The Magnolia Thief

I love magnolias. They are my favorite flower, my favorite smell. They don’t bloom for long, but now is the sweet spot of the season, and trees all through the neighborhood are covered with them. They fit very nicely in a little two-flower vase we have in the kitchen.

The only problem is that we don’t have a magnolia tree. My grandparents had a huge, endlessly climbable one when I was growing up, and my best friend in elementary school had one in her backyard. We would climb the branches and break off the grenade-shaped buds, throwing them like bombs at each other and falling to the ground at the count of 10.

These days, no grenades. But my husband thought of a spectacular idea on our last anniversary–we dressed all in black and snuck out after dark, taking a pair of scissors with us. We skulked around snipping magnoliasoff other people’s trees–never more than one or two per tree–and came home with a stolen bouquet. We really know how to spice up an anniversary.

But that night was so enjoyable that I find myself sneaking magnolias everywhere now. There are so many of them, and so many trees in out-of-the-way spots where no one is appreciating them. So I’ll pluck one from the alley behind the grocery store, bring it home and pop it in the vase. Snap another one behind an ugly apartment building as I’m going for a run.  It’s addictive.

I hope my neighbors don’t read this.






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