There is a house in our neighborhood where some dear friends used to live. They were retired farmers and they kept and cared for both vegetable and flower gardens. Sadly, several years ago their health failed and they moved to an assisted living facility.
Their home has become student housing. The renters come and go and the gardens are not maintained.
I walk by there often and I see how the weeds have grown up
and choked out all but the most persistent flowers.
One evening last spring I took my shovel and a bucket, and quietly dug up a portion of the white windflowers that were struggling to survive among the dandelions and elm tree seedlings. They were “relocated” to my own flower garden.
My rescued plants came up this spring and are proudly blooming. I justify my bandit actions by telling myself that even if the flowers in my friends’ garden don’t survive at least there will be a memorial for them in my own yard.
Six or seven years ago our city began decorating for Christmas by stringing lights in the trees along
Main Street. The holiday display is attractive and sparkly. Some other businesses in the downtown area followed suit and decorated their trees in the same way.
The strings of lights stay in the trees year-round. Late in the fall the city checks theirs to make sure they are in working order. A few years ago all the strands were replaced with bigger lights on new wires. Not so one of the businesses. After the first winter the lights were not maintained, but the wires were left in the three trees growing along the street.
Over time those trees have grown and the wires began to slice into the bark. This was one time I hoped a product would wear out and rot. But it was not to be.
One gray morning I took cutters to the wires and removed the strands as far up the trunks as I could reach. As I continued on my walk I could almost hear the trees sigh in relief as they were released from their bonds.
I hoped the remaining strings of lights would loosen and fall off.
But still they hang in there.
I’m not real good at confrontation so I won’t be going to the over-worked and under-staffed guy employees of the business to demand they free the trees. But I get a little satisfaction from my own actions of liberation.