The Notable Portable

Posted on May 20 2015 - 6:02am by Garret Stembridge












If you’ve ever found yourself in Southern Florida, you’re well aware that there truly is a place for everything. And by everything, we mean every-little-thing. Despite one of the arguably most beautiful natural landscapes, dotted with swaying palms and crystal beaches, some of the local population has taken decorating into their own hands. Silk flowers adorn fertile garden beds, flamingos grace lawns, and the occasional plastic Bambi, who has strayed just a little from her natural habitat, frolics gayly in the front yard.

In many neighborhoods across the United States, “front yard adornment,” which we affectionately will refer to as FYA, is looked down upon. Kids jumping on trampolines is adorable. But when that trampoline has inched its way into the front yard, suddenly the mystery of kid-dom is nearly entirely lost on the incensed neighbors. Not to mention other inappropriate FYA, including, but not limited to: candy-striped swing sets that shift back and forth as the child swings, old Broncos waiting for their fix date, dog houses, play houses. You get the picture.

Well, good fences make good neighbors, as the saying goes. So as long as your fence is blocking the view of the clothesline, dandelions, pile of wood and creepy old playground sets, you can do as you please.

There is, however, one exception to this widely accepted, but mostly unspoken, rule. That exception: storage containers.

From the lowest- to the highest-income neighborhoods, large wooden or metal boxes, plastered with corporate logos, are set proudly in front of the home, beckoning to neighbors (and thieves??) that this house is so full of stuff, we actually need a port-a-box to hold it all.

So, let’s get this straight. 3’ pink flamingos: NO! 12’x 8’x 8’ boxes with large logos: YES!

We know what you’re thinking; “That can’t possibly be right. It doesn’t make sense.”

Case in point:

It’s commonly known that home owners’ associations could be considered public enemy number one for FYA. Homeowners have been rebuked, and even punished (okay, okay; “fined”) for much less than a plastic flamingo.

According, one 90-year-old World War II veteran was told to remove his “unapproved” flag pole from his front yard. This man, no stranger to confrontation, had single-handedly taken on three Nazi tanks, received a medal of Honor and ultimately got support from the Obama administration. The HOA finally conceded; the stars and stripes were allowed to stay.

Many HOAs, however, allow for storage containers in front of homes or condos.

So go ahead, fly Old Glory. Just make sure it’s safely hidden within the walls of a storage container.


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