Wednesday, August 5, 2009


What you are seeing above is one-half of a yard. The other half contains at least as many gee-gaws as this half.

I took the picture one morning on a little walk around our apartment complex, looking to see if most of the residents were in compliance with the most recent set of rules inflicted on us. (Well, that's not exactly true: the very most recent rule is that we could not use water from the outside spigots to water our flower beds and to insure that we didn't, they put caps or locks on the outside water faucets.) The rule pertaining to our yards was precise - no lattice work, only 2 flower pots on the porch, no roses, no vegetables, no decorations on our porch, no wreaths on the doors, no this, no that.

However, our management only makes rules. They do not enforce them except on a whim. So there are many buildings (12 apartments to a building) that have not had their water faucets capped. Why? Who knows. When the rules pertaining to what was permitted on the porches and yards went into effect, some people pulled all their non-conforming plants out, tossed away their extra potted plants, and took down their door wreaths. Others, such as the one in the picture above, didn't. And apparently management does not care.

But aside from all that, my teeth nearly fell out of my mouth when I saw what the tenant in this apartment thought was cute and appropriate. Once a week when the mowers come she must bring everything in; once they leave it goes out again. I am assuming the tenant is a "she" but it is always possible it is a "he." Nevertheless, and aside from whether management cares or not, I was dumbfounded when I saw the scope of this person's decorations. I've seen it at Christmas, and it changes to all manner of Christmas items - sleds, sleighs, elfs, presents, ornaments, reindeer, santas, dolls -- you think of it, there will be one there!

It made me think of when I had a interior decorator in to help me refurbish my living room many years ago. First thing she told me - and I've always remembered - is that she works on the "Keep it Simple, Stupid" theory -- that less is best. It is hard in a tiny apartment to think of "decorating" and definitely in my place now there is WAY too much. But it's not there for any decorative purpose; mostly it is there because we have no other place to put it and we're not ready to get rid of it yet.

So when you get right down to it, you can't question what some other person thinks is appropriate. It may look bizarre to you, but if it pleases the person, so be it!

1 comment:

pat said...

There are several yards in town that get decorated in the same way as that shown - maybe not as many items. The thought occurred to me the resident may be from Iowa! One house here is decorated entirely, house and yard, for every single holiday. Lights, animated items, the whole bit. Over time, I stopped thinking of it as freaky and now drive by to see what's been changed or added. Tolerance begats acceptance.