One thing I didn't mention - when I opened the door for the officers, after I pulled the pamphlets from the door handle, I noticed the witnesses' car parked right in front of my house. I also noticed two people were getting in the car, and there were, I think 4 more plus perhaps a small child - 2 across the street, and two several houses down across the street. The ones with the child were further down the street, and I think it's likely timing-wise, that they were the ones at my door.
I don't know if the officers talked to any of them before knocking on my door. They were nice but all business when they came in. I was too rattled to think of a lot of questions that I'd now like answers for. I suspect the officers DID talk to them, considering the situation. (If they didn't, they should have!) From the time the 911 dispatcher said the officers were here and walking around my house, until the time she told me they were coming to the door, seemed like a long time. It was certainly long enough for them to walk all the way around the house AND talk to the witnesses.
So here's my theory. Maybe the people who came to my door were so absorbed in conversation that they THOUGHT they rang the bell, but actually forgot to. When no one answered, they opened the storm door to leave their pamphlets. Still absorbed in conversation, they are at this point officially loitering at the door.
Since I think I remember seeing a small kid, it might have been the kid, bored as hell, fiddling with the door while the two women were standing there absorbed in conversation with each other and not paying attention. OR, maybe the kid had the job of finding a spot to stick the pamphlets. That might explain the excessive and prolonged fumbling noises.
Especially if it was a bored, mischievous, and maybe a bit obstinate kid. I've seen kids take for freaking ever to do something like clean their room if they don't want to. What kid wants to be going door-to-door in 25 degrees while their mom ignores them and talks to some other adult. I can think of lots of different kid responses to this kind of scenario, such as mischievousness and mindless boredom.
I heard a bang right before the storm door FINALLY closed and it suddenly got quiet. That's when I told the 911 dispatcher I was afraid someone might have gotten in. Now I'm thinking if my theory is correct, maybe the kid tripped and fell into the door. Or maybe the kid's mom grabbed the kid and the kid banged into the door, or maybe she even smacked the kid for messing around and kid lost his/her balance, banging into the door in the process. Jarred out of their conversation when the kid's behavior either gradually or suddenly came into their awareness, they finally left, the storm door closed, and all became quiet as they moved on to
I'll probably never know what was going on on the other side of my door yesterday. This is the best theory I can come up with to make what happened make sense. Making sense of it seems strangely important to me. Maybe it's all those Nancy Drew books I read as a kid. So there. That's my theory, and I'm stickin' to it. It makes me feel better, even if it's not really what happened!
Surprisingly, I slept like a baby last night. (Maybe it was the three beers I drank in the evening to try to finally calm myself down. They helped.) I even slept in this morning. (6:30 a.m. is sleeping in for me.)
I'm terribly grateful that whatever was going on out there on the other side of my front door yesterday only shook me up, instead of rocking my world or worse. I'm feeling very lucky today. Surprisingly exhausted, devoid of energy, but very lucky and very grateful.