It’s Tuesday and that’s Trash Day for my neighborhood. Actually, in the 10+ years I’ve been married, Tuesday has always been Trash Day and I’ve already lived in 4 different neighborhoods in two different countries. That certainly makes it easy to remember since it’s pretty much second nature now.
Anyway, as I was driving down the road I scanned the piles of stuff people had left out. There wasn’t much of interest, but something did catch my eye, and it would be hard to miss since someone had pulled a whole desk to the curb, along with an old orangish colored desk chair. If I wasn’t already running late for work, I probably would have pulled over and had a closer look at the chair (since my husband mentioned wanting another one awhile back). Instead I made a mental note to come back at lunch and cross my fingers it was still there.
Sadly, luck was not on my side today as it was gone, but the desk was still there. I thought about it momentarily, but decided it would be too difficult to try to fit it in my Ford Hatchback. Plus, I wasn’t entirely sure where I would put it anyway, so I left it. When I passed again on my way back to work it too was gone, so obviously someone else had eyed this treasure and decided to haul it away (it wasn’t the trash men since they hadn’t come yet).
I will have to make it a point to ride my bike around the neighborhood on Monday nights to scout out any treasures that might be set out the night before (in many cases they’re put out over the weekend). I guess I can understand people not wanting to take the time to try and sell things, or perhaps they did, and failed, so they’re then relinquished to the scrapheap.
If I can’t use an item myself and don’t know anyone else who can, I usually try to sell it on Craig’s List since that’s free. Otherwise, there’s always second hand stores in the area that take used furniture and other items, or charities too I suppose.
One of my favorite books when I was kid was called Dear Garbage Man (by Gene Zion). According to the Publisher’s Weekly summary, “A very childlike sensibility underlies this book about Stan, the new garbageman, who finds items that are just too good to throw away.” Basically, he ties the objects to the truck, finds them good homes, then later discovers they’re back on the curb because they were broken to begin with. He means well, but his heart overrules his head, which isn’t always a bad thing, and that may be the moral message here. At any rate, it’s a cute book. Maybe they should come out with a second edition where Stan takes the junk home to his artist wife who makes beautiful sculptures out of everything and then turns around and sells them to a public for a small fortune.
Speaking of turning trash into treasure, have you ever seen “The Junk Brothers” TV program? I’ve only ever seen it once, but for those who haven’t, there’s a set of brothers who go door to door under cover of darkness stealing treasures out of peoples’ trash. They then return to the scene of the crime a day or so later with something fabulous made out of them. In the episode I saw they turned an old dresser into a desk and a set of fireplace tools into, well, I can’t actually remember, but it was something a little more visually appealing. I only wish I had that time and talent!
For now, dumpster diving will have to be a hobby at best, and one I will have to be much quicker at if I hope to be more successful!