Thursday, November 16, 2023

Very Strange Day

 My sister messaged me this morning. A car had flipped over in front of the new build. It didn't look like anyone was hurt, but a tow truck was there trying to turn it over and get it hauled away.

Huh. 

I putzed around the house this morning. Tim worked on a leaky line for the clawfoot tub. 

The auction started at 4, but you always want to be able to have a bit of a look-see and make a mental note of what you are interested in. We went there with no intention of buying but to see how things all play out there. 

So.

We didn't buy anything. Well, except for one cast iron pot belly stove, a rocking chair, a brass outside gas light, another box of fittings for antique gas lights because Tim's got 3 boxes of pieces and parts of gas light fixtures upstairs, and he's always looking for more parts (short answer: I have no idea), two boxes of tools, an old suitcase of tools, and a box of wooden toys for Rudy and little David at Christmas time. Total cost for all that treasure: $47.57. 

Now, it was me waving my hand for the toys. It was taken down to the minimum of $2. Nobody bid, so I did. Tim looked shocked, sitting next to me with two boxes of tools already. No one bid against me, and so I got them. The box contained two wooden trucks with trailers, a wooden car, a wooden bucket loader, a shape sorter, a set of alphabet blocks (all the letters are there) and oddly, about 50 small padlocks with keys. I was pleased with that. The toys were in perfect shape. 

The little cast iron stove? It wasn't something that we wanted, but Levi had once said to Tim that he collects those for his hunting shanties, so Tim made up his mind to get it if we could. We did, for $5. 

We were amassing a quite a stash of stuff, when a very sturdy rocking chair came up for bid. It's one of those super heavy duty ones with a seat about 2 inches thick. The auctioneer was calling out numbers, and the price was dropping lower and lower. It got to $2 and someone bid. I raised my hand at $3 and again on $5. Tim looked unhappy. We do not need a rocking chair. I leaned over and said, "The kids broke Levi's porch rocker..." He looked relieved. I got that bid for $5.

When we left, we had a pretty fair-sized truckload of stuff. Tim said, "We're stopping at Levi's on the way home. If we don't, we'll have to unload that heavy rocker and the cast iron stove so that I can take the truck hunting tomorrow. Then we'll have to load it all up again to run it up to them." We knew that they were away at a wedding, but we just figured that we'd set the things on their porch. 

We pulled up to the dark house and dropped the tailgate. A car pulled in behind us almost immediately. 

Shadow did not like this man. He retreated to the front corner of his house, barking madly, and he would not stop. Grandma's dog across the way took up the call as well. 

The man said, "Where's Levi?" 

Tim said, "They aren't home, they had a wedding." 

I had an uneasy feeling. He had a flashlight. He said, "Oh, I sold Levi a bunch of tools. I have some more for him."

Tim said, "Well, he's not here." 

The young man said, "Do you know any logging companies that would be interested in buying tools?" Logging companies do not work in the dark. 

Very peculiar. 

Tim said, shortly, "No, we don't." 

Shadow kept barking furiously, hidden in the shadows in the dark. 

It is dark at an Amish house when no one is home. No lights inside. No lights outside. We just stood there in the glare of his headlights. The man kept saying he wanted to sell these tools tonight. The dog kept barking. 

Were they stolen? What was the rush? Did he need drugs? Did he even have tools to sell or was he taking advantage of a dark Amish house on a lonely hill? Was his intention to steal tools to sell? Who knows. Any one of those scenarios was completely in the realm of possibility. We have quite a drug problem in our area and that goes hand in hand with theft.

In the end, he finally went back to his car and backed out of the driveway. We pulled out behind him. When we got to the intersection, he stopped for a longer than necessary at a stop sign out in the middle of intersecting dirt roads. Finally he went straight. We made our right turn, but I saw that car stop. 

"Something is very wrong here," I said. "Why is he stopping? There are no houses. We need to make sure that he's not going to turn around and head back to Levi and Mattie's."

Tim pulled into a driveway and turned around. We went back and turned down the road that the car was stopped on. When we did, he began to drive. We followed, at a distance. He stopped again. So did we, keeping far back. After a time, he put on his 4-ways.  He didn't move. Neither did we. 

The stalemate went on. I said, "You know what we need to do? We need to go back and park in front of the sawmill facing the house. We can shut off our lights. We just need to make sure he doesn't come back. He'll never even see us in the dark."

Tim said, "That's the thing to do," and backed up so that we could turn on a side road. As soon as we backed up and headed in the other direction, his four ways went off and the car began to move. Watching him from the rear view mirror, I saw that he went over the rise but then he stopped the car once again. 

"Something is definately up with him," I said. Tim agreed that there was something suspicious going on. 

As we headed back to Levi and Mattie's, we passed by their neighbor. They are friends. I said, "We should tell him so that he can keep an eye on things."  He's not Amish, and we pulled up behind his truck. I went to the door and a man answered. 

I explained the situation. He asked instantly if the car had under lights. When we said that it did, he said "I've seen that car a couple times tonight driving by real slow. I wondered what he was up to. And Levi isn't home," and I said, "I know. They are at a wedding, and won't be back until tomorrow." 

He said, "You know, I feel like a little walk tonight. I'll take a pistol and walk down there and sit for a while."

"Thanks," we said. 

We headed home then. A deer jumped out in front of us and Tim had to slam on the brakes. We went sideways, but did not flip the truck or hit the deer. Tim calmly said, "Yeah, the brake on the left side grips before the one on the right. That might be a problem in the snow."

That's enough excitement for one day. 

43 comments:

  1. Oh for heaven's sake, please keep us posted if anything further pops up. The guy definitely seemed up to no good.

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  2. Good gosh! That was rather scary. Sheesh!

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    1. We both knew that someone needed to keep an eye on things.

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  3. Wow, it is hard to not be suspicious about the man's behaviour. Had you not been delayed by the man, the deer would not have been there. That would be good, but then Tim would not have been reminded of the dodgy brakes, so that's a good thing. If the butterfly in the Amazon...

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    1. I think it's cute how you think Tim is going to fix said dodgy brakes. I have already made a note that I will not drive that truck. Everything operates as it should, really. It's just for that emergency slam-on-your-brakes situations that it is even noticed.

      As my son phrases it, "Tim has a pretty high tolerance for malfunctions." Which is probably the secret of our successful marriage!

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  4. Definitely a strange day. But you needed to be at Levi and Mattie's house

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    1. Funny. That's what we thought, later. It was such a random thought that just popped into Tim's head driving home from the auction. He was trying to save us from loading that heavy cast iron stove any more often than we needed to. But we are certainly glad we were there. If this turns into a big deal, we know the guy, his first name, a description of him and his car. If he did have previous dealings with Levi, that would be enough information that Levi would know exactly who he is.

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  5. Gosh - you can do without strange blokes like that prowling around - and almost certainly out to nick something rather than sell it! What a good neighbour to go and sit on the porch (in that new rocker perchance?!) with a loaded pistol.

    Great buys at the auction. A pot belly stove for just $5? Does it work?!! Goodness, what a bargain.

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    1. A pot belly stove is a cast iron wood burning stove. These particular ones are small, designed for heating work shops, etc. All the pieces and parts were there. It is rusty, but get a couple kids with a wire brush, and then a good spray with some heat resistant black spray paint will fix it right up.

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  6. The beginnings of a crime mystery story there!
    We will need an update

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  7. You tell the story so well. I’m longing to know the outcome.

    Sue

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    1. We'll probably hop up there this evening to talk to Levi about it.

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  8. What an unsettling experience. It's good that Levi and Mattie have good friends and neighbours to watch out for them.

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    1. I think that everyone out in the country tends to look out for each other. I also think that Levi will be pleased that his dog and Grandma's dog both set up such a fuss.

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  9. We've had things like that happen around here. It seems like every year when Christmas is near, people in the country are getting all their gifts stolen when they aren't at home. I think there's a drug problem everywhere these days, especially in rural areas that aren't all that far from a big city.

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    1. Unfortunately, it happens here as well. The worst part is that sometimes, things come up gone and you don't realize it until later. We had things stolen from this house, from renovations, from the property that we're building on. It is aggravating.

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  10. It is great that you have these instincts about what looks out of the norm! I am that person in our neighborhood, and never hesitate to investigate when I see something that isn't right. Not gonna happen on my watch! Some of my friends think I am too suspicious. I say, welp, I might be, might not be. Either way, I like to protect myself and our neighbors!

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    1. It was so odd. He pulled up so quickly behind us that I thought for sure that it was a friend of Levi's come to check and see what we were up to while they weren't home.

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  11. Providence placed you at the right spot

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  12. I am proud of you for holding the line and not buying anything at he auction. 😊 But really, you seem like such good friends to have. That family is lucky.

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    1. Really, AC, it is all about making a plan and sticking to it. We are very lucky to have them as friends, as well. They did our roof, remember? Friendship benefits all of us. It has never been one sided.

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  13. Of course you and Tim did the right things. I am curious though, as to why no one called the police. If the neighbor with a pistol got into a confrontation with the obviously-up-to-no-good guy and he had a pistol too... well.

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    1. Because there was nothing to report at that point. We had no idea what his intentions were. He may have been a skinny, squirrely nervous kind of guy who had some tools for Levi.

      If the neighbor went down there and the man returned, and began nosing around the place, the neighbor, hidden away in the shadows, could simply call the police and report a burglary in process.

      The gun was not to initiate a shoot out or to "make a citizen's arrest" or any of that. It was for protection in case things went sideways.

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  14. We do need our neighbors, goes both ways. Great to have such good "not buys."

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    1. *smiles modestly* It's all about simple self control.

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  15. Quite a story! I look forward to hearing how this turns out.

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  16. I am sure Levi and Mattie will be so glad you were there and will enjoy your purchases for them.

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    1. The rocking chair will need repainted. It has quite a fancy pattern on it, which would not suit, but it is such a heavy duty thing that it will stand up well on their porch.

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  17. Good finds for Levi and Mattie but very weird with the guy. Obviously he was planning on stealing stuff. Hope everything worked out okay.

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  18. I think you're probably right. I'm quite curious about it.

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  19. Ohhh that sounds suspicious for sure! Glad you two kept your eyes open… I would be very grateful if it was my house! - Ricki

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  20. Good you found a neighbor to help. And what a wonderful box of toys for the grandbabies.

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  21. You make me realise just how quiet my life is on my Hebridean Island.

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  22. Wow -- that IS some excitement. Too much, I'd say! Good job on the auction stuff, but the tool salesman is suspicious. There's no good reason someone would be so insistent about making a sale in the dark of night.

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  23. Good for you to go out of your way to protect vulnerable friends.

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I'm glad you're here!

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