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, May 16, 2010

Thieves in the Night

A couple of weeks ago, our farm down the road was burglarized. Twice.

The first time—either late on a Friday or early on a Saturday, the thieves raided my husband's junk piles, which contained mostly junk but also some useful stuff.

The scumbags took tire rims, several long bars of angle iron, aluminum lawn chairs, a vintage cast iron sink that we'd salvaged from my mother's house in Roanoke, an iron wood-burning stove, etc. Metal stuff that they could sell for cash.

Now, most of this stuff, except for the 60-year-old sink and the old stove, was covered in leaves and sometimes other debris. The thieves had to root around for it:

How did they know this metal stuff was there? My theory, since this happened a couple of days after Appalachian Power Company sent some Asplundh workers to butcher the environment clear any limbs even remotely near their power lines, there just might be a connection. 

Now our "trash pile" is downhill from the road. It isn't visible from the road. Unless, you're someone who is hired to destroy trees:

The above picture was taken from the road. It used to be bushy. The grayish area just above the middle of the ground is our cottage roof. Before the vegetation was removed, you couldn't see the cottage from the road.

 But maybe, while you're destroying trees,  you feel the need to answer nature's call while doing so, and you maybe walk a little way into the woods. Maybe you notice some things worth stealing. 

Maybe you come back at night and park your truck down the farm's driveway. Way down, so no one passing by can see the truck from the road. So far down, you have to open the pasture gate to pull your truck far enough down. 

And maybe, while you're loading up the metal you're stealing, you leave something that probably falls out of the back of your truck. Something that maybe looks like this:

And maybe, while you're traipsing about in the leaves, you maybe take away a bunch of ticks. That leaf-pile is full of them. Six of the little critters hopped on me during few minutes I took these pictures. You were in that pile a lot longer than I stood beside it. I'll bet those ticks stayed on you a lot longer than they stayed on me.

Now a little over a week later, on a Sunday night, the thieves burglarized our cottage. They didn't try to get in the door. The door is right under a dusk to dawn light, so they'd be seen if anyone came along.

Here's the window. When the thieves went through it, the posted sign wasn't nailed to the shutter and the plastic lawn chairs weren't there. My husband added those the next day. You can see the path they tromped through the greenery, though.

They broke off some of the rose-of-sharon growing in front of the window, then they jimmied the window open, pushed out the screen which was on the inside, and climbed in. They stole a few wooden chairs, a 1950s aluminum canister set, a 1980s microwave, and a radio. They didn't take the old TV set (it's analog and didn't have a converter box) or the small refrigerator.

Now, what I can't understand, is why—if they took the trouble to break the rose-of-sharon—they didn't remove the large clump of poison ivy from in front of the window. They obviously had to go through it several times.

Maybe they're itching to get caught.


Blogger Amy Tate said...

I hope you reported it - not like it would do any good, but it still never hurts to have it on record. I'm so sorry about your mother's sink. That's heartbreaking!

5:03 PM  
Blogger Toby Speed said...

Ugh. Becky, so sorry this happened to you. Being burglarized is such a violation. I hope these idiots are covered in poison ivy.

9:03 AM  
Blogger Betsy Ashton said...

Toby, Let's add Lyme disease to possible ailments. I'm so sorry you were burglarized, Becky. Amy's right - it's a personal violation.

11:50 AM  
Blogger CountryDew said...

Thieving is a bad thing indeed. You are probably right in your hunch. I do hope you called the law.

1:07 PM  
Blogger Becky Mushko said...

Called the cops both times, so at least these burglaries are on the record.

1:18 PM  
Blogger Elena said...

Ugh, makes you feel so violated...

6:10 PM  
Blogger Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

I think it's so unfortunate that there are people who will steal anything they can get their hands on. Let's hope they are covered with ticks and poison ivy.

10:39 PM  
Blogger Greener Pastures--A City Girl Goes Country said...

The Evils robbed me pretty bad when we lived in Ferrum. The worst thing was a new, really nice flatbed trailer. But I think you're right--that had to be the Asplunduh (sp?) guys. Did you call that company? You really should, even though they can't do anything, just so the boss has a heads-up that there's probably some thieves on the payroll. Of course it could be your rednecks too. I'm sure they know your property like the back of their hands and they're pretty low, stealing your tombstone and all. But what does that sign say? It looks like a road sign! That should be a great clue if you can figure it out.

9:51 PM  
Blogger Becky Mushko said...

It does look like a road sign. The investigating officer took it with him. From the letters I can see, maybe read, "keep BaCK, Men workINg on roAD."

10:08 PM  

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