Got a call from my mother's old neighbor last night. Mom's land is leased, but the house is empty right now, at least it's supposed to be. Per the neighbor it looks like someone might be staying there. It's a 2 1/2 hour drive from here so I won't be able to go check it out until the weekend. Last time L called me like this it was because someone started building a house on property I own. Straightening that out was just lovely.
L also said they have been having a few problems. It's a very rural area in the valley where the Ozarks end and the Ouachitas begin with lots of lakes and streams, woods for camping and several empty houses. L says that someone has broken into a storage shed on her property, stolen vegetables out of her garden (carelessly, which is what she finds really annoying), and her 89 y/o MIL who lives across the road from her is now afraid to be out after twilight as she smelled cigarette smoke when out watering her garden. She just isn't sure she's out there alone anymore.
Since everyone there is on acreage (L lives at the back of a 300 acre plot, Mom's place is her nearest neighbor and is a large amount of land, and L's MIL is the same with the house centered on the land) there are no near neighbors to hear cries for help. Not many neighbors at all anymore.
They are both sweet little old widowed ladies who would not hesitate to shoot someone who presented a danger dead, dead, dead, but they don't move very fast and that's worrisome.
L's MIL said it reminds her of the Great Depression where this sometimes happened, but usually hungry people knocked on the door hoping for a meal. If anyone were to do that either one of these ladies would be quite happy to feed them a good warm meal (outside, of course) but scaring them like this is just wrong.
Times are hard and looking to get harder. There are likely be more tales like this soon from all over.