Tuesday, May 31, 2011

a question of legality

It's not often I come to you with a question of: is this legal, and should I do it?

But today is your lucky day.

So there's a house a few doors down from us. (Side note: why do we describe houses as being "doors" down? What form of standardized measurement is that?) It's abandoned/foreclosed/vacant/not really sure, but no one lives there, it's empty, and when they left they took their CHAIN LINK FENCE with them. ??????. Right. It's in some state of being managed by a 3rd party, and it's been "winterized" according to the sticker on the door, which is really good since it might get down into the low 90s later this week. I'd hate for the pipes to freeze.

Anyway. Another slightly irrelevant side-note is that when people DID live there, which was up until a few months ago, they had 3 dogs that they kept outside in their chain link fence. The dogs barked All. The. Time. I mean, 24/7. I couldn't sleep through the night for the first 2 weeks I lived here because I wasn't accustomed to nonstop barking (and trains). Anyway, so even though I never really knew them, they really weren't my favorite neighbors ever. But like I said, that's irrelevant.

So the thing is, this vacant and abandoned house, apparently owned by ***** Home Finance and inhabited by no one...well, it has the most spectacular hydrangea bush the world has ever seen. I'm not even exaggerating. It is jaw-droppingly beautiful. The blooms are the deepest, purest navy blue/purple you have ever seen. Not a hint of white on them. I mean, this is THE hydrangea I will forever measure all other hydrangeas by. And there it is, growing right up next to the front porch, practically invisible to the road because of some trees...and the house is vacant.

You can see where I'm going, right??

Would it be completely immoral/illegal to say, snip a few of those gorgeous blooms and take them home to enjoy them in a vase?? I mean, let's be honest. NO ONE is appreciating them where they are. (Unless there are other creepy neighbors like me, who prowl around the yards of vacant homes, looking for pretty flowers....) (j/k, I wasn't prowling. I just have a sixth sense for hydrangeas.) (maybe I was prowling a little bit.) I'm not talking about digging up the whole bush or anything (unless you think that wouldn't be wrong. then I might consider it)...just a few of the blooms, from the bottom or the back where they wouldn't even be missed...because they would look SO FABULOUS in a mason jar on my mantle...right??

I mean...the homeowners aren't enjoying them. Obviously if they cared that much, like as much as they cared about their fence, they coulda dug up the bush and took it with 'em. I personally don't think the bank is really coming out every evening and sipping a glass of tea on the porch, taking in the breathtaking beauty right next to them. AND, the house isn't even for sale. Because if it were, I would argue that the hydrangeas add to the value of the home (I, for one, would pay a lot more for a house with a hydrangea like that.). But it's not, and so I don't think taking a few blooms would be like...vandalizing, or lowering the value of the property. 

So I need your help. Should I take a few? Could I get arrested? Is there a cop out there, reading this blog, wanting to weigh in? Perhaps a lawyer? Or someone who has had their home foreclosed on and left behind a beautiful hydrangea bush? Anyone? Bueller? 

(PS. I will go ahead and admit that I did *ahem* help beautify their property today by removing the weekly circular from their driveway. There may or may not have been a $5 Publix coupon inside I was after. The point is, now there is one less circular in the huge pile on their driveway. Yes, I am the best neighbor ever.)

(PPS. Remember, I had to listen to those stupid dogs ALL THE TIME. Don't they sorta OWE me a few lousy hydrangeas?)


  1. Take the darn flowers!!! I really thought you were going to ask to dig up the whole bush so I am just relieved right now.

  2. I also thought you were going to dig up the bush, so go ahead snip some flowers. But that is pretty tempting to just take the whole bush. Now- if it were on the back property and nobody would see you dig it up.. that's a different story!

  3. That makes 3 of us who thought you were headed in the direction of digging up the whole bush :) I don't think it's illegal or immoral, so I say go for it!

  4. Snip some blooms and enjoy their glory! If the home ever sells you can watch for the new owners cleaning up the property...maybe you can get your hands on that beauty!

  5. 1. We have a house around the corner that has also been "winterized" and I thought the same thing.
    2. We also have a neighbor with not three, but FOUR dogs, who, up until recently, left them all outside 24/7 as well!
    4. We also live near a train.
    5. I think it's totally ok to snip a flower here or there.
    6. Do you watch that Extreme Couponing show? Because they totally do the same thing (take the newspapers from vacant houses)- you should be on the show :)

  6. LOL I am with those who thought you were thinking of yanking the whole bush and I was going to be like, "No, Erika, that's theft," but a few blooms is NOTHING! Snip away!

  7. I guess I like to live on the edge, but I was going to tell you to go for the whole bush and don't look back! So obviously, you should have fresh cut flowers on your mantle every week if you want them:)

  8. Take the flowers!!! Also, what is our house looking like? Is the yard neat and clean? Were the "unfavorite" neighbors on the other culdesac?

  9. Here's the irony - you're concerned about taking flowers which will grow back, but not about taking mail which is technically illegal for real. ;) Clips some stems and maybe if you put them in the ground, they'll grow new bushes for you!


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