Just an excerpt from another 2012 column: (I still have him btw)
Anyone who has a family has found out, probably the hard way, that there are some things you should keep quiet about. All your little quirks and phobias. Never tell your children.
For example the whole garden gnome thing. Normal people are uncomfortable around clowns, fear and loath ticks with a passion, and dislike garden gnomes. Right?
I mean, how could you not get the creeps from the little creepers? Pointy hats, smug smiles like they were high on grape vines or worse; they are evil, I tell you, just evil.
And stupid me, I let my kids know that I hate ‘em. I spent hours playing the computer game, Super Granny, wherein you get to bash gnome after gnome after gnome.
I warned them (actually threatened them with grievous bodily harm) that they would be in trouble if my Mother’s Day gift ever involved an ugly little guy with a pointy red hat.
For years, decades even, my sensibilities were respected. No gnomes at Northview.
Then one day, not so very long ago, Hezekiah showed up. I suppose he is not quite as creepy as your average garden gnome. At least his hat is sort of dark blue with sparkles instead of glaring red.
I tried to be a good sport.
But then I opened the microwave at O’dark thirty one morning, and there he was, grinning slyly out at me. I must have jumped forty feet (quite a trick inside the kitchen.) He even had a little note suggesting that he likes cream and sugar in his coffee.
Got me once.
The next day, well before the old synapses had begun to fire, I opened the back door to let Nick out for a run. There he was, just at eye level, perched on the cross bar of the screen door.
Got me again.
Next he was snugged down in my Sunday chair, wearing safety glasses, still grinning like a goon.
Crouched on the edge of the stair landing, just where it turns, lord of the railings, the snarky little rat.
I tried to get even, put him in beds, set him on the steering wheel of the Blue Bomber, and more. Sadly, kids don’t possess the over-developed startle response of the rapidly becoming elderly. I never got much of a reaction.
However, when the kid got called back to work down in the Big Apple, I tucked Hezzie under his hard hat on the floor of the truck and figured that at least I wouldn’t see his ugly physiognomy for a while.
Hah! I opened Facebook this morning, hoping to get my personal version of the daily news. While the networks focus on politics, murder, mayhem and madness, my personal page features one friend with 11 new standard poodle puppies down in Florida, another selling cute baby chickens in Great Britain, and lots of birds, cats, dogs and local folks, all going about normal life. There are a lot of farmers and ranchers on Facebook too, and they do many interesting things every day.
And there he was, propped on the dashboard of a truck, speeding past Giant Stadium and whirling through China Town, enjoying the delightful scents of dozens of wonderful things cooking all around him. (I wonder if gnomes go on rumspringa.) He was tooling along in the gloomy rain, across the Brooklyn Bridge, past the Freedom Tower, and then he went to work.
He looked pretty silly in his hard hat, not much showing but his shoes. He couldn’t reach the controls on a single machine, so he was forced to stand around with his gnomey little hands in his gnomey little pockets, smug plastic smile unwavering, until they tossed him back in the truck.
Got me twenty more times and still counting.
Although I am glad that he has been lured away from humble Northview by the bright lights and big city, I shudder to think where he will turn up next. And thanks to cell phones and Facebook, I’m sure I will find out.