Today’s homeowner topic is exterior decorating.
The land around your home is the perfect place to show off your horrible taste without actually having to invite people into your house to see your Hummel collection. It is where you can display much larger awful things than will fit indoors, things that will soon become weather-worn and bird-pooped so that your front lawn will take on the rich patina of an abandoned property.
When we purchased this house, the people we bought from offered to sell us their statuary (the word they used), and we politely declined, because it was really ugly, and may have been cat-oriented (we can’t exactly remember). They also had an elaborate outdoor closed-circuit camera set-up they wanted to sell.* I think they were a bit paranoid, and they might have thought someone would try to steal the statues. Considering our dealings with the people, I would think the statues were more likely to try to escape. Or enter the house one night and kill them.
In the end, the sellers took all their outdoor stuff with them. They moved to a rental, so I don’t know what they did with everything. They may be living in a very crowded, but well-protected, apartment.
The exterior decorating lesson to be learned from this story is that if you have enough statues on your property to be able to refer to it as your “statuary,” then you have too many statues on your property.
There’s a house in town that has a front yard about the size of a handicapped parking spot, and the owners decorate it for every holiday. I don’t mean the usual ones like Christmas and Halloween. I mean Valentines Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Presidents Day—every holiday. And they use gigantic inflatable ornaments to completely fill the space. Where does a person even go to purchase a huge inflatable Abe Lincoln head? You can bet that if I lived across the street, I would learn how to shoot a bow and arrow.
I don’t know why people feel the need to junk up their lawns with all matter of sculptures, fountains, bridges, birdbaths, flamingoes, racial stereotypes (remember lawn jockeys?), and other stuff. I mean, two or three things are all right, but once you add that garden troll, it’s a slippery slope to having a wheel-less 1972 Chevy on milk boxes decorating your driveway and Cousin Elmer sitting on your front porch with a corncob pipe and a banjo.
We have two things on our front lawn. One is a metal rooster that my wife Barbara bought at a flea market. It used to sit in the doorway, but its comb is sharp, and people were always getting their clothes caught on it.** So we moved it out of the doorway. We also have an interesting sculpture of a dog that looks vaguely like our Sheltie Toby. We have it sitting facing the house, but from the bottom of our hill, it looks like a large wolf is watching over us.
But that’s all we have on our lawn. Well, except the large copper thing that Barbara bought to keep the hose in. But then she also purchased a reel to keep the hose on, so now the copper thing is just sitting out there for no apparent reason and the hose reel is sitting in front of our house looking like it might reach out and trip anyone who goes by.
And of course we also have a bunch of reflector poles. Oh, yeah, and the solar walkway lights. But that’s it.
And we do not have an Uncle Elmer.***
See you soon.
*They also wanted to sell us their patio furniture for $4,100, which I’m glad we didn’t buy, since we’ve used our own $299 set of patio furniture exactly three times since we’ve moved in.
** Okay, by “people,” I mean me.
***We do have a cousin Robbie, but he doesn’t play the banjo.