Posted in Autumn, Earth, Eastern Shore, Maryland, Photography, Quotes

Gobsmacked

Some of the remains
Some of the remains

I don’t know if that’s a year’s bad luck, or if that’s how it works.  But stealing a Christmas tree — that can’t be a good thing, karma-wise.

~ Adrian McKinty

Evidence of dragging
Evidence of dragging

I am, as the title suggests, gobsmacked.  Flabbergasted.  Maybe a little stunned.  M and I were on our way into town this morning — he to work, me to get my hair cut — when he suddenly stopped the car about three-fourth’s of the way down the driveway.  Maybe it was a little more than that.  He said, “Someone cut down the tree!”  Being somewhat spaced out and not really paying attention, I asked, “What tree?”  as I stared out his window trying to figure out what he was talking about.

Someone did indeed cut down the tree.
Someone did indeed cut down the tree.

There was a cedar tree, perfectly shaped for duty as a Christmas tree, at the edge of one of the meadows and within view of the road.  Our road is not a busy road and I’d venture to guess that the majority of people who use it are locals because it doesn’t go anywhere that isn’t back here in The Middle of Nowhere.  Someone, most likely a local (because who else would be back this way??), stopped by with a chainsaw and cut down a beautiful cedar tree, one we had planned to save when we had that meadow mowed (as we’re obliged to do as part of the conservation agreement).

Really?
Really?

I’m not sure what bothers me more.  The loss of the tree or the fact that sometime in the past 24 hours someone came on to the property, WITH A CHAINSAW, and SAWED DOWN A TREE without me or M noticing it.

A cedar tree, but not the cedar tree that was cut down.
A cedar tree, but not the cedar tree that was cut down.

The missing (and presumed to now be a Christmas tree) cedar looked something like the one pictured above.  It had a better shape to it and was filled in a bit more, but the height is about right.  Six feet or so tall.

The robb’d that smiles, steals something from the thief; He robs himself that spends a bootless grief.

~ William Shakespeare

I am hoping that some poor person with children who was in need of a Christmas tree this year took it.  I am hoping that the family enjoys the tree, and that it brings them all much joy, peace, and many blessings.  And while they enjoy the tree, I’m thinking M and I need to post our land (something we’ve been talking about doing anyhow because we don’t want hunters wandering over here and accidentally shooting one of us while we’re out for a walk), or put up a gate.  Frankly, my vote is for the gate.

Impressionism on the lagoon.
Impressionism on the lagoon.

Be good, be kind, be loving, be well, and don’t steal trees.  I will gladly give you one if you ask.

Just Be.  🙂

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Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

35 thoughts on “Gobsmacked

  1. I’m imagining the thief is a person who finds life very hard and unfair and as he/she feels so hard done by and put upon sees nothing wrong from taking from others in the dead of night or the light of day – whenever they feel most like they can get away with it. Life will continue to be hard and they will continue to feel bad as long as they behave and think the way they do. That’s karma at work for you.

    I’m sorry for the loss of your beautiful cedar tree!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Don’t steal trees” … I love how you ended your post ~ although I am at an utter loss for understanding how anyone could go on private property with a chainsaw and steal a tree…. oh well… such a great attitude you have and LOVE the Shakespeare quote 🙂

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    1. It does seem like a very un-Christian thing to do in honor of a Christian holiday, Beautywhizz. However, if they were that desperate, I do hope they get some kind of peace and joy from the beautiful tree. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m hoping they didn’t realize they were on private land (though is there public land near you??). But I’d put up a sign TOMORROW that says Private no trespassing…and I’d post it on a stake right next to the stump. Then I’d think about what else needs to be done. Whoever it was, if they are local they odds are drive back and forth and will see the sign. Someone owes you at least an apology.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think an apology will be forthcoming, Dawn. I do like your idea of posting a no trespassing sign near the stump, and will do that as soon as we get the signs and figure out how and where we’re going to post them. We’re going shopping for signs this evening. M and I have also been discussing other ways we can keep an eye on what’s going on out front.

      No, there’s no public land near us. I was thinking about how there was a time when people in the country went out somewhere to cut down a tree, and wondered if they usually did that on public land or asked someone who had trees on private land. I can’t imagine they just went out and took them from private property, but around here, you never know. The Eastern Shore is a strange place. Backwards in many ways. That may not be a nice or kind thing for me to say/write, but it has been my experience here. People still dump trash wherever they want and justify it by saying “Let nature take care of it.” The good old boy network, along with rampant nepotism, is alive and well in our local political system. But there are really good people here, too. Probably the majority of people are good. It’s just that the bad apples have a way of sticking out.

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  4. Robin, there is only good karma in your response and charitable attitude toward the tree thief. Hope you have reported the theft and trespass to your local constabulary. And I’m with both of you: Posted signs AND a gate. So sorry for the loss of your lovely tree. Likely the thief passes your gate everyday. I’d be tempted to also put out a sign, addressed to the thief, and also letting your other neighbors know of the dastardly deed. Word gets around, as you know… Hugs and love, WG

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, WG. 🙂 A sheriff’s deputy stopped by this morning. We figured we should at least put it on the record even though there’s nothing that can be done about it. Word does indeed get around, and posting some sort of sign similar to what you mentioned has crossed my mind. Mostly, I want to get the no trespassing signs up, and then work out something so we’ll be able to keep an eye on what goes on at the front of the property.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I think so too, David. The Eastern Shore is that way to some degree. It’s a strange place in many ways. Behind the times (they still speak Elizabethan English on one of the nearby islands), and sometimes just downright weird. Rough around the edges, too.

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    1. I think that’s what worried me the most at first, Merril. That someone would just come out and do something like that, and that I didn’t notice the noise. I think they must have done it during the day because it can be noisy at times when the farmers are out working in their fields with big equipment. And there’s bound to be someone in the woods around here somewhere using a chainsaw so the sound might not register with me. I’ll notice it now.

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      1. I guess you will–sad that you need to. Someone once stole a radio from one of our cars that was in our driveway while we were home. And once I found a bread roll in a flower box that hangs on the rail of our back step. It’s creepy.

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        1. Creepy indeed. We were burglarized long ago and that was such an invasion of privacy (the went through EVERYTHING, all drawers emptied, closets emptied, etc.) that the theft of a tree at the front edge of the property doesn’t seem like much at all.
          There have been other odd things here. I found two cans of Campbell’s gravy (one chicken, one beef) in the pantry and nobody knows how they got there. I don’t buy gravy, and since our diet is mostly vegetarian, we wouldn’t have a need for it. I gave it away only to find another can of chicken gravy in there about a month or two later. We’ve since changed the locks on the doors (when we replaced the doors), but I kept the can of gravy because it would freak me out too much if I gave it away and found another in its place. Maybe we have house fairies who like gravy (or mischief). 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  5. So much for the spirit of Christmas! If it happened to me… there’s that sense of violation that someone would do that to you, though I’m sure the loss of the tree is pretty traumatic as well. I’m so sorry you have to experience such a thing that casts a nasty spirit over this time of year. I’d likely vote for the gate, too. But don’t leave out the posting either!

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    1. We’ll probably do some version of both, Gunta. We’re still looking into our options with regards to a gate or possibly a driveway alarm. We’ve talked about wildlife cameras, too.
      I thought the same thing about the spirit of Christmas. Hardly seems in keeping with it. I really would have given them a tree if they’d asked. There are plenty on the property, and they could have had one just as nice although they would have had to walk a little ways for it since we wanted to keep that particular tree.

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  6. How sad… Christmas trees can be pretty expensive, especially for low-income families, single moms, etc. The pressure to keep up with the Joneses must be tremendous for some. Somewhere I read a plea from a mother asking people to not tell their children that Santa left all the gifts under the tree. Her children had asked why Santa gave other children more presents than he gave them. We live in such a materialistic society, leading to so much unhealthy competition. Reading that plea made me remember – when I was little the stuff in the stocking was from Santa, the stuff under the tree was from my parents and others in the family. So sorry you lost your tree, Robin. But you have reacted from a place of kindness in your heart.

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    1. Thank you, Barbara, especially for sharing that story. I hadn’t thought about the impact Santa’s gifts could have on children who don’t get as many (or any at all). Now that you mention it, I think my parents had a similar practice in regards to stockings and the gifts under the tree. My youngest son and his wife have decided to take up the 4 Gift Christmas Challenge, and do it for life. The 4 gifts are: something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read. Sounds like it covers all the bases to me. 🙂

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  7. Wow! I truly hope the person who did this was not aware that they were on private property. That is a small consolation but, to me, it would be easier to swallow than to know that they willingly and knowingly cut down a tree in private property.

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Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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