I’ve written about serendipity here before. But I think this post may be more about coincidence than serendipity.
When we were out at Roundrock last week, the first thing we noticed was that our welcome sign was hanging oddly from the nail in the tree beside our entrance. We had strung it up with wire (see the rust stains beside the holes at the top?), and I suppose it had rusted sufficiently that a vandal bird or errant breeze had snapped it, leaving the sign askew. So Libby took it down, and we brought it home to contrive some other sort of hanging arrangement for it. This meant that there was no Welcome sign at the entrance to Roundrock. All that left were two Private Property signs.
I received a call from my Good Neighbor Brian two days after our last visit. He had stayed in the area all weekend (he lives in Kansas City), and he reported that the bachelor party had returned again to our woods the day after we had left (that would be Saturday) and that they had just driven across his land to go into Roundrock as he was talking to me on the phone then (that would be Sunday). He was going to jump on his ATV and go over to my woods to confront them, and he wanted to make sure that was okay with me.
He and I had had a nice talk on Friday about how wonderful he is to be policing our land for us. I am a non-confrontational sort, while Brian won’t hesitate to make the facts clear to people. I told him I was perfectly comfortable being the good cop to his bad cop. So if he wanted to go face my trespassers and bark at them for me, great!
About twenty minutes later I received another call from Good Neighbor Brian. He said that he had confronted the bachelor party perps, and the party had grown. There were now six ATVs and one mule. He alerted them to the apparently unknown fact that they were trespassing, and they told him what he expected they would. They said that they had met with the landowner (me) the other day and he didn’t seem to mind them being there. He was a real friendly guy, they told him. (I think if quizzed, this young man would not even know my name.)
Brian told them that this was because the landower (still me) was just too nice to tell anyone no. (This really is the case with me in just about everything.) He explained that the reason people like us bought such large pieces of land was to achieve solitude, and by trespassing regularly, the gang was destroying that goal.
He also made the clever point that a) there has been some theft and vandalism in the area (not for a long time, but technically true) and b) if anything further did happen, they would be the first ones everyone would think to blame. Did they want that possibility hanging over their heads?
They left our woods, presumably to go back down to their valley to explode more things. I’ll say again, they don’t seem like bad people. They’re youngsters (early twenties) and full of spirit, and they seem to have a great time at that cabin in the valley. I’ve never found any trash or damage after their visits. Nothing of mine is ever missing. None of the round rocks we have collected are moved. Not so much as a twig is snapped that I can find. So it is a bit of a stretch for me to be too worried about this whole interloping business. (On their part anyway. Those hunters who set up a couple of blinds in our woods are a different story, though they skedaddled pretty quickly when they knew I was coming too.)
And part of me wants to know what it is the bachelor party gang finds about my woods to be so interesting. Is it the dry lakebed? They have a nice lake of their own in front of their cabin. The round rocks? They have plenty of their own. My only guess is the Greenway. This is a quarter mile of straight, flat, open road, and I think they can crank up their machines to rip down it the way youngsters seem to love. (I was young once.)
So maybe there will be more to this tale. I’m hoping to convince Libby to go out to the woods again this coming Saturday. It will be my last chance before the Africa trip, and even though that is an essentially meaningless argument, it does have a bit of foreboding in it, and so it may slip past her reason, taking us for a day in the woods.
The coincidence of this story? Well, it’s more of an anti-coincidence. My regular interlopers seem to have increased their visits to our woods now that the Welcome sign is gone. If you look closely at the sign in the photo above, you can see that the Welcome is getting a little worn out — literally. Coincidence?
A long storm front slanted across Missouri yesterday (leaving Kansas City slipping in the first ice storm of the season), but Roundrock managed to receive several hours of pounding rain.
Update: The winter snowstorm of last night was a bit of a bust, so it’s off to work I go.
- Milkweed pods open.