Don’t nick the gnome

We met three gnomes on a trip to Australia and invited one to spend the day with us rocking.

The little gnome was hanging out with two of his friends. This was around the time those Travelocity ads were all the rage. You remember the ones where the funny little gnome kept winding up in strange places around the globe?

Now you might think the smart folks at the on-line travel company created the wee guy from scratch, but prior to their ad campaign there was a group in France called the Garden Gnome Liberation Front. (I’m not making this up.) The idea was that people had the right to steal garden gnomes with no intention of returning them to their rightful owners. The mission was to free the gnomes and return them to the wild, where the GGLF believed they rightfully belonged.

I mention this because as I stood over that little patch of gnomes, I had a deep desire to pick the red-capped one up and take him with me. However, as a former Girl Scout and recovering Catholic, I shuddered at the thought of stealing, so instead I knocked on the door.

We were careful to keep the little guy safe, so we made sure he was buckled up.

At that time my sweetie pie and I were on a trek in Australia. We were on an outback expedition as part of the Australian Mineral Symposium, where we got to go mining with all sorts of cool rocking people: professors and miners and mineral enthusiasts, which for a rock collector like me was as close to heaven as I’ll probably ever get. (Did I mention I’m a recovering Catholic?)

When the woman who owned the small hotel where we were staying in Coolgardie opened the door, I asked if I could borrow the little guy for the day.

“It’s nice of ya’ ta ask,” she said in that lovely way Aussies speak. “Lot’s a people just nick ‘em and we never see ‘em again.”

“Oh, no! I promise I’ll bring him back,” I assured her.

We had a full day of rocking ahead. But, of course, we wanted to keep him safe, so we strapped him in a car seat and headed out into the wilderness.

It’s no wonder my gnome friend and I needed a nap after our long day rocking.

Turns out he was quite a good rocking gnome. He wandered around the tailings piles with us, and despite a small spill, he got right up and marched on. He helped me gather lots of lovely gaspeite, a rare bright green mineral the color of a Granny Smith apple.

After a long day of rocking—and an evening of drinking with Australians which takes much intestinal fortitude—I was pooped. My gnome and I needed some shut eye, though somehow he managed to sleep with his peepers open. Lucky for me my sweetie pie is not the jealous type.

The next day I said goodbye to my new friend and put him back with his buddies, so no one could accuse me of niking a gnome.

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Published by Liaison – A Next Chapter Imprint

Rebecca Quinn escapes her controlling husband and, with nowhere else to go, hops the red-eye to Arizona. There, Gaby Strand – her aunt’s college roommate – gives her shelter at the Salt River Inn, a 1930’s guesthouse located in the wildly beautiful Tonto National Forest.

Becca struggles with post-traumatic stress, but is enthralled by the splendor and fragility of the Sonoran Desert. The once aspiring artist meets Noah Tanner, a cattle rancher and beekeeper, Oscar Billingsley, a retired psychiatrist and avid birder, and a blacksmith named Walt. Thanks to her new friends and a small band of wild horses, Becca adjusts to life in the desert and rekindles her love of art.

Then, Becca’s husband tracks her down, forcing her to summon all her strength. But can she finally stop running away?

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2 thoughts on “Don’t nick the gnome

  1. vonniehughes says:

    We’re in Oz, and several years ago lived in a 50s+ community. Very would-be posh with loads of rules. One was NO GARDEN GNOMES. As soon as that rule came out in a newsletter, the place was flooded with gnomes all over gardens and lawns and patios – red ones, blue ones, small ones…you name it. Never piss off oldies with useless rules about gnomes.


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