Last night really was a perfect summer evening in Seattle. It was the kind of warm soft evening that encourages us to spend as much time outdoors as possible before the long gray clouds descend once more.
Lazing in that idyll with a neighbor I was startled to see a man and woman pick a bunch of flowers from the traffic circle that we maintain. Now, this isn’t a complete surprise as each spring we catch a few people harvesting the daffodils when they bloom.
What did surprise me is that the couple felt quite entitled to pick flowers from neighbors yards too, as they walked back to a house on 20th Ave E.
This year we’ve noticed that people have been picking flowers from our yard also, leaving behind bare and mangled plants in their wake and robbing us of the pleasure of their blooms just as they are reaching their peak
After this latest incident we sighed, set aside our disappointment and watched the setting sun. Only thirty minutes later I went inside and, as I looked out at the street, I spotted two women and a man in the traffic circle. The two women had scissors or shears and were cutting themselves some pretty summer flowers.
The same flowers that come from plants that other people buy, water and care of (not the city) to make our neighborhood beautiful. Not their house or table.
Is there any reality where this isn’t considered stealing?
Unable to contain myself this time, I called out to them and explained that the traffic circle is planted and cared for by the neighborhood. They apologized and claimed “We didn’t know” and walked away towards 23rd Ave E.
Apparently stealing something is fine provided you don’t know or care who owns it.
It’s getting so disheartening and dangerous to tend neighborhood traffic circles these days that it’s a wonder anyone still does it. On Thursday last week an elderly man was assaulted and killed after an altercation while he was trying to water the traffic circle near his home in Rainier Beach. Pointless and tragic.
Those responsible for his death must go to jail for a long time. I’m hoping that the Irony Fairy will intervene and see that they are tasked with maintaining the prison gardens and grounds.
As for our local miscreants, we’ve been trying to think of a positive way to get them to stop stealing neighborhood flowers. The favorite so far is sending them a few packets of flower seeds and a note encouraging them to grow their own next year.