Saturday, November 24, 2007

Morning excitement of the scary kind

Another gratuitous, early spring picture of the house that has nothing to do with this post.

This morning started as usual, Dh and I each in our chair, drinking our beverage of choice and logging on. I had lit a fire in the fireplace and we were enjoying a quiet Saturday morning sitting around in our jammies.

The driveway alarm ding-donged, usually indicating that the neighbor's dogs were trotting down the doggie highway to parts beyond, and Nick and Sassy sounded the usual heart-stopping call to action. I tried to ignore them, as I always do, well, because I can't be bothered to put down the laptop and rise from my recliner. Then DH says that a man, probably an early morning hunter, is walking up the drive towards the house.

We have been anticipating *visiting* hillbilly hunters during deer season, since this land has been unoccupied for decades, until we bought it. I say *hillbillies* because there are No Trespassing, No Hunting, and If You Can Read This, You Are Within Range signs posted all over the property. Rednecks will typically respect written threats of violence against their person, but hillbillies either 1) can't read, 2) can't understand what they are reading, 3) don't care what they read, or 4) have ripped down the signs and claim very believable ignorance.

DH prepared to go do battle. Let me stop right here and say there is nothing sexier in this world, than to see your Prince Charming, in bathrobe, slippers and bed-head, tuck a 9mm weapon into his pocket and stride purposefully into the 30 degree outdoors.

After much discussion and gesticulating, while I hid in the kitchen peering through the window, the man continues down our drive and DH returns with an upsetting tale.

Our neighbor lady at the end of the lane, awoke to find her front door open, and her adult, autistic grandson missing. Austin has a mental capacity of a six year old and a fondness for playing Army and building forts. Their yard backs up to the side of our 192 acres, across a deep hollow and creek bed.

After donning warm, but unfashionable warm clothing layers and topped by a neon orange hunting cap, we took off on our electric cart to drive the property roads, calling for the missing man. No luck finding him, but realized that if he wasn't dressed with a coat etc, he was going to be in trouble PDQ!

We stopped at their house and spoke with the assembled search and rescue team, all decked out in severe weather gear and harnessing up a bloodhound. Austin hadn't been found, but a man had been picked up and taken to the hospital, so family members were on their way to try to identify him. If it wasn't Austin, they would start with the bloodhounds.

We returned home, and directed the traffic of four-wheelers crisscrossing the surrounding land. I will never recognize the searchers we talked to again, because they all wore ski masks against the cold, and looked like Desperados their ownselves!

The story ends well. The man at the hospital was in fact Austin and he is hopefully well. He had left early in the morning, and walked for about 2 hours towards the *big town.* Someone had alerted the authorities about a man walking along the road without appropriate clothing. I suspect he was in his night clothes and hope he at least had on shoes.

Another reason to be thankful the *normal* mental health of my girls...and DH, no matter how much they aggravate me! My prayers go out to my neighbor and all those caring for autistic children.


Celticspirit said...

How scary! It seems to me that Austin had angels looking out for him. I'm glad he's ok.

Tutti Chic said...

What a scary story~poor austin! HOw wonderful that all of you searched for him! I'm sure his grandmother was so thankful for the neighborly support!