Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Ain’t misbehaving

The house in which we’re living sits on a hill that’s one of the highest points in the county. Although it’s well outside of the city limits, the main road that runs directly through town lies at the end of our 1/3 mile long driveway. Back in the early 1800’s, this home had a command view of the entire valley and on towards the river. But today, everywhere you look from this hill, you can see nothing but suburban sprawl. I am not complaining about the sprawl, because I continue to feel blessed to be able to be living here. And as soon as the leaves fill the trees, it will seem more secluded. But I will complain about things that happen because of our close proximity to all of this sprawl.

DSC_0088 copy 2

This photo was taken Monday, standing down by the fox dens, which are about 25 yards from the edge of the tree line. I’ll tell you about the x later.

When we first moved here last October, we noticed that people were continually cutting through the property, I guess because it’s a quick route through to the main road. We posted signs on the trees and confronted trespassers, but still would see people walking through. Sometimes they leave us gifts of trash strewn about from whatever fast food restaurant they’ve come from. But really, that’s only happened twice.

Then on Thanksgiving as we were getting ready to sit down to dinner, we noticed over a dozen kids were playing football in the old horse paddock. This was just too much. They were teenagers from the development to the northwest of us. I went outside and yelled at them and they scattered. The next time this happened, I called the police and then went out and took pictures of them with the long lens. I never saw kids run so fast. And I’ve got pretty good mug shots of the little devils.

I haven’t seen them since, but that doesn’t mean they won’t come back. In fact, when the prior caretakers lived here, there was a bit of a skirmish over which gang of hooligans would rule over the old barn and claim it as their club house. The police were called but not until some boards were ripped out of the face of the barn and the contents from inside strewn about.

Yesterday, my husband called me at work to ask me if I’d moved his chair from the fir tree where he sits. He said it wasn’t there anymore. He likes sitting in his chair by the tree (I’ve put an x there), and has fashioned almost a little nook cut out of the branches. The thick needles stop the wind and the cold and he has a perfect sunning spot in which to rest. I assured him I hadn’t moved it.

And today when I came home, he still seemed pretty agitated about what had happened to his chair. He told me he’d looked all around the woods because those rotten kids may have moved it on him. I couldn’t believe someone would come almost up to our door to steal a chair, and was beginning to think maybe he’d moved it to another spot and couldn’t remember having done so.

Because he was upset, I thought I’d take a walk today and see if I could spot the chair, not that I ever thought I would. But sure enough, in the big field to the south of our house, where there lies yet another development, complete with apartment buildings, there sat our chair, along with some others, around a makeshift campfire pit at the edge of a big pile of brush. Those bold brazen articles (can you tell I went to Catholic school?) came right up into our front yard and took my husband’s camp chair.

And to think that someone would walk through the property and come this close to the house to steal something . . . well, frankly it bothers me. I mean, they’re only kids, but they’ve got to understand that it’s wrong.

I brought the chair back, but my husband’s concerned that they’ll just come back for it again. And he’s concerned that if they’re bold enough to come this close, would they come into our garage and take our things? Would they take things from the yard?

DSC_0094 copy 2

I almost want to go out and talk to them and tell them that my husband has cancer and is sick and he just wants some peace and quiet. But I don’t want to appear as if we are weak in any sense. And that is all I have to say about that for now.

DSC_0096 copy 2

I don’t know. What do you think, George?

The Giveaway (post below) is going on until Wednesday, 6:30 PM. Get in on it while you can!

Until then, my friends . . .

46 comments:

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Oh Dear. I am SO sorry for your troubles right now. Everything we've have is locked up...house, studio, barns, farm office...even the gates to the pastures. Yes, people will steal from your garage, your house, your car...lock everything and take no chances. It's just the way of the world in these wicked old days.
Heck, I'd lock the chair with a chain and lock; perhaps *then* they'd get the message.
Or not.
But at least you'd still have your chair.
-smile-

Spruce Hill said...

Oh Kate I am so sorry to hear about this. It just makes me so mad. I would keep an eye on everything outside. We have had people drive up our driveway from time to time. It creeps me out. We also have our mailbox assaulted on a regular basis. Everything from a baseball bat, to a small bomb.

I hope that it does not happen again. Maybe you should take some photos next time, if there is a next time.

Shellmo said...

I am so upset to read this! I'd be tempted to get a webcam or post signs to say that your property is under survellience and they are being filmed. They do sell those "real" looking mounted cameras. Maybe that would keep them off. Wish I could offer a better solution....

DivaHick said...

I don't know what your personal views are, but if they heard gunshots in the area they might be leary of coming on to your property.

(I'm not saying to shoot anybody, or anything really, but some well timed blanks might put the fear of God into them)

Ellen said...

Send George to scatter the masses. But something tells me that he would wind up playing fetch with and licking them.

What a shame that people can't respect property lines and what is located on that property. I hope you can get this straightened out. I feel your pain - about a year or two after we moved into the house we live in now, some young people had the nerve to take my husband's bike out of the garage - that took brass ones!!! (and I went to Catholic school too!)

The Blue Ridge Gal said...

How downright rude of them. Do you have automatic flood lights in the yard that come on when someone is out there at night? Or.... put up an electric fence... that would zap them and scare the bujeezus out of them.

It really bothers me that they are coming right into your yard and taking the chair.

Post 'no trespassing signs that say something about video surveillance... if that doesn't work I doubt anything will.

Dang kids.

Di
The Blue Ridge Gal

http://dandybasket.blogspot.com/

Gretchen said...

First off, thanks for visiting my blog recently and for posting.
Your photos are a joy to view. Just really outstanding. I love the shots of your beautiful dog.
I can understand you and your husbands frustrations about the chair and people cutting through your property. There just seems to be a real lack of respect in many young people in this generation and what is there's is there's and what is yours is there's. I just have one daughter and from the time she was one we were talking to her about property lines between neighbors, respect and asking permission, never helping yourself. I guess too many parents may have side stepped this important responsibility of being a parent to their kids. They need to be taught, then taught again, and taught again, until it is sunk into their heads.
I hope you can remedy the chair problem, so that your husband can rest, relax and have some peaceful time in the sun.
Have a great week!
Gretchen
http://mimitoriasdesigns.blogspot.com

Hilary said...

I'm so sorry you have to deal with this. I like Blue Ridge Gal's suggestion of posting signs indicating video surveillance is in use. I guess George isn't much of a barker, eh?

brneyedgal967 said...

I'd sit on the front porch with a double barreled shotgun after I had posted signs that read "TRESPASSERS WILL BE SHOT"

But... I wouldn't really shoot them. Just point it at them, unloaded.

Mental P Mama said...

I might appeal to their innate goodness. It has to be there. Right? Whatever you do, keep George away. He is priceless. But I don't have to tell you that.

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Hmm, I think George needs a buddy, a big, well-trained, seriously territorial, four-legged buddy. "Here, Brutus!"

Char said...

I'm so sorry you have to deal with this. People in this world are just too selfish and uncaring for words sometimes.

Oliag said...

That is scary and frustrating! It is scary that the kids are having a fire nearby!..Good luck finding a solution...

Amy said...

When I read this I kept thinking of the way your home must have been when it was first built, the respect people would have had in it's presence and how the lack of respect now is such an indication of how the world has become and it's a very very sad thing to read and to acknowledge.
I'm sorry your husband (and you) are not being left alone and your privacy is being intruded on and your things stolen right from your under your nose...I don't have an answer for what you should do, I wish I could say something would get through to these kids but again, in this day and age there is little to no respect and I have my doubts that you can ever be rid of these problems. Maybe you need a big giant LEONBERGER to patrol the grounds with George and scare those kids off- just by size alone??? ;-))
Hope you have a better day today- sounds like we were both having off days when writing our most recent posts!!

KathyB. said...

This makes me sad. For you, for your husband AND for the youths who do not know better. One day, should they survive to be old, or infirm, they just might know what their actions cause in other people's lives. But for now, that is not what matters.

I think Michelle at Boulderneigh has a good idea...a friend for George, a BIG friend that barks big and growls big, but loves his people big too.

numberonesistah said...

Talking never hurts and at the very least it will give you an idea if these are just kids with bad manners or if they are truly 'hooligans'.

The first one, talking with them will help, the second...then you'll know to beef up security with the fake cameras or even another dog.

Wow, really sorry that this is even happening. If it was my boys.. they'd be marched over there and have to do chores for you since they disturbed your yard. Then unfortunately, you become friends with them cause they are cute and end up making them cookies on a frequent basis.

A Cuban In London said...

I'm sorry to hear of your woes. It sounds awful. I hope the situation improves. Well, at least you still have the chair.

Greetings from London.

Mary said...

Wouldn't it be great if you could rig an air horn to go off when someone touches the chair? That might give the little turds pause... I'm so sorry that you and your husband have to be bothered by something like this. I hope it doesn't continue.

Annie said...

Oh, Kate, you don't need all that to deal with it at the moment...people are so thoughtless sometimes aren't they?

Hope they find something to occupy them and not worry you any more..

prayers, Annie

Bush Babe said...

Gosh that sucks... hate having that sense of freedom taken from you. Especially now...

Do you know how to crack a whip? JUst as effective (sound wise) as a gun and wild enough to make 'em wonder if you might use it one 'em. Heh.
:-)
BB

olivia said...

Oh dear, that's awful ... I'm sorry you're both dealing with this. It's unsettling when it is one's home ... a place that should feel safe and comfortable. Sending good thoughts.

Egghead said...

I am so sorry that this is happening to you guys. Not what you need. Around here there is a rising rate of crime, mostly drug related. Stealing property and mail in rural areas seems to be quite common. Frustrating thing is the criminals know that they won't be prosecuted because of budget cuts and over crowding in the jails.

FarmHouse Style said...

As a friend of mine used to say, "They've got a lot of damn nerve!"

Rhonda

High Desert Diva said...

Catching up after being gone....I was going to leave a comment on the post about your sister's b-day, but kept thinking of the house, trespassers and chair....so I came back.

I do hope you're able to come up with a good resolution.

Jess said...

I love that house, and I can just image what it must have been like in its glory days. Unfortunately, you're right, it is utterly surrounded by housing developments :(

Hopefully those kids will stay away, but I can see why they're so attracted to it-- it's such a piece of heaven in the midst of suburban sprawl! If only they'd have some manners...

Jeannelle said...

That's a good one....the kids scattering when you showed up with your camera! Sorry to hear you have to deal with this, though. George has such a delightful, knowing look in that last photo. He's full of ideas, probably.

Starwoodgal said...

Sorry about those kids. I'd pepper their behinds with an air gun. Leave signs around the property warning them they are not welcome and if caught on the property that you have the right to protect yourself and your belongings. And, you do!

Daryl said...

I am sure you took pix of the chair at the impromtu camp site .. I would call the police and report it and give them the mugs shots from before .. and maybe they can put the fear into those kids ...

The Weaver of Grass said...

Kids are the same the world over I'm afraid. I am sure that most of them would be sympathetic if you told them about your husband - mostly young people are thoughtless rather than deliberately bad. But i do see how you don't want to be seen as weak. What a blessing you have that lovely George to keep you company and keep things in perspective.

noble pig said...

Oh struck a nerve here. It disgusts me really. Yeah, don't let them know he is weak. The audacity these days is truly unreal.

At our property in Oregon we have no tresspassing signs everywhere...no hunting etc. But people just come driving up and don't even stop when we're standing there. I chase after them and tell to get the hell away and they say Oh, we were just looking for deer to hunt. So these people have big guns sitting in their front seat. This is why my 22 is always in my pocket. It pisses me off and I'm sorry you have to deal with this.

Kerri said...

How terrible!! I am very sorry this is happening to you and your hubby!

Angie said...

So sorry to hear about your trouble with the neighbors.

Your dog is cute. He reminds me of the dog that Laura had on Little House later in the series, after Jack died. I think the dog was named Bandit.

Woman in a Window said...

I don't think you should talk to them directly. You just never know. But yes, they might come closer and they might take your stuff. There's always the might but there's also always the might not.

Maybe a stationary chair nailed or built right into that tree? Would make a nice father's day present. June is right around the corner.

Donalyn said...

You need Riley to come and visit for a day or two - he would sort them out in short order.

tipper said...

Hi-just stumbled onto your blog by way of The Little Egg Farm-and really like it!

So sorry to hear about people taking your things. I'm sure you must feel violated-I know I would if someone took one of our chairs-or even if they trampled through our yard. Just a total disregard and lack of respect for you and your home.

suezoos1 said...

Sign my son sent to me as a gag..."Tresspassers will be shot...Survivors wil be shot AGAIN!!" It's tough dealing with such happenings. I've lived in this same house since 1959 and doors were NEVER locked..with the consequent "building up" now the doors are ALWAYS locked. It's sad that it's come to this.

DavidT Photographs from Australia said...

Sad that people behave this way. Get a couple of dobermans on your property. they have a great affect on vandals

Brenda@View From The Pines said...

I wish people would make their kids understand one very important word: respect. It is sadly lacking in our society. One reason I mostly shop online and hate to go out. People's kids drive me crazy and I'd just rather stay home. I hope you figure something out. By the way, you have a huge house and I bet it's something to see the inside. Love the outside!
Brenda

MiniKat said...

I tend to agree with Michelle. George needs a Brutus or a Caliban as a friend to romp with and to chase hooligans with.

Tag said...

I am so sorry this is happening to you and your husband. You are not alone in your desire for privacy and safety on your property. Those young people aren't capable of seeing the hurt they cause. As a group, they just don't get that the world wasn't put here just to accomodate them. And it's everywhere, there's no corner of North America that isn't touched by it.
I enjoy your site, and your PAD. Take care,
Tag

cottage farm villa (cottagecharm) said...

Well, first I have to say...that I am glad you ended this story with George....and the question you asked him....he is so sweet! You made me chuckle ....luckily....because I must say you had me very upset with this story. It breaks my heart that these kids were mess'n around your home. I hate that! It's just sad. I know they are kids...and kids do bad things sometimes....but even so, it breaks my heart. And NO NO...don't tell them that your hubby is sick. Personally, I wouldn't chain it to the tree...it would just give them reason to figure out how to take it again. Just bring it in at the end of the day and put it in the garage or something. They have some really good serveillance camera's that you could ask the owners of the property to install. That is what I would do...and then you would have something to show the police if need be. Confronting could prove to be dangerous and chaining things can provoke them. And that is all I have to say about that.

:( :(

Kiss George for me!

hermomsometimes said...

Place signs all aroung you property. Close together so someone cant say they didn't see it. Have it say No Trespassing, private property, trespasser will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Then everytime you see someone on your property call the police and take a photograph. Then prosecute. Once those kids know you are serious they should stay off your property. The local police my know who the kids are if they are the ones who get in trouble all the time. If not they are just local kids looking for a place to play. You could always ask the police to talk to the parents of the kids. That may solve your problem. If all else fails get a BIG Dog and a shot gun.

TSannie said...

Hope this is the last of your chair troubles.

Kritter Keeper said...

you're situation sounds like ours and i understand completely especially with all of the drug problems. here is some advice (you are like me with my long lens, i do the same!)
1. do not tell anyone your husband has cancer. they will break in and get his meds and think you are an easy target.
2.get more dogs. my police friends tell me that dogs are the largest deterrant of break-ins. i have four and it works.
3.install the 'electric' dog fence so the dogs cannot get into the road or chase the trespassers. they do not mind the collars.
4. install video surveillance with a dvr and get an IP address so that when you go leave the farm, you can still see your property online or on your iphone.
5. buy the 'dakota' wireless farm security detector which alerts the owner up to a mile away when there are trespassers. you might need more than one.
6. get the 'cabellas' hidden hunting cameras and install in your old barn or wherever they come across. get the ones w/o the flash.
7. create a paper trail and write down the dates and descriptions.
8. you probably will not like this one, but go take a class on how to use guns from your local police dept if your state has them, and begin target shooting away from the houses of course. the old farmers were i live do this all the time and it works.
9. i installed these awesome no trespassing signs with u-channel posts at the corners of our 80 acres. they are professional looking and it would be difficult to tear them down. voss signs. google it. expensive but worth it.

hope this helps but one cannot be too careful these days and it seems the courts lean towards the bad guys so the burden of proof is on us. good luck and sorry this is so long but i have been through some scary stuff and hope you will be ok. prayers to you.

Kathie Truitt said...

Everthing Kritter Keeper said? I agree 150%.

IowaCowgirl said...

I've been thinking about your post for a while and my knee-jerk reaction is like many of the other ones here: more security, call the authorities, in other words "strong-arm the jerks". But common sense and reality have told me that these methods will only ignite the fire these adolescents are living with in their "innards".

Why not find out their names, their parent's names, their addresses and throw a huge outside party and invite them? I'm not kidding! It would be much better to be a friend than a paranoid enemy forever. Put it in the local paper, post signs, extend a hand, - it might do wonders!

Of course the dog is a great deterrent; have you thought about a possibly more menacing-looking one??