Big Mama Blog

Knock, knock. Who’s there? Orange. Except not.

Wouldn’t it be great if I already had a picture of Caroline in her costume? That would be perfect since it’s, you know, Halloween and all. But today will be the first time she’s actually worn her costume because she’s officially reached the age where it’s not cool to wear your costume to the Pumpkin Patch and have pictures taken. And we didn’t do the neighborhood shopping center carnival because she had a soccer game on Saturday and probably wouldn’t have cared that much about it anyway.

Excuse me while I go have a nice cry.

Anyway, we had some drama here yesterday. And before you jump to conclusions, I want to let you know that Disney didn’t buy my film company for 4.05 billion dollars. Mainly because I don’t own a film company. Unless you count the occasional videos I take of Caroline with my iPhone. But I’m guessing those are probably only worth about four total dollars. Maybe $5.00 if I threw in one where she’s making a joke about poop.

So about a year and a half ago, P brought home a tiny little orange tree. He was planning to plant it down at the ranch but Caroline begged him to plant it in our front yard instead. And so he did. Because why would he deny his only daughter the dream of having fresh-squeezed orange juice made from oranges from her very own orange tree?

She helped him plant it in the front yard and over the last year and a half has been slightly obsessed with it, checking it at regular intervals to see if it had produced any fruit. And then it finally flowered this spring and P told her that meant that it would actually grow a few oranges this year. She was beside herself when she noticed about nine very small green oranges beginning to grow around April.

Over the last six months she has watered that tree and checked on her oranges and made big plans to drink homemade orange juice on Christmas morning. We noticed last week that the oranges were officially the size of, well, an orange. And the color was beginning to turn from green to slightly yellow. There was much excitement.

Then yesterday afternoon Caroline had an appointment to get her hair cut after school. And as we were coming back home from the beauty salon, I noticed there was a van parked in front of our house and a man in our front yard doing something. It took me a minute to figure out what it was before I realized he was hurriedly picking every single one of our oranges off our tree. Without even thinking, I rolled down my window and yelled, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING? THOSE ARE OUR ORANGES. YOU CAN’T STEAL OUR ORANGES!”

P happened to be working in the driveway around back, heard me yelling, saw my car parked at a funny angle and thought I’d been in a wreck. I yelled to him, “THIS GUY IS STEALING OUR ORANGES”.

And so P quickly made his way to the front yard to confront the fruit thief. It turns out this guy was actually a contract employee for the Yellow Pages. He’d just delivered new Yellow Pages to our front door and then decided to help himself to all our oranges.

First of all, 1985 called and they want their Yellow Pages back. Does anyone even still use the Yellow Pages?

Secondly, who thinks they can just steal all the fruit from someone’s tree? Even worse, it wasn’t even ripe yet. He just ruined it.

Before you think I’m a little obsessed with my first world fruit thief problems, it’s not about the oranges. I realize it’s just a few oranges. In light of the hurricane on the East Coast and a million other things going on all over the world, this doesn’t even register. I need you to know that I know that.

But, like Gulley said, it was the anger at watching someone take something that my child had invested so much time in. He didn’t steal oranges, he stole her joy and sense of accomplishment.

And here’s the thing. If he had knocked on our door and asked for a glass of water or a piece of fruit or anything, we would have gladly given it to him. We try to live our lives with an open hand in recognition that everything we have belongs to God and not us anyway.

It was the stealing. It was the coming up in our front yard to deliver some lame Yellow Pages that we didn’t even want and then deciding he needed to take every single one of those oranges. Every single one. Seriously.

P made sure the guy knew how much those oranges meant to Caroline. And the guy offered to put them back. Except that doesn’t really work with unripe fruit from a tree. It’s basic science.

So I got on the Google and now we have our own little science fair experiment going with the unripe oranges (at least the ones he didn’t smash in the street) in a brown paper bag with some apples. Apparently the apples emit some sort of chemical that tells the oranges to ripen. You’re welcome for that free lesson.

We’ll see if it works.

As for Caroline, she finally settled down and we explained that it was just fruit and used it as a good lesson for why you should never take something that doesn’t belong to you. But she made sure to tell us later that she came in the house looking for a weapon to use on the thief and had decided her best bet was our metal toilet paper stand.

Because everyone knows it’s best to bring a toilet paper holder to a fruit fight.

Or something like that.

Hope y’all have a Happy Halloween.

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Comments

  1. 1

    I am very disappointed on behalf of Caroline about the oranges. Here’s hoping the apple/bag scheme works. Yay for the Google. A life lesson for sure, no matter what the world situation is. In life it’s tricky not to maximize situations or minimize them but to treat them head on for what they are — and this was a big deal to your daughter, and that’s o.k.

    BTW, out-loud chuckle over the yellow pages and 1985.

  2. 2

    At our last house, we had two orange trees in the front yard and people stole them every single year. Big grocery bags full. What is it with oranges?

  3. 3

    I’m furious just reading this! I mean seriously, who does that?! And while he was working? I’m pretty generous, and had the man had a legitimate need I’m sure this post wouldn’t exist, but ugh. So angry for sweet Caroline.

  4. 7

    We own a retail store and it amazes/disgusts me how much shoplifting goes on. Like a big kick in the gut some days. I’d rather they just ask for it. I guess some people never had mommas that taught them “if its not yours, don’t take it”.

    Such a hard lesson for Caroline to learn after all that dreaming of fresh oj.

  5. 8

    That’s insane! I’m so sorry your daughter doesn’t have her oranges anymore. :( I hate thieves. When we lived in SA, we had two reindeer in our front yard for Christmas until one day, we didn’t. They were stolen in broad daylight. My daughter was 4 & highly ticked. She made me walk around the neighborhood with her, looking for our deer. My husband put a sign in our yard saying something like “Thanks for stealing our deer! Merry Christmas” It’s so awful.

  6. 9
    Katherine says:

    Long time reader. I have never commented but this made me really mad. So I had to. What a jackwagon!!!!! Why would you do that??? Fine if it was a tree with lots and lots of fruit. Ok take one. But to pick all of them. That is bold. I always wake up in the middle of the night and read your blog then as I’m trying to go back to sleep but now I’m all riled up. Lol.

    • 10

      Okay, Katherine’s post just made my day. Not only because I agree with her sentiment, but I use the term “Jackwagon” all the time (okay, not all the time, but frequently and probably more than I should) and my husband laughs at me because he thinks it’s completely made up and ridiculous! Clearly, the word has legs! Right on, Katherine!!!

  7. 15

    That was wrong, and I would report him to yellow pages! Did he think he was,,,Entitled? You are in Texas, time to put a sign next to the tree that says, “We don’t call 911.”

  8. 16

    I am crazy upset for you and since I am from Boston there are so many non kid friendly that would have been spewing from my mouth. I may or may not speak before thinking at times.
    I think you handled it wonderfully and yes it is a great lesson for C to learn but a hard one.
    I think we get a call a day or so later asking if we received the phone book I would certainly let the company know what happened.

    I aso really like Amy’s idea.

  9. 17

    The nerve! So sorry for sweet Caroline. I can only imagine how she will prepare next year, because you know she will never forget this incident. Hope they ripen- love google:-)

  10. 18

    We are farmers and while I understand the Biblical principle of gleaning, we always feel the same way when TRUCK LOADS of peanuts disappear from fields at night. Please just ask …..

  11. 19
    sheetal jain says:

    U are seriously funny Mel!!! I so enjoy your reading..yeah yeah, all the way from India !:)

  12. 20

    That’s crazy. I think it’s great you were able to confront him about it. Imagine coming home and seeing them gone. This makes a better story but still sad.

  13. 21

    Wow!! The gall of that man! Was it an adult, or a teenager? Not that it would make a difference, but I would like to think that an adult would know better.

  14. 22

    Oh, this just makes me sad for Caroline. Kudos to you for being rational enough to teach Caroline a lesson. I do think I would be reporting him to the Yellow Pages (and, yes, why do they still deliver those?!). You’ve gotta wonder what else he has helped himself to at other people’s houses.

  15. 23

    You could have also used this incident for a civic lesson…..you know, sort of how government works when you produce something.

    Caroline’s Sicilian heritage wont allow her to easily let go of any grievance. I assure you we’ll be hearing about this for a long, long time.

    Love ya.

    • 24

      I love your government reference. Bless you, Bops!

    • 25

      This is great, Bops! I am so angry for Caroline! Glad she has such a loving family.

    • 26

      Agree with Bops. Also reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw yesterday of a Thomas Jefferson quote. It’s the one about “a gov big enough to give you….”etc.. He had a pure grasp of cutting insight, that boy did!

  16. 27
    Lissalulu says:

    If the apple trick doesn’t work…buy some O.J. at the grocery in the dead of night & tell her you made it while she was sleeping. It is better to ask for forgiveness than to deal with the wrath of a drama queen (I own one of those too)…oh..and also..burn the yellow pages book.

  17. 28

    Every time one of those heavy yellow pages is delivered to my house I get upset. I have not used the yellow pages in the past decade! They are heavy and I hate to have to pick them up to throw them away. Being delivered by an orange thief would tick me off… I’m ticked off for Caroline. However, when you followed the drama story by the fact that she ran into the house to find a weapon I started laughing. I’ll bet that if he had known that she had taken down a deer this past weekend, he would have been a wee bit more cautious about stealing those oranges!

  18. 29

    My heart is broken for Caroline! I also feel so sad for you and P! What a shame! I live in FL In a rural county that is made up of Citrus Trees and Cattle and I see (what I assume) tourist, travelers, road crews….. Stealing oranges from the groves all the time and it makes me so mad! The nerve of people to just walk off the road and take oranges. But in your case it is even worse because you only had one little tree in your yard! So so sad !

  19. 30

    “It was a drive-by fruiting!” (random Mrs. Doubtfire quote). You are welcome. :)

  20. 32

    I don’t understand the mentality of a thief. Do NOT take something that doesn’t belong to you. it seems so simple.

    I’m a mom too, and while I don’t want someone messing with me, I REAAALLLLY will not tolerate someone messing with a kid!

    And I agree with several other commenters — ABSOLUTELY report that lowlife to Yellow Pages!!

  21. 33

    Please, tell me you call and informed his boss what he did!!??? YES- SOOOO REPORT HIM!!!

  22. 34

    That’s really sad! My husband is a police officer and I totally would have wanted him to arrest the guy!

  23. 35

    I laughed out loud at the Mrs. Doubtfire comment. That made my day…. So sorry Caroline!

  24. 36
    Serah Roy says:

    I’ve read your blog for YEARS and this just makes me furious for Caroline! What a jerk and lowlife to steal the oranges out of your front yard. You showed more restraint that I would have in that situation; that guy would never have wanted another orange in his life after I finished with him.

    I hope Caroline has an amazing orange crop next year!

  25. 37

    Considering the recent post of Caroline holding the antlers of a deer she had just shot – I think the toilet paper stand was a good thing!!

    I live in Canada and apples grow on trees – oranges come in a crate…

    You should read her The Pineapple Story! Its a missionary story and I’m not sure where you would buy it but here is a link to another film-maker who wont be signing any deals with Disney, but reads the story nonetheless.

    • 38

      Perhaps Caroline could put her photo with the deer in front of the tree next year – just to show the Yellowpages guy or whoever that she takes her oranges seriously!
      Don’t mess with Texas – especially girls from Texas who know how to shoot!

  26. 39
    anotherlisa says:

    we live in big , sometimes bad, Houston, and sadly this happens. fruit-bearing plants reside in backyards.
    if it helps C, the 1st year citrus is usually extremely sour, no matter the variety. maybe the apples will sweeten them too.
    also, the farmers market and the folks who work there may take on new value to her now.

  27. 40

    Yall were too nice. I would have called the police and taken him to small claims court. Well, probably not, but I would like to think I would press charges.

    What is wrong with people?

  28. 41

    I am so sorry, that just stinks out loud.
    It made me think about my hubs and I and our annual dilemma. Our neighborhood is BIG fun for Halloween. People do hayrides, ride golf carts, and come in from other neighborhoods to trick or treat. Which I love, because I grew up way out in the country on a farm with NO trick or treaters whatsoever.
    So I always want to put out a bowl of candy while we trick or treat with a tag that says “Please take two” or something like that.
    But guess what? I am pretty sure the first two people take the whole thing, because if we circle back home for something, it is totally empty in like ten seconds.
    Which, I know, because you set it out for them to take (I realize it isn’t stealing), but it makes my hubby so mad because all those kids tromp up the steps and through our yard with NO candy left in the huge bucket. Which is a lesson to my kids to ONLY TAKE ONE!

    • 42

      When I was in college I was a psychology major and I remember studying about ways to prevent this from happening. There’s no guarantee that this will work but it’s worth a try. Put a large mirror behind the candy bowl. A mirror long enough that the people taking candy can see their whole reflection in it.

      When you just set a bowl of candy out without a mirror behind it kids feel like they are getting away with something they aren’t supposed to be doing because there’s no one around to see them do it. Placing a large mirror behind the bowl forces the kids to see themselves take the candy, and it produces a level of self-awareness that they won’t have otherwise. They see themselves in the mirror and become more aware of their actions and realize that they are doing something wrong by taking more than the allotted amount. There were actual studies done on children to see if this would work and the number of kids who took more than the allotted amount of candy dropped significantly when there was a mirror behind the candy.

  29. 45

    I. AM. BEYOND. ANGERED.

    I hate stealing. And you’re exactly right…it’s not the fact that he stole but that he took something from HER!! He’s lucky you didn’t go all mama bear on him because someone might have had to bail me out of jail over oranges. Just sayin’….

  30. 46

    That just sucks, but maybe being confronted by you will be one of those life-changing moments for the orange thief. Stealing is not a victimless crime. Especially when the victim is a little girl. The more I read about your daughter, the more I am convinced that she and my eight-year-old son would be fast friends. Grabbing the toilet cleaner to defend her orange tree? Cooper would think that was totally awesome.

  31. 47

    Wow, that really stinks. We have all manner of people traipsing through our neighborhood with flyers, yellow pages, etc. I am afraid to leave anything out on my porch. So sorry for C.:(

  32. 48

    I am seriously crying over Caroline’s lost oranges. I’m grieving with her. Poor sweet Caroline.

  33. 49

    My dad planted and nurtured a cherry try in his front yard and the first year it produced ONE (*ONE*!) lone cherry, which he coddled and loved on as it ripened only to look out one morning just in time to see the mailman pick it off the tree and eat it! Oh the torture!

    Also, I find it hilarious and a bit ironic that your daughter who *just* shot and killed a deer (with a gun!) turned to the toilet paper stand as her weapon of choice in defense of her beloved oranges. What a sweet sweet girl.

    Heartfelt hugs and sympathy.

  34. 51

    Absolutely absurd! Why would someone do that?
    Our neighbor has a peach tree, and every year, the sign he has to put in front of it gets bigger, longer, and ruder. It started with just the first sentence a few years ago. Obviously that didn’t work:

    PLEASE DO NOT PICK OUR PEACHES! PLEASE DO NOT STEAL OUR PEACHES! DO NOT TAKE THEM OFF THIS TREE! REMEMBER THAT GOD IS WATCHING! IF YOU COME CLOSE TO THE TREE, IT WILL HURT!

    I feel so bad for them, but worse for Caroline. Poor thing! :(

  35. 52

    I think Caroline’s move for the toilet-paper stand was instinctive. People can be such butt-wipes.

    • 53

      After reading all the great comments I vote for this ONE!!! Sorry for her loss, but great mom-move to make a lesson out of it. You ROCK mom. Thieves – Stink.
      Also the Miss Doubtfire comment was a winner too… Not that helps your daughter, but better to laugh over spoilt oj than cry over it :(

  36. 54

    Things like this make me so mad. But what should we expect when our world is teaching take what you want, when you want it, you’re “entitled” to it?
    My dad is growing an orange tree, so I’ve been learning a little. Oranges require so many hours of cold (I don’t know how many) in order to be sweet and ripen. He also said that putting them in the refrigerator would do the same thing. So, you may want to check into that, too. Hope it works out.

    BTW, I think you should file a complaint with the company, too.

  37. 55

    Oooooo that makes me so stinkin’ mad!!! So glad that you caught him red handed! I think you should call and file a complaint with the company. It may not make any difference but maybe he will learn not to do that again! Poor Caroline. That just stinks when your kid has invested so much and some thoughtless adult comes along and ruins it. JERKFACE yellow pages guy!

  38. 56

    I’ve read your blog for a while but never commented – but this story made me laugh and cry at the same time – what a jerk! Did you guys report him?

    My fiance and I live in a two family flat in St. Louis and this summer I decided to try my hand at growing tomatoes in large pots in our (shared) backyard. Our lovely downstairs neighbor’s boyfriend decided that he would help himself to our tomatos…ALL SUMMER. I seriously got ONE tomato from the four plants I had. What’s weird is that we’re friendly with our neighbors, and they even apologized when we first asked them if they knew anything – but they still continued to steal them! So annoying.

  39. 57

    This is why most fruit trees reside in backyards. Apples are such fair game too.
    We had an asparagus patch in our yard/trees. Every year someone would get it before we could and keep on coming till the season was over. My family loves asparagus so it was something WE looked forward to eating. Alas, only once did we get to eat it.
    I am not sure why things on your own property seem to be ripe for picking so to speak. But it’s still stealing and really no one has a right to even be on your front yard.
    If P could transplant that tree to the back I would do that. And yes, report the man to the employer also.

    Hugs from Minnesota
    Marie

  40. 58

    People never cease to amaze me. Poor Caroline!

  41. 59

    Anger in my blood reading this! I completely understand Caroline’s urge to maim with a metal toilet paper stand. That ding dong has a lot I bad juju coming his way.

  42. 60

    I’m angry just reading about it. That’s the kind of dumb luck that I have. I guess she will always have a story about the first year her tree produced fruit. Much more exciting than saying, “And then my fruit tree made an orange.” Is that a bright side? I’m not sure. I have never been good at the bright side, silver lining thing.

  43. 61
    Tisha Ward says:

    That is HORRIBLE!!! Stealing is stealing no matter what it is. Poor Caroline. I hope your science experiment works.

  44. 62
  45. 63

    That’s terrible. Good grief. Being a farmer myself, I can relate to the disappointment of caring for a crop and then finding it ruined or stolen… be it people or wildlife. Hope the apple/bag concoction works.

  46. 64

    I laughed out loud when I read Amy and Bops’ comments! Living in Michigan, orange trees are unheard of here, but I was disappointed that apple season was a huge bust this year due to the crazy spring weather we had.

    I have boys around Caroline’s age (10 and 8) and they would be so upset if that ever happened to them. We had to work hard this summer to keep our vegetables and raspberries safe from the deer and chipmunks that would help themselves to our produce from our small backyard garden! I love Caroline’s reaction to grab the toilet paper stand!

  47. 65

    “Mama Bear” doesn’t even come close to describing my actions if this had happened to my kid!!! HOW AWFUL! I would definitely report him to his employer, as it is not just oranges…Maybe the phone company can do something to make it up to her….I just can’t think of anything that would make it OK! I am so sorry this happened!!!!

  48. 66

    How horrible! I’m so glad you caught him in the act. Maybe he will learn a lesson from this. If we lived closer, I’d have come over with my own toilet paper stand!

  49. 67

    I think you should report the guy, too. But rather than just calling and leaving a voicemail complaint, see if you can forward a copy of your blog. Because it SO describes things so well and makes SUCH a good point! But then, you might want to blot out the (hysterical) 1984 reference just so the Powers That Be will continue reading the story to the end. Ha!

    Metal toilet paper stand. WHAT a RIOT! LOL…!

  50. 68

    Wonder what else he’s been helping himself to on his rounds?

  51. 69

    I hate to say it but it probably won’t do any good to report the guy. Most of the time the company hires a ton of temporary employees to deliver the books. They drop them off and they’re done. Although I do think The Yellow Pages folks need to know about it.

  52. 70

    This makes me MAD!

  53. 71

    I cannot believe someone would do that! I’m glad you caught him in the act though and made him feel horrible. Hopefully next time he will think twice before stealing fruit from people’s yards!

  54. 72
    Erin Seaman says:

    My mail lady cut my rose bush. Slashed it. Now, it was about 2 feet hanging in the street right by the mailbox and scraping her car, but still. SHE CUT MY ROSE BUSH!!! Brought scissors WITH INTENT TO CUT MY ROSE BUSH! Seriously.

  55. 73

    Girl I came into work today – and found one of my co-workers took my diet coke out of the fridge – I had brought in from home yesterday — I’m still stewing over that…ugh. I know pathetic of me. But really – that is unaccepatable – I can’t believe someone would do that to ya’ll tree. So sorry for Caroline – thankfully though you were able to catch the dude doing that – I know I would be falling out upset over that – hope the bag and apple thing works out at least.

  56. 74

    I am amazed by the audacity of a man who would think it is okay to steal oranges. We live in a very small town, the kind of town that if you accidentally leave your purse in your unlocked car while you watch a movie at the local theater you will find it untouched when you get out. (Or so I hear…) A few weeks ago I decided to clean out the garage. I purged anything and everything that we hadn’t used lately and ended up with quite the pile of stuff. Not junk, nice stuff. Thankfully, there is a state-wide charity that comes and picks up your donation from your curb so we put it out the night before. It was all clearly marked as a donation to said charity but, to my dismay, it was all gone when I woke up in the morning. I was truly surprised, especially given the purse in unlocked car incident. What kind of low life steals from a charity? If I had more time I would go peruse some of the new resale/thrift/consignment shops that have recently opened and if I found my stuff I would be so tempted to press charges. As you can tell, I am still dealing with a bit of anger over the incident. What a sad commentary on today’s society.

  57. 75

    As Shaun Groves says, “first world problems are real problems.”

    I’m more than curious about the delivery of the REAL Yellow Pages. I bet 1985 can even be found by dialing 411.

  58. 76

    A) That fruit thief did NOT know the metal toilet paper stand/DEER SLAYER he had messed with. B) That makes me SO mad. Like you said, it’s not the item, but the taking of something that was not his. I think you should call his employer – or better yet- forward this post to them. C). Best. Title. Ever. : )

  59. 77

    What a total “Jackwagon” as some of your previous commenters have said! That guy is lucky. Here in Texas you can pretty much shoot anyone on your property for stealing and its totally legal. So sorry for Caroline. My daughter planted a lime tree this Spring. She took care of it all Summer long. She was so proud of her one lime!

  60. 78
    Denise Renee says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, but I don’t think I’ve commented. I HAD to after reading this! Makes my heart sad for Caroline…..some people just don’t care! Last winter my hubby and I and our son, who was 4 at the time, spent A LOT of time making an 8 foot snowman. My son was so excited, and of course, we took a ton of pictures. As we went inside and closed the door we heard someone yelling. We looked out the front window and there was a car full of people, one guy got out and ran as fast as he could into the snowman and knocked it to the ground. Owen cried and cried and just couldn’t understand why someone would do that. I know there was a life lesson in there, but I really just wanted to punch the guy in the face. And, it was NOT a teenager, there were full grown “adults”.

  61. 79

    Good grief, what is with some people these days. Noticed my parents put “Posted, No Trespassing” signs in their yard. Asked what’s up? Well, they have pecan trees beside their house and people have started coming in their yard to pick up the pecans. WHAT?!?! My mom told me about a relative in town who has a grapefruit tree in her yard that she started from a seed and people help themselves all the time to her grapefruit. Think you need a sign for the tree that says “These oranges protected by Smith and Wesson”. I’m from Texas so I know that is perfectly acceptable.

  62. 80

    I’m so glad you yelled at that guy! What a jerk! Your poor daughter. I can’t believe he offered to put them back. Who does that!? I hope they ripen and I hope you get more oranges next year.

  63. 81

    SO sorry!!!
    We can totally relate to this story, last week, our neighbor shot three of our pigs while they were on OUR property.
    Did you know there was such a thing as “trespassing by projectile”?
    We tried to make light of it- several days later that is- by saying “M u r d e r e r ” in our creepiest voices as we drove by his house.
    Goodness gracious.
    Again- so very, very sorry.

  64. 82

    That is ridiculous! Really, I have no other words, but it pretty much filled me with rage when I read this story. So sorry this happened to y’all!

  65. 83

    WOW! This had my blood boiling! What nerve???? I could say a lot of naughty words right now but my Lord and Saviour would not be pleased with me so I will continue to bite my tongue.

    I do hope they ripen in the bag for Caroline though…..bless her sweet heart.

  66. 84

    What a looser that guy is! I know this won’t make Caroline feel any better, but you might remind her that what goes around comes around, and one day, this guy will get his. In the meantime, Jackwagon works, or better yet, Jacka**… The good thing is, the oranges will grow again :)

  67. 85

    A few years back I opened my door to find a man standing in our porch with yellow pages. As soon as I opened the door, I knew something was off, hairs on the back of my neck going up, kinda wrong. I told the man no thank you to the yellow pages but he started to come towards me, as he did my German Sheppard came running at him and It scared him enough to back up, I quickly closed the door and called 911. Lesson learned never open the door to strangers. My son was sitting at the kitchen table 4yrs old and scared for mommy. What is it with yellow pages delivery guys….. Jack wagons. Sorry c hope your harvest next year is doubled and sweeter than ever.
    Amanda

    • 86

      “…what is it with yellow page delivery guys” – as another poster mentioned – these are not actual employees – it is a temp job – I did it once in college – you show up and get a box of books and a page of addresses – no ID required. Not to say some of them aren’t just poor college kids – but they can also be ANYONE – even people just looking for an excuse to come onto your property – so DO NOT TRUST them just because they are holding the Yellow Pages book! (especially DO NOT open the door to them – that was NOT part of the job – we left them in a bag near the mailbox, we didn’t even go onto people’s property).

  68. 87

    WTH? why on earth would he think it was okay to take one orange, that was not ripe, let alone ALL of them? They weren’t his oranges. I get so angry with people that think their time or things or needs are more important then mine are to me.
    Jackwagon.

  69. 88

    What a jackASS! (Without the jack).

  70. 89

    I think my blood pressure just went up a few points…..so sorry for Caroline.
    Now about those oranges…..I lived in the Rio Grande Valley for 18 years (home to the Texas citrus industry) and learned a few things about oranges. The longer the fruit stays on the tree the higher the sugar content. Since these were picked so early, they most likely will be tart. You might want to make orange-ade with these. Texas citrus is at its best between January and March… way more sweetness. Best of luck with next years crop!

  71. 90

    The apple in a brown bag does work. The brown bag trick works on lots of fruit (pears, plums, etc), as the gas the fruit itself puts off helps to ripen. You would need another fruit to help the orange since I imagine it doesn’t do much in putting off gas.

  72. 91

    Oh my goodness…
    Who does that!?!?!?
    I am really hoping the science experiment yields fresh fruit to make up for the bad apple…no pun intended! ;)
    Happy Halloween!!

  73. 92

    I say you give her another orange tree for Christmas! Only you should plant this one in the backyard next to all P’s ammo in the shed:).

    Bops- I LOVED your government refrence…so, so funny and true.

  74. 93

    You know, it just breaks your heart for everybody. Poor Caroline!
    I have delivered phone books before (long time ago). Those were not good times, maybe the guy was desperate if he thought unripe oranges looked like a good thing.
    Love Bops government reference–isn’t that the truth!

  75. 94

    Recently, I’ve been feeling (and saying) that nothing surprises me anymore. Your post today proves that not true! For crying out loud. I am so sorry for all of y’all.

  76. 95

    I’m sad for you and Caroline. I know they are “just oranges” but it was the time and effort put into them that was taken. There is a life lesson here, and I know you will take the time to explain that to her. She’ll take her cues from you, so make sure your reactions to the situation are ones you can deal with her acting out later!

  77. 96
    Mary Elise says:

    I sure hope little Caroline never knows what it is to be hungry enough to steal.

    Maybe this might have been an opportunity to teach her something about the nature of giving. Of Jesus’ love. Of turning the other cheek. Just a thought.

    • 97
      Spiritmom says:

      Whatever. It’s never ok to steal. Never.

    • 98

      A hungry person would have taken one or two. A glutton and a thief takes them all. The situation was indeed an opportunity to teach about the nature of giving. The thief was the one who needed the lesson.

  78. 99

    Even if Caroline hadn’t have put so much into that tree I would find his behavior completely obnoxious. But given the you’ve watched her get so excited about it all, and thus probably gotten excited on her behalf, that must’ve really felt SO annoying! And shocking!! Go to the store and buy yourself an orange, sir. I highly doubt him stealing that had anything to do with hunger and everything to do with greediness. I don’t know why, but I feel so angered on your behalf!!! The response to this must make you laugh — you sure got us all fired up!! :)

    And so sweet that you had to make sure we all know you do have perspective on the situation given other bad things going on, but I promise anyone who reads your blog would automatically know that!! But this is your blog about your life and it’s definitely more than a blog-worthy story! It’ll be a hilarious reference one day, but I find it crazy annoying for you!!!

  79. 100

    I’m so upset for Caroline. I would be upset if he just wanted to take 1, but ALL of them? Unbelievable!

  80. 101

    So sorry! That’s way worse than when you lose your fruit to squirrels.

    I’m sure those of us who have their own fruit tree understand more than most. We share generously at harvest time, but really. We want some of it and we also want to give it away. Not have it stolen.

    Really hope you reported him to his employer!

  81. 102

    Yes, please tell us that you reported him!!! What a jerk!!!
    And the other stories of people stealing fruit and nuts, I would NEVER in a million years ever consider that !!!!!!
    Crazy.

  82. 103

    I totally get it. My sister who is the same age as C, (I am 25, hello AGE GAP). It breaks my heart to see something she put all her time, effort and love into only to be ruined by someone’s mean spirit. When it’s something she worked for herself and made grow, to have someone take that away from her is awful. I would of reacted the exact same way.

  83. 104

    Wow. That is crazy. I would have been mad too. Poor Caroline.

  84. 105

    That is just sad. The very nerve. I feel so bad for Caroline.

  85. 106

    If C is still real upset, you can always do the hamster trick, go to the store and buy some ripe oranges, close to the same size, so they look alike, pull them out of the bag one day when she gets home from school!

  86. 107

    You should definitely report him to his employer. Who knows what he is stealing from other people?

  87. 108
    Melissa H. says:

    I am so sorry that happened.

  88. 109

    I’m outraged!!!! I’m so sorry that happened!! We have a meyer lemon tree in a pot on our front porch, and I know how long it takes from blossom to fruit. : (

  89. 110
    Nate's Mom says:

    WOW! Some pretty bad words are coming to my mind, but don’t worry, not gonna use them. That’s a new low. I’m so glad that you all at least had a bit of satisfaction catching him in the act and giving him a piece of your mind.

    Way to go on the lesson, though. Your girlie will never forget this.

    Nate’s Mom

  90. 111

    STOLE the unripe oranges right off the tree?? In your front yard?? I do not understand these people. They’re the same ones that show up and clip roses without asking. Just ASK! I have the same giving attitude, but that was just gluttony at its worst. I’m glad things ended well with no toilet brush incidents. And I’ll be curious to hear about the apple/bag situation.
    Glad I found your blog today!

  91. 112

    You have every right to be angry – what a jerk. And what a reminder it is that our actions have serious repercussions – he may have thought he was just picking some unripe oranges, but it was much deeper than that.

  92. 113
    Jeannette says:

    On your next trip to AggieLand stop by Bucees. They have signs that say this property is protected by Smith and Wesson. And other similiar signs.

    I agree it was wrong of this person to take from this tree, but be careful. You never know if he had a weapon.

    There are many great lessons to be learned in this story.

  93. 114

    This gave me the same feeling as the time I carefully planted runnunculus bulbs in our front flower bed one Fall (I know, bulbs don’t really work in Texas, but I am a northerner and was just learning). I waited and watered and nursed those things into life in the Spring, only to have my son proudly tell me one morning that he had taken care of those ugly weeds in the front flower bed with the weedwacker. Just before they had bloomed. So, I can really sympathize with Caroline. Of course, your situation is much worse as it was a stranger and done knowingly. Bummer.

  94. 115

    Oh, no! That’s terrible! :~(

    Hopefully, the crop will be much more abundant next year!

    • 116

      You know, not to say stealing is okay in any circumstance (because it’s not), but maybe he’s poor and wanted to take the oranges home to his kids. Again, NOT okay that he tried to steal them, but maybe he thought that the tree would keep producing lots of fruit?

      I know that the whole situation was the worst because Caroline had so much of her heart set on it. We have a toddler, and it’s amazing how protective of our kiddos we are as parents, isn’t it? I just told my husband about it, and he said, “What a moron!”

  95. 117

    That is just about the most pitiful thing I have ever heard! Poor Caroline!
    It’s a good thing P is not a violent man! ;)

  96. 118

    Sandy will be happy to come help take care of Tater’s fruit thief!

  97. 119

    Oh there is nothing worse than my child dealing with disappointment — yes, we all have to deal with it, valuable lessons, yada yada. But I hate it. And I hate it for Caroline.
    Our neighbors have a peach tree, and they deal with people picking the peaches off it all the time. I was in my front yard the other day and watched as someone who was walking down the street stopped and carefully chose a few peaches to take off the tree — I didn’t say anything, but I sure thought about it. I mean, it’s THEIR tree! Just because the fruit is easy to grab doesn’t make it less stealing…annoying. And to take them ALL?!?! What was he thinking?!

  98. 120

    I hope you turned this orange smugglin idiot in. Sighs. Stealing them, just why?

  99. 121

    What is wrong with people today??!!?? Who thinks they can just walk into someone’s yard and steal their property??!!?? Even if it is a piece of fruit from a tree!! If it’s not your yard and your tree then it’s not your fruit!!!! Seriously.

    I hope the great orange experiment works and Caroline is able to enjoy the fruits of her labor.

  100. 122

    Bless her heart! That is just awful.

    We have a legendary fruit tragedy in our family also, except no humans can be blamed. When my son was four he became curious about growing watermelons. My dad had a few acres at the time, so we set out to make a watermelon patch with papa. My son and I started the seedlings while baby brother looked on. We took them to pap’s house to grow in their little Jiffy starter cups. After much time and earnest fretting, we had tons of seedlings to plant in our patch. On transfer day the whole family helped, with my 87 year old grandma leading the way. Of course we again fretted for months watching them grow, explaining to my son that not all make it to actual watermelons, etc. We made many trips to Papa’s house to water and watch. Eventually we deemed that many were within a week or so of picking and the excitement was about to get the best of him. One Saturday we went to check on them, and every single watermelon was hollowed out! Eaten right down to the rind! Something cracked them open and had a feast. Every.single.watermelon! Devastation doesn’t even touch it! I asked the old farmers at our local Farmer’s Market and they figured it was possums, but couldn’t be certain. My son is 8 now and the baby is 4. We joke about those poor unsuspecting melons now, but we sure were sad at the time. My Dad passed away this summer, but what a great memory for my son to have had this project with his papa – even if it didn’t turn out like we planned.

  101. 123
    Whitney in Austin says:

    That is absolutely the rudest thing I’ve ever read. I hope you all did give him a good earful.

    In other news, the metal toilet paper holder as a weapon has me rolling.

  102. 124

    So sorry for Caroline. That stinks. I have a pot of day lilies in the backyard that were transplanted from my great-grandmother’s garden. They only bloom once a year and every spring, I wait eagerly for the blooms to appear. A couple of years ago, my nephew was visiting and casually plucked every single bloom off the plant…just for the heck of it. I was so mad! It wasn’t stealing, but still made me mad. It was a good opportunity to teach him how we’re supposed treat things that belong to other people. And I’ve already started on that lesson with my little guy. You don’t pick flowers (or fruit!) from bushes that don’t belong to you!

    Wishing Caroline a bumper crop of oranges next year!

  103. 125

    Having something stolen from you is a terrible feeling. I’m so sorry for you all, especially Caroline. She does sound like a girl who can take care of herself, though. :)
    We have had a van (and all that was in it, of course), a winter coat and pair of boots, and a camera stolen in the last two years. I am thinking there is a lesson that God is trying to teach us…haha.
    I agree with others…it’s a good thing that you all are generous people, and he got away with just an earful.
    Put them back…what does that even mean?

  104. 126

    Stealing is stealing. Thieving is thieving. I hope he chokes on a seed. Then, I’ll pray for the thief. Maybe, we should pray for him now! Poor C. I hate that she had to learn such a personal lesson but it is times like that the lessons will remain part of her life. It is amazing how bold and cruel some jacklegs can be.

  105. 127

    What a jerk! I’m sorry, but that is just so lame! Poor Caroline. Grrr.

  106. 128

    Oh my gosh. My blood is boiling… I just gave myself a headache. WHAT A TOOL!!!!!!!! Who does that?!?!?! I also have a metal toilet paper roll holder. I can grab it and haul up to SA… I’ll take Caroline and we can beat all of the trees in that man’s yard. Or something. We will do something.

    (I’m catching up on your blog… can you tell? I have about a year and a half to read… I don’t think that’s going to happen.)

  107. 129

    I wish Caroline could have whopped him over the head with the toilet paper stand!

  108. 130

    Wow, what a jerk. Your mama’s heart must have hurt so for Caroline. You should make him buy her another orange tree. My parents had someone take a big juicy avocado off a tree in their yard once, and it’s such a violation.

  109. 131

    Although, come to think of it, when my mother was pregnant with me she craved sugar cane, so she made my dad stop by a field of sugar cane once, climb over the fence, and get a stalk for her. So I suppose I have a heritage of vegetation thievery in my family.

  110. 132

    I’ve been reading your blog for a long time (when I was nursing I lived that you posted in the wee hours so I’d have something to read in the middle of the night!). I just had to write at how outraged I am for Caroline! I cannot fathom that someone would do that!

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