In the late 1800’s, the first garden gnomes were being produced in Germany. As one would expect, the world wars took their toll on the production of these little fellows in Germany.
However, they began to start coming out from under rocks and popping their heads out of holes again in the 1960’s in a more cartoonish plastic form. Other countries got in on the gnome breeding and seemed to kind of ruin the bloodline with plastic version.
Why put gnome in the garden or in a flower bed?
Well, gnomes were originally thought to bring good luck and possibly bring protection to things like buried treasure or a moonshine stock that had been hidden underground. This tradition has continued with folks using them to watch over lawns, crops, barns, and livestock and most importantly cause consternation with homeowners associations.
That is where I come in…
Do I have gnomes in my yard? No, I have voles in my yard. The voles live in the dirt and dig trenches throughout my lawn like it is some sort of vole resort or vacation destination.
However, I do have a very active homeowners association that employs at least one person who is responsible for doing nothing but driving around looking for pink flamingos, statues of angels, party balloons, tomato plants being grown in the ground and signs that do not say “For Sale” or “Building Permit.”
With another daughter going off to college, I will admit to leaving the numbers “2014” in my yard for about a week when this daughter was graduating high school. A few weeks later at her college freshman orientation, I picked up a sign noting where my daughter would be going to college in the fall. The parents group was passing them out; I decided I needed one.
It has been in the yard for three weeks, maybe four. I got this nice email from the person responsible for catching folks like me. Somewhere in the nice email, it said, “Signs of any kind are not allowed to be displayed to the public view within the neighborhood except “For Sale” signs and “Builder” signs.”
The email was nice in tone and the lady was just doing her job. Honestly, I thought it was a bit humorous. The way I figure it, she has a quota to meet and getting rid of an orange sign in someone’s yard probably will go a long way in verifying that she is doing her job.
After a quick trip around my street, I did note there were other folks in violation of the rules, but I would never turn them in. What am I supposed to do? Call them up and turn in the “angel statue.” What would God think about me? I like the angel statue…
What about the lady with three different college “yard flags?” Not a chance, I love that family and every time I ride by their house, it makes me proud. It makes me proud because I know the story behind how that family got here.
What about the house with the orange shutters? No way… the man who lived there has long since passed away, but I spent many an afternoon talking to him and his dog in the street. Those orange shutters and that house out of the 70’s make me think of him.
One fellow seems to have a sign in his yard noting the “name” of his house. I’ve never really thought about naming my house, but I might give it some thought.
What about the fellow with a full fledge garden in his backyard? There is not a chance I would turn him in – he gives me green tomatoes and there are not many things I enjoy more than fried green tomatoes.
So, the way I figure it, I’m taking one for the team or least for my street. By taking my orange sign down, I’ve probably saved a few garden gnomes, an angel and a very large complicated grill/cooking contraption that quite possibly could be a moonshine still.
Maybe, I will name my house, “Hughie” after the major league baseball career leader in being hit by a pitch. Not only is Hughie Jennings the record holder in getting plunked, but had his skull fractured three times by pitches. The most serious incident saw a pitch knock him unconscious for four days in 1897 (about the time they started mass producing garden gnomes).
Therefore, I’m taking one for the team and the gnomes….
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