Humanity is interesting. Recently, we’ve had experiences that demonstrate both sides – the good and the bad – of how humans can act towards others.
Last Saturday night we went to a local restaurant for dinner. I wanted a fish fry and my husband got a burger. We had forgotten to get ketchup at the counter, so when our meal was delivered to the table, I asked for some. Upon returning with our condiment, I realized that I recognized the young man. He was a former garden club student! I hadn’t recognized him at first but by the time he was turning away, I was already searching my brain for his name. Neither of us said anything about it. I’m not sure my former students recognize me or remember me, so I usually follow their lead if we run into each other.
We ate our meal and left. On the way home, I began searching for my purse. I had my phone in my coat pocket but couldn’t find my purse. I told my husband I must have left it at the restaurant. He said, “Are you sure? I don’t remember you having it with you.”
“Yes. I’m pretty sure I had it. I usually don’t go anywhere without my purse.” Since our vacation, I’ve been carrying a tiny purse that fits only a slim wallet and my phone. Still, I would have grabbed it going out the door.
“Do you want to go back?” my husband asked.
“Yes, I think we better.” So, we turned around and went back- we weren’t too far away from the restaurant when we headed back. I went in, looked at the table where we had sat, and found nothing. It didn’t occur to me to ask at the counter if they had seen a purse at the table or if someone had turned it in. I just figured that my husband must have been right and I didn’t bring it. No one was seated yet at the table where we had been. We went home. Just inside the door at home, I knew my purse was missing, that I had left it at the restaurant. The hook where I keep it was empty.
My next step was to call the restaurant to see if someone had turned in a purse. The call was answered by none other than my former student! I stated who I was and that I had eaten there in the last hour but had lost my purse. I asked if anyone had turned it in.
“Oh, Mrs. L.,” my former student exclaimed! Yes, we have your purse. I put it in the safe. I was going to text your phone afterwork to let you know but I’m so glad you called.”
I told J.L., my ex-student, that I would drive right back to the restaurant to get it. He thought that was great. When I got there, I was able to confirm that he had been in garden club, many years ago, and did remember who I was. After the safe wouldn’t open upon his initial attempts, I did get my purse back. I wanted to offer him a reward but was afraid he’d turn me down there in the middle of the restaurant. I just thanked him and left. Later that night I messaged him through FaceBook and told him I wanted to send a proper thank you for saving my purse (all the contents were intact). He gave me his address. The card and reward are going out tomorrow. I hope he can tell that I truly appreciated his attention to detail and communication about my missing purse!
But, some humans are not so kind and thoughtful. If you noted the title of my post, you knew there was another side to be told today.
A few years ago we purchased a parcel of land (14+ acres) on the outskirts of our town. It is a beautiful spot on which we have plans to build. But, as we’ve pursued putting in a driveway that goes up to the top of a prairie remnant on a ridge, we’ve had visitors. These are people who ride their ATV/UTV or trucks up our driveway, uninvited, and who wander our property without invitation. They are not friends, for our friends are invited to visit and tell us they stopped at the land or ask if they can. These are nosey individuals who have a sense of entitlement, and disregard of us as the owners of the property. In short, they are trespassers.
I would never dream of wandering through someone’s property without being invited. Yet, again it happened early this morning. My husband and I spent the last two days working on the driveway, leaving late yesterday just before it started to sprinkle. But, today, there were ruts at the top of our driveway where someone got stuck in fresh mud. We know because a good friend told us what he saw when he visited today. He thought we had made the ruts. No, my husband told him, we hadn’t been to the land today. And, we certainly didn’t leave them last night as it hadn’t rained.
This invasion of something we own and are working hard at developing is unconscionable. We don’t know exactly who is visiting our land uninvited but we will be taking steps to stop it in the near future. It’s called no trespassing signage and will soon be posted with a gate across the new driveway.