Yesterday morning. I'm far out in the pasture, walking the dogs. My husband is in his shop. The kids are occupied doing something. I see a UPS truck drive up the road past our property and pause at our gate at the end of the driveway.
The gate has been shut lately because we have two cows, two calves, and two bulls (soon to be one bull) loose in the driveway area. Our "driveway" is actually the driveway plus the area immediately around the house, and is about half an acre in size. We've been keeping the cow/calf pairs here because the wooded area is so muddy the little calves would sink up to their bellies. And the bulls just like hanging around the cows and keep jumping fences to join their girls (fences, as you remember, are largely decorative).
Anyway, that's why the driveway gate has been shut. We have no desire to chase down assorted bovines running amuck on our neighbors' properties.
So the UPS driver stopped his truck, hopped out, opened the gate, and drove up to the house. No problem. He placed the package on the porch, turned his truck around, and departed.
And left the gate OPEN behind him.
I'm sorry, am I missing something here? Wasn't that gate CLOSED when you got here? Do you think it might have been closed for a REASON?
It's kind of like opening the front door to someone's house, dropping something inside, and leaving the front door open as you depart. HELLOOOO?
Don't get me wrong, I'm certain this UPS driver was busy. It can't be any fun for him to have to trundle up nearly two miles of unpaved pothole-y dirt road only to hassle with a gate on top of it all. I know UPS drivers are often stressed for time. I get all that.
But can you fathom the implications of leaving a gate open on a farm? Escaping livestock is no small deal. Thankfully we're well off the paved road, but escaping livestock have been known to get onto highways and cause fatal accidents. At the very least, it means spending anywhere from an hour to several days rounding up stray animals and shooing them where they're supposed to be - all because someone was too damned LAZY to spend an extra TEN SECONDS closing the damned GATE.
The first rule of country living, they say, is to LEAVE A GATE THE WAY YOU FOUND IT. If it's open, leave it open. And if it's closed, for God's sake LEAVE IT CLOSED.
If we hadn't been home - if the driver had delivered the package and then left, leaving the gate open behind him - our livestock would be out. Period.
As soon as I returned from walking the dogs (closing the yard GATE behind them), I hightailed it down the driveway and closed the driveway gate.
I'd add a snarky comment about "Where you born in a barn?" to this driver, but if he's been born in a barn it would imply that he'd been born on a farm, in which case he would already KNOW the importance of keeping closed gates closed.