Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Pumpkin Power

When my husband saw the abandoned pumpkin near the dumpster yesterday morning, he hated to see it go to waste. It still looked pretty good, so he decided it would make a good decoration for the flower bed beside our driveway. The yellow chrysanthemums there were still in bloom, but a bit past their prime and bedraggled. The pumpkin would complement them nicely. He put the pumpkin in the bed of his pickup and drove home.

Back home, he parked the pickup at the end of the driveway, gently picked up the pumpkin (which was a tad soggy on the bottom), slowly carried it to the flower bed, and carefully placed it on the big white rock that prevents people from driving into the telephone connection thingie.

The rednecks encamped across from our driveway watched his every move. Later, they watched the pumpkin and even made loud noises at it. Did they think it contained a listening device or surveillance equipment? Or are they just easily entertained? Later they pulled their metal lawn chairs into a circle and watched their dead deer hang. (Well, some sat on the old church pew they have and, uh, religiously watched it.) What kind of people are entertained by watching a deer carcass hang from a tree? By watching a pumpkin?

They didn’t sit in their little encampment continuously. From time to time, they circled the loop which took them past our farm. We received information from one of our sources that several of them had been scrutinizing our fields and woods with binoculars. Gee, why would they do that? They know our land is posted. You don’t think—?

I was down at the farm for a few minutes while my husband was moving hay bales. Mr. Milk Truck Driver (he of the 1999 death threat) passed by twice—very slowly both times. Slow enough so that I could get a pretty good picture of his truck:

Earlier at the farm, my husband witnessed Mr. Redneck drive by slowly with his kid in the back of his maroon pickup (yeah, it’s illegal in Virginia to allow children to ride in the back of open pickup trucks)—slow enough to for my husband to understand clearly the two-word obscenity that Mr. RN mouthed.

The latest security camera I bought at Wal-Mart would probably fit nicely inside that pumpkin. A pumpkin cam: seasonal decor meets security system! Has Martha Stewart thought of this?

To give the local rednecks credit, this year they haven’t thrown bottles into the field, spiked my driveway, or left their deer hanging more than two days (and usually less than a day). They haven’t yet shot my signs full of holes or even left body parts scattered on my property. Yesterday, they even put out their campfire before they left. I feel sorry for these middle-aged adolescents. Life has been downhill for them since high school. They’ve accomplished nothing of note in their adult lives. At least they have each other.


Blogger Serena Joy said...

I admire your equanimity in the face of this intolerable harassment. I'm sure I'd have been beside myself by now. Will they stop this nonsense when hunting season is over?

9:06 PM  

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