Friday, May 25, 2012

No Soliciting!

Two kids - I guess they were early twenties or so, they definitely looked like students - came rocking up to our deck yesterday morning alarming Mommy, who was fortunately clad in more than just my signature preggo bed get-up (knickers and wife-beater vest), spurring a protective Daddy out of the cabin booming an authorative (and surprisingly intimidating):

"You're trespassing, this is private property - get off my land!"

He's not usually still home at this time, and I was glad to not be alone, however, his not-so-welcoming approach to the kids - who looked harmless enough - didn't sit well with Momma. I recalled with a fleeting regret the hapless hippy I met nearly a decade ago, who was heavily into his travel karma.

A lot changes when you have kids and a family to defend...

They high-tailed it pretty quickly mumbling their apologies and uttering something about our neighbors up the hill having pointed them in this direction because we've got young kids...

I didn't even get to hear the rest of what they had to say - and I felt guilty as all hell that they'd been run off, scared by a protective Papa - and it was all my fault.

See, just the day before I'd been locking up the house and heading down to load the kids into the Minivan by myself, when a truck came hurtling up our driveway kicking up dirt, and pulled up behind the minivan.

The driver started yelling something to me about buying asphalt for the drive...

My eldest boy was closer to the stranger than he was to me. He'd climbed up into the front seat of the minivan and was pretending to drive. My littlest was behind me - still on the deck.

I panicked - and for a horrifying split moment was terrified about how to protect both of my kids. If I hadn't been 7 months pregnant I'd still have been just as terrifyingly defenseless - if the guy had been trouble!

Meanwhile the dogs were going wild - which I was incredibly grateful for.

I raced back and scooped up my wee one before tearing down to stand guard by the minivan door, while I figured out my next move. I was actually considering running round to the dogs gate and releasing them - just in case - when the workman jumped out of his truck and started approaching me saying...

''I didn't realize the dogs were penned in..."

He also didn't realize how much he was freaking me out! Apparently they'd just finished up some road work on the local bypass and had some hot spare asphalt that they needed to get rid of.. for the 'bargain' price of 1.90sqft. I'm surprised I absorbed even that much information with the blood pounding in my ears.

I quickly did the mental arithmetic and realized he wanted thousands to pour it on our driveway... ! I told him we didn't have the money. All the while, I was digging frantically with my spare hand in my purse, trying to get my hand on the cellphone.

My fingers finally grasped the phone, and I told him I'd have to consult with my husband - I just really wanted a lifeline......  Thankfully he didn't stick around any longer. And my heart beat slowed to a more regular beat.

We were probably never in any real danger, and I probably wouldn't have been quite so spooked if I hadn't just retweeted a kidnapping profile poster about a baby girl who'd been snatched from her home in Maine a couple of months back.... a momma's biggest nightmare!

I blogged a wee while ago about Texas Hill Country folks' deference for signage and keeping people off their land No Trespassing! Private Property! Keep Out! It definitely doesn't feel so neighborly cordoning off your land, but I'm realizing it's not just about privacy - it's also about security.

Fortunately, in the last four years we've only had one other unexpected visitor drive on our land (not including UPS or FEDEX) and that was some trucker selling frozen meat out of the back of his truck. I'd been home alone that time too - except for my faithful doggy who'd kept the 'seller' well at bay.

It's pretty terrifying to have a strange and uninvited man show up on your land - especially for an urban gal living out in the sticks where no-one can hear you scream!

I guess I'm partway through my Texan insemination. I'm acquiescing on getting some unfriendly signs and a gate. Perhaps it won't be too long now before I'll be checking out the gun section in Walmart........


  1. add "No Soliciting" to your list of signage.

    "Posted, No Trespassing" signs are so common, the persons that are out to "sell" something don't think it applies to them, but no soliciting does!

    it will also keep out the mormon missionaries and jehovah's witnesses who show up at inopportune times to convert you in your living room!

    btw, the driveway scam is very common. ask Eliz about it sometime.

    1. after i posted this i realized it was titled, no soliciting. derp!

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