Sunday, June 20, 2010

Hero retrieves lost “Art”

Last year we had a problem with vandals taking our garden art from the front garden. They never destroyed the garden itself, but once dumped a whole yard waste bag full of pine needles in the bubbling rock. To clean it out we had to remove the grate and hand scoop the debris which we could reach out of the basin.  I was afraid that the pump would stop working and it did later on in the year.
Once they overturned the baskets of flowers placed in the garden, dumped the plants upside down and took away the wire baskets.   We took to using construction cement to glue whatever we put out to the rockery.  One day I lost an astrolabe I particularly liked.  I awoke in the morning and found a street sign on a 12 ft pressure treated lumber pole abandoned in my front garden, and my astrolabe missing.  I walked up and down the street assuming that my property had been abandoned further up the street.  It is not a light piece.  I had glued the metal astrolabe to a concrete plinth to create a structure and had placed this ‘one of a kind’ piece in my garden.  So is it definitely something I would recognize if I saw it again.
Worried about this ‘rash’ of thefts, I took to leaping out of bed in the middle of the night and looking out the window if I heard loud voices in the street. The family discussed at dinner, what we could do to prevent further loss.  One of my sons suggested wiring structures with an electric shock.  While we appreciated the suggestion, we reminded him we didn’t want to kill anyone, just discourage vandals.  It seemed to me that whoever was doing it was ‘wasted’ on drugs or liquor. The Sons guffawed at this, accusing me of stereotyped fears of ‘teenagers high on drugs’. We also discussed putting a video security camera, which my Computer Engineer said I could link to my computer, to store pictures taken every two minutes to identify the culprit. However, we weren’t losing gold bricks and no suggestion seemed elegantly simple enough.  I just put out cheaper stuff I would not mind losing.
This year I was walking down the street and I saw a sign on someone’s front lawn which said “Someone took our garden art” It showed a picture of a frolicking lamb and said that two plastic lambs were taken from the front garden and would the person please return them. It made me feel better to think our home wasn’t the only targeted one in the neighbourhood.  I t reminded me of a rash of thefts in rural Ontario 20 years ago,  where people kept taking garden art from people’s lawns such as Snow White and the 7 dwarfs and pink flamingos. Then the thieves sent ransom notes to the owners with pictures of the flamingos with their heads in the toilet. I remember laughing heartily at the time.  ( I must admit I found some vintage pink flamingos last year and put them by my pond in the back. I quite like them.  They always make me smile.) With my own thefts, I never stopped scanning lawns in my neighbourhood in case my garden art turned up.
Imagine my surprise when I saw my astrolabe in my neighbour’s garden this year!  Twice I knocked on her door to enquire about them, but no one was home.  Finally the Handyman went over one day and came back with the astrolabes.  My hero! He said that the neighbours said that the astrolabe just turned up in their garden a few days ago. The husband didn’t like it, but didn’t say anything because he thought that his wife had bought it.  The wife didn’t like it, but didn’t say anything because she thought her husband had made it in his garage workshop. Needless to say, they were happy to return it to us!
You decide if it is ‘likeable’ or not.