, and it was scary when he was called out in the middle of the night for emergencies. But I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. I mean, I learned some life skills. How many six-year-olds do you know who can make dummy bullets?
Thanks for sharing these fun memories with us, Heather.
Friends, here’s some information to get to know Heather better.
There is nothing like finding a dead body, clad only in a red satin thong, on your property to jolt you from a quiet routine. Jules Keene, owner of the posh Fern Valley Camping Resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains, is thrust into the world of the Dark Web when one of her guests, Ira Perkins, is found murdered in the woods near her vintage trailers. Jules quickly discovers that the man who claimed to be on a writing retreat was not what he seemed, and someone will go to any length to find what he left at her resort. Jules, along with her Jack Russell Terrier sidekick Bijou, has to put the rest of the missing pieces of a blackmailing scheme together before her glamping business is ruined.
Jules’s resort, set in the heart of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains near Charlottesville in the quaint town of Fern Valley, offers guests a unique vacation in refurbished and upcycled vintage trailers. Hoping to expand her offerings, she partners with her maintenance/security guy to create a village of tiny houses, the latest home DIY craze, but a second murder of a reporter interrupts Jules’s expansion plans. Curiosity gets the best of her, and she steps up her sleuthing to find out what Ira Perkins was really up to and what he was really hiding at her resort.