A Planter? Are You Serious?
In the May issue of Richmond magazine, my mother, Pat Kite, wrote an essay on downsizing from her West End home of 34 years to move into a condo in the city. I know there’s no preparing someone for the challenges that sometimes come with urban living — not that there weren’t occasional challenges in her old neighborhood, from vandalized cars to more than a few domestic disputes — but I’m finding that I’m the one who’s shocked at what her block throws her way.
In addition to dealing with a condo association, loud traffic, VCU parties and people using her sidewalk as a bathroom, there’s senseless vandalism and theft to boot. A week before my mom moved in, a planter was stolen off the front porch. I’m not talking about a flimsy window box. I’m talking about a concrete urn filled with dirt that supposedly took two or three men to hoist into place. Well, my mom, who’s not one to back down from a fight, bought a cheaper plastic urn last week. She put it on the porch, which is not at street level, and before my husband could come by with epoxy to seal it to the porch, someone stole it — in the middle of the afternoon while she was at work.
Aside from some of the annoyances, my mom's pretty happy with the move: She likes her new home and her neighbors, and saving gas money by walking to work is a definite bonus.
But this time she's backing down: No more planters for the condo (though she did file a police report). So if you happen to see someone walking around toting a $200 planter filled with an ivy topiary and petunias, give me a call.