The Pumpkin Snatcher
It wasn't a normal Sunday morning for my husband and I. The kids had spent the night at my parents and we had gone to church without them. Feeling exhausted from my previous work week, I asked my husband if he would mind if we left early. But, I had one stop we needed to make before we went home. We arrived at the warehouse membership club 10 minutes before they opened so we decided to look at the mums while waiting for the doors to open. Within the next five minutes, there was a crowd of about 15 of us milling around, carrying on brief conversations with each other. I happened to turn around as a red Lexus pulled up in front of the store. I figured the occupant was checking out the hours that were posted on the wall above an enormous box of pumpkins. I didn't pay much attention when he got out, walked around his car and started examining the pumpkins. However, several of us noticed when he picked one up and started walking to his car. His 13-14 year old daughter got out of the car, took the pumpkin from him and put it in the backseat. That's when the mumbling started amongst everyone around us. I kept thinking, certainly he was just loading them in his car so he wouldn't have to push them all over the store in a cart. But he kept loading and loading and loading. The people around us were starting to get antsy watching this happen. He then walked back around, got into his car and proceeded to pull away. Inside myself I kept thinking he was going to pull into a parking space. Surely he would walk in and pay for them. People are just not that bold that they would steal 7 pumpkins in broad daylight, in front of a crowd of people and involve his teenage daughter as well. But he kept on driving and never looked back.
Why didn't we say anything? Why didn't we do anything? Number one, he was HUGE. Number two, he looked like he ate cigarettes for breakfast and would shoot anyone who dared say "boo" to him. I'm not willing to risk my life over a few gourds. We gave the Service Desk his license number, make & model of the car and his description. They have cameras everywhere as well. Chances are nothing will be done. It costs these companies more money to track down and prosecute someone like him than to take the loss of the pumpkins. I walked through the store sad and shaking my head at what I had just witnessed.
The Great Apple Caper
Later on that evening we were meeting friends and family at a local orchard to pick apples and then head back to our house for dinner and fun. We have loved doing this for the past 3 years and were really looking forward to sharing this experience with our friends. When we pulled into the orchard there were roughly 20 cars in the lot that we have never seen more than 4 cars in at a time before. And as we looked around it was obvious that a particular ethnic group had descended on this place of history, peace and wonder. And they were loudly disturbing the history, peace and wonder in their native language and treating the owners of the orchard with great disrespect. One family group in particular had stuffed to overflowing 2 orchard bags with the apples they had picked and were arguing with the proprietor that they were only going to pay for 2 bags because that's what they had. After he explained to them the size issue (with great patience) he gave them an empty third bag and said they needed to pay for three bags because that was the amount of apples they picked. With a grin & a giggle they agreed, paid the man and left.
After collecting our picking bags and hearing where we were allowed to collect apples, we headed out. We weren't going to let that scene disrupt our time of connecting with this tradition. However, as we made our way further back down the rows, we saw this same couple laughing and picking more apples. They were placing them in the empty bag they had paid for. They didn't transfer the overstuffed apples into that bag, they were stealing more and loudly laughing the whole time. And as I looked around in disbelief, I saw more couples that had paid for their apples and supposedly left, but had parked on the side of the road at the back edge of the orchard. They were reentering the orchard and picking more apples as well.
What in the heck happened today? Why do these people feel in any way, shape or form that what they were doing was OK? And if they knew it wasn't OK, why did they do it anyway? I truly don't understand that mentality. There is no logic, no moral fiber, no conscience. We were in an orchard... where trees blossom, bees hum and fruit miraculously grows... and so did poison ivy - lots of it. I hope they were mercilessly stricken with oozing sores.
As I drive to work each morning, I pass through a school zone. School zones in Ohio require you to drive 20 miles per hour or less while you are in the zone that is clearly marked with blinking and non-blinking signs. You can't miss them. But as I was driving to work this morning, I spied something that made me laugh at the irony. A "School Transportation" van had been pulled over by a police officer for speeding in the school zone.
So there you have it. Some happenings that were not connected, but made for some moments when all I could do was shake my head.