Last week I was on my way to the creamery. I was excited; I’d picked a bag full of basil, cilantro and sage. I was going to make pesto, cilantro ice cubes and jelly. I was going to make ice cream. I had big plans.
Then, at the top of the little mountain we live on (we live at the foot of it), I saw some boys turn a corner. They were easily a quarter-mile ahead, riding 4-wheelers. And that’s when I thought, “I’ll be damned,” and sped up.
Me, in the big red Jeep, trying to push it to 50 in a 30-mph residential zone, so I could speed up and see what their 4-wheelers looked like.
Because ours was stolen.
Of course, once I caught up, it wasn’t ours. It wasn’t yellow. It was more ATV, less sport. It was just four kids on two 4-wheelers out for a fun evening ride. Seeing this girl in pigtails (“Jeep hair”) and a cap coming up behind them. Flirting, waving. Smiling. Being what looked like normal 15-year-olds.
I tried not to laugh and I tried to settle that feeling in my stomach that made me chase up behind some kids to see what their rides looked like.
We live in a rural residential area. We’re a step away from agricultural. And when I say that, I mean the property across from me is agricultural. A half-mile down the road is all preservation land. A half-mile down the other road is all farm land before you hit city limits again. We’re not country, but there’s still a little country left.
What does that mean? It means, usually, you can leave things out without worrying about it. It means when we told our neighbors we were getting chickens (an adventure I still need to write down), one of them said, “Oh, I love the sound of a rooster crowing.” It means that there have been weeks that I left the front door cracked open and days that I locked the side door and forgot to shut it. Not smart, but nothing happened.
So back in April when Mike decided it was time to sell his 4-wheeler, we put it out in the front yard.
We’re not stupid. We strapped it to the telephone pole with sturdy “cut-resistant” cables. The best you could buy. For a while, Mike even drove it back into the shed every night. And then we thought, “No one is going to steal it around here.”
We posted it on Craigslist but had few people actually show up. People drove by and called. People would see us in the yard or our cars in the driveway and stop and ask how much. But no one bought it–the economy is still tough, no matter what the television might tell you.
Still, we wanted to sell it. We could use the money for the wedding. We could use the money to save up for a real farm. We could use the money to save up for a small tractor to use here and, later, when we have a real farm.
Well, that’s not going to happen, because last Thursday as I was leaving the house I realized something was missing on our little hill and it had been yellow, blue, and the first 4-wheeler I’d ever ridden. Cables cut (a rough, struggling cut), no marks in the grass, just a “For sale” sign in front of a bed of squash. They were quiet, too, because the dogs never woke up.
We’ve filed a police report, but we don’t expect to ever get it back. Insurance only pays trade-in value and after our deductible and the possible increase in our homeowner’s insurance, it’s simply not worth it. Some redneck kid down the road probably has it. It’s hiding in the corn or back in some woods. We may find it for sale in someone’s yard one day, stop, and say, “Nice try.”
My anger has subsided, a week out. Sure, it sucks to lose that prospective money. But it hurts more to think that someone would do this. This was not theirs–this was not their money. This was not something they worked hard for, that they wanted to do something better with. This was something they saw and thought, “I’ll take that.”
And that, dear friends, is what makes me wish some awful karma on the people who steal.