Charlene’s Exterior Design

There’s nothing cheaper and more cheerful than having a neighbour who imagines charming seasonal decorations, executes them with originality and charm, and pulls all eyes from her neighbor’s house – the one with the overgrown garden and the peeling paint.

You’ve heard me write about the Simpsons. BigDale,Viet Nam marine, career cop and now the dude who cools the ring at Fermilab – Cerne needed him, bad. Little Dale, Warrenville’s own Indiana Jones, is now between Machu Picchu  and Easter Island. The gorgeous Christina, mother and florist. Then there’s Charlene, my confidante of what, Char? Thirty years in August?

Char, Big Dale’s “Bohunk Accountant,” a thrifty smart Bohemian girl. Char, the interior decorator, who’s done so much more with her house than we ever could. She keeps a freaking spotless house. She’s been my catsitter since before Lady Gaga was born. We can be holed up in wintry weather, then meet up at the mailbox and catch up. Big time.

She decorates the outside of her house for every holiday – Flag Day, Valentines Day, Christmas, She caught little girls cutting the plastic eggs off her shrubs this Easter, and they had no defense except “They so pretty.” Charlene tapped her invisible store of seasonal; stuff and handed the little girls a few eggs of their own, They returned the pilfered eggs.

Char is in 4th of July mode. You can’t see the other spread of bunting from this pic, on the north side of the fence, but I adore it. I notice a brand  new flag. And I love the details on the front porch. That’s what I love about her seasonal decorating: even at Christmastime, the real goodies are on the front porch to delight me, other friends and the UPS man.

When I ask where she picks up her props she says something like “Flea Market.” Or “Five for a dollar at TJMaxx.”  It’s weird – I never see her tying all those Easter eggs to her shrubs, or hanging the fresh bunting or running up a new flag – it always happens like magic.

 

Now for a few pix:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This tin basket is reimagined every other week, it seems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This stands to the right of the front door. I mean, where does she find this stuff?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patriotic cushions, patriotic kitty.

Thanks, Charlene for treating your neighbors with your charming, original decorations. I think you should go into business.

Um, here’s our pitiful, overgrown weedy take on the red white and blue:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So thank you, Char: you’re the ‘Ville’s Martha Simpson.

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2 Comments

Filed under Free, History, Holidays, Home, How Cool is That?, On the Street Where I Live, The 'Ville

2 responses to “Charlene’s Exterior Design

  1. You and Kim just have the most INTERESTING friends! I love looking out or across at the neatly-kept lawns (the same guys do ours, but cutting the grass just doesn’t magically add all the charm that the neighborhood sports).

    And friends of such varied, unusual talents are above rubies–even nuclear scientists are in more supply than good, reliable cat-sitters. Speaking of which (sorta) my feet are being bombarded by the rolling, tumbling scamper of the two cousin-dogs—FuzzyPup is joined today by our other GrandDog, Mattie, whose folks are out of town.

    Sis is still sleeping, and SweetPea is immersed in her dollhouse , with newly acquired forty-acres, fencing included, and a menagerie of primary-color animals which include an elephant and a yak—we’re shaping up to be quite a day.

    I’ve never heard of Martha Simpson—is she local?

  2. kim shook

    I want a neighbor like that. Ours think we’re weird. I can tell. Well…we might be at that. Weird’s ok. We’re fun.

    I hope that Char’s decorations become a regular feature. She’s seems to indicate that they are cheap and they are certainly cheerful!

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