A porch with nothing on it

Was it just a matter of time? I’ve lived in my house in Bayou St. John for 12 years and had never had any trouble, other than some mild looting after Katrina (by the National Guard, I’m almost certain, since they took the aspirin, Advil, and Tylenol, and left the Vicodin and xanax). While others in the neighborhood reported tool-shed break-ins and yard burglaries, my house remained unvisited by crime.

Alas, no longer. Yesterday morning, around 6:30, I opened my front door to take out some trash and walked out onto a completely naked porch–the four large terra cotta planters that had sat outside the windows and next to the columns for years were gone, stolen in the night by a thief with a plan. The four pots would not fit in a car; with the tall plants they contained they probably wouldn’t make it into an SUV. The thief needed a pickup truck for the job, as well as an accomplice–the pots were too large for one person to lift.

This situation disturbs me on a number of levels. To begin with there’s the whole stealing concept, something I’ve never understood. You have it, I want it, I’m taking it. I just don’t get that.

Then there’s the brazenness of the act itself. Someone deliberately drove a truck to my house, in the middle of a densely-populated block, parked, walked up the steps onto my porch and, under my hundred-watt porch lights, carted off four large, heavy planters. Assuming there were two of them, they made four trips from the truck to the porch and back. That’s pretty bold.

But I guess most upsetting is that I’d had two of the plants, the  oleanders, for more than ten years; they were the first plants I got when I bought the house. They survived a month without water during my exile after the flood, only to be carted off by a pair of strangers. The thieves left the hanging plants, the flighty flowering vines I have to replace every year. They took the ones I’d miss the most.

A porch with nothing on it looks empty; mine, with four dark circles where the pots used to sit, looks bereft, and a bit shabby. Kind of like how I feel.

4 thoughts on “A porch with nothing on it

  1. okay, i just read this and… that totally sucks. so violating. did you know that i got broken into in Atl? they took an antique box and an elephant figurine deal i’d picked up in S. Africa. i hated that. you know, how you could never replace it. just like your plants and the time they spent soaking up the ambiance on the doorstep of your life. so sorry to hear to…

  2. I love your plants on your porch – they always look so happy there. But just like my Queen palm that fell onto my beautiful side porch – I took it as a personal affront and then I went into action and have now recreated that with a different look – five angel’s trumpets – all white – and some papaya trees. It’s all coming back. Let go of the attachment of what was there and now begin to reimagine what your front porch will look like. Since we began renting our house I developed the attitude that if someone “steals” from you – they need it more than you do. That helps me deal with letting go.

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