It was probably in mid-January when we first noticed the gnome had moved in.
There’s a sycamore tree in our front yard, facing the street, that has a hollow in the base. And one day, as we were leaving the house and drove past it, we noticed:
There was a gnome living there.
When we got back, we checked it out: a one-of-a-kind, handmade ceremic gnome with a red pointed cap had taken residence in the hollow of our tree. There was even a sign set up: “Gnome Haus” it said.
And an American flag.
We had no idea who would have set done such a thing, but figured it was one of our friends or neighbors and they would eventually tell us.
They'd say: “What do you think of the gnome?” Or, “How do you like my gnome?” The Gnomemaker would reveal themselves soon enough, we thought.
It's been almost a year. Hasn't happened. We’re still waiting.
On St. Patrick's Day, the gnome redecorated the hollow: shamrocks and leprechauns.
On Easter, bunny rabbits sprouted in the Gnomehaus.
On every holiday, the gnome festively redecorates: Mayday. Cinco de Mayo. Independence Day. Labor Day. Halloween. Thanksgiving.
The gnome always has greetings for our youngest children: “Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Rosie and Jack,” for example. (Only his name isn’t Jack, it’s Jake, so it was someone who knew us, but not that well! Sometime after Easter, the gnome finally got the name right.)
We have no idea who is helping the gnome with his décor, although once the kids put up a “Thank you” sign and received a “Welcome to the Gnome Haus” back from someone who signed themslves “The Gnomemaker and friend.”
And it’s gone on like this all year, at evey major holiday. We’ve never seen the Gnomemaker do their work. We're not sure who it is, although we have some suspicions.
So this remains an unsolved mystery. But we kinda don’t want to find out, either. Some mysteries are better left unsolved.
1. The gnome in situ, as we first found it.
2. The bottom of the gnome, inscribed "Rosie and Jack."
3. St. Patrick's Day.
5. May Day
6. Cinco de Mayo
7. Independence Day
8. Back to School/Labor Day
11. The Gnomemaker and friend's enigmatic sign.