looking forward to earth day 2029

23 04 2009


I didn’t quite know at the outset how the day would play out – but with promise of sunshine, temps in the 60ºs and fluffy white clouds in the blue sky – I was hopeful.  After all it was Earth Day.  Then again, any time I’m at her house I’m already thinking of how to save the planet, my sanity and whatever bit of cosmic juju I can muster as I battle the forces of junk.  There has to be a great role-playing video game in here somewhere.  Or maybe a new reality show.

Nonetheless, I was on the road early because I knew that my first challenge was the “big brown bin”.  I’ve spoken before about how I have tempted the gods of garbage as I switched trash haulers on her after years and years and years with some other company who’s prices went up as fast as the cable company’s.  By 10 p.m. the night before, I knew I was doomed since I hadn’t reminded her to take the thing out and put it curbside. So I was racing the clock, trying to get there before the truck came by to make sure that they took away last week’s “gathering” of landfill gorge.

It really is (and I’m not kidding here) a struggle to know what to put where.  In my mind’s eye I find myself wandering over the steaming piles of garbage and stumbling on things I recognize that I put there.

But I also know that it isn’t fair to give real junk to Goodwill. Yesterday they were graced again with various and sundry goodies…old books (that I had to convince her she had never read or would never read), the vintage DA-LITE projector screen we used to pull out to watch home movies (she cocked her head to one side), a contractor’s bag filled with things she couldn’t see and an old suitcase (“But what if…?”  “Mom, it doesn’t have wheels on it!!”  “Oh…”).

She was feeling especially proud that she’d cleared off the desk in Billy’s room and I was secretly panicked that she’d tossed some precious stash (but I think I had hidden all the good stuff).  In another corner of the room beside where he slept, is her sewing machine.

I never had a store bought prom dress.  We even came up with a design for my wedding dress that she made.  Maybe on a few occasions in the last 30 plus years has she hauled it out.  She hated all the “mess” that Billy had stored underneath – transistor radios out the wazoo, a half a dozen flashlights, a space blanket and lots of empty padded envelopes, old greeting cards – I can’t go on…you get the picture.

So that was my main focus for the day.  Lo and behold – the majority of the bulk was remants of fabric.  I started making a pile.  I have already memorized the city’s recycling brochure and had noted places that took donations of handiwork and the like.  They were going to be so “blessed” today with my haul!

When I had it all assembled, I asked her to just eyeball it before I took it out to the car.  The earth shifted…it got very very quiet…we were in a freeze frame.  She gave me a look that screamed “Oh no you DON’T young lady!!!”

I had crossed a line that I recognized.  I’ve been here before with Billy many many times…that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing now and never got it done then.  Out of the pile of “dreams” – there was only one little scrap of material that she was ready to be done with.  Even when I was mouthing the words “When on EARTH are you EVER going to get your SEWING MACHINE out again?”…she was hearing “You USED to DO this but you CAN’T ANYMORE so let’s just TOSS out any hopes that you had!!”

If I’ve learned anything through this process it is that we, as human animals, get alot of our identity from things we once did or dream about doing someday.  A box of fabric scraps – as much as I’d like to see them in someone’s hands today that will do something with them – are intricately tied to her self-worth and dignity – who she was, the contribution she made and how she still “feels” on the inside.

Billy is gone but she is not.  She needs to move through HIS STUFF now but I had better beware applying the same principles to her for the time being.  This is one tightrope I’m walking and I don’t want another misstep.  I packed up a box-worth of odds and ends and put it back in the bottom of the closet…it was no longer under the sewing machine – just re-located…she was happy.  Yikes!

I turned my attention to something I knew was a safe zone  – a box full of batteries.  Since they have yet to invent some way of just visually determining whatever power they have left – I needed a battery tester I could read.  Billy, being the Mr. Fixit guy he was, had the REAL deal there but I am too dumb to figure out which red wire goes to where when the black wire is touched to the bottom, etc.   So I went and got a gizmo I could handle and started in.

The guy at the store even gave me a hand full of plastic bags and asked me to only put three per bag which helps him out with the recycle process.  So my Earth Day adventure consisted of 1 bag to the “Big Brown Bin” for next Wednesday morning’s haul, a car full to Goodwill and this nice little cache of batteries to recycle.

I had planned on staying over night and getting more done…but I felt that it was imperative to restore the necessary chi and harmony in the universe for me to high tail it north so I could sit and be surrounded by MY STUFF and laugh at what is in store for Shop Girl and Best Boy – Earth Day 2029.

a squirrely day

21 01 2009

Decidedly, 3 a.m. is too early to get up so I laid there for about an hour before I couldn’t take it any more.  It must have been the fact that I knew I had a 7:30 a.m. appointment to meet someone for coffee.  That is just too much on my mind now that when I’m here in the north – I don’t HAVE to go to work or be anywhere for that matter.  So anything on the schedule is a big deal.  

After coffee, I had some errands to run – stupid little things that I had to go to a bunch of different parts of town to do.  Then there was lunch – something half way decent for the Dr. since he leaves tomorrow for the better part of a month. He’ll not be encountering any spanish tortilla where he is going.  So we do certain comfort foods before and after these trips.  It only makes sense.

I was “reclined” on the couch, checking email and thinking about a nap, when I heard a racket on the front porch.  I ignored it at first but with such persistence I thought maybe someone was stealing half the plastic furniture (no big deal, I might add).  

With MLK day on Monday, we thought that our garbage day would be off by a day. We are the only idiots in the neighborhood and wouldn’t you know it – it was a recycling day too.  You’d be surprised at the amount of stuff we can accumulate on a bi-weekly basis.  But we missed it.  Now I know there was a greater purpose to be served.

img_3810A brown bushy tailed squirrel had helped himself to the Planter’s peanut container that had been in the recycle bin.  He was dragging it across the porch and when it would fall out of his teeth it would clatter around the porch.

img_38074I got the mouser involved to watch the fun.  (note: the can is under the chair in the middle and the squirrel is back up on the wall).

The squirrel very adeptly started chewing off the blue plastic snap-on lid and once there was a big enough hole…I knew where this was going…in went his head and it got stuck.  He jumped off the porch wall, head stuck inside the can and shook it off.  Kitty and I were laughing hysterically by then.  Well, at least her tail was beating up a storm.


Next the clever rodent jumped back up on the wall holding the can in its mouth, only to continue the leap to the pine tree.  Once in the tree, he started climbing…till it all started to slip and he was hanging by this back feet.  



img_38203They both had a soft landing in the snowy yard so there was no harm done.  I’ll have to go check to see if the squirrel just gave up on the bounty or if it is over on the neighbor’s roof which is a mid-way landing spot between big oak trees.

I’m quite sure that there was nothing left in there to eat.  I have half a mind to just find some nuts and toss them on the porch as a peace offering.  That was a lot of hard work for no reward.

baby steps

19 11 2008

img_3938I just had a panic attack.  When I got here yesterday, I noticed that the power cord to my computer was being wonky.  The battery was on a recall list a couple of years ago and when they sent me a new one, it never really has been a battery I could use for any length of time.  If I get unplugged, I am seconds away from being advised that I am about to go on reserve power and everything risks being lost.  Whatever.  

So this morning, sitting where I am NOT within 15 minutes of my friendly neighborhood Apple Store, I couldn’t get the plug to light up and tell me it was connected in the way I need it connected.  But fortunately, I am my father’s daughter (somewhat) and decide to check the other little connects down the cord and maybe just maybe if I hold my mouth just right, I might have found the culprit.  I cannot be here for four days this week with no computer.  It would have been worth the tank of gas and a four hour road trip to head back to GR to buy a new cord.  That would have been easier than downtown Chicago, but I’m safe, at least for this post.

As difficult as knowing whether or not our economy is officially in a recession,  I think I’m in the anger part of the grieving process.  I’m not, however, expressing it in a typical fashion that would have me saying, “Billy, why’d you leave us?,” but it’s coming out more in a phrase resembling, “Billy WHAT the FAT!”  When I was here last week attending to things that are important to the Mrs. (like outdoor Christmas lights…), I got woefully behind in the steady paced progress I would like to make on the other fronts.  

My mantra is “one bag at a time”.  One bag of garbage – one recycle bin full to the top with “unnecessary plastic items” – (to quote Nanci Griffith in her reference to things you could only buy at Woolworth’s). My goal each week is to make sure her garbage bin is full to overflowing. Baby step cleaning.  Baby step digging.  Baby step sorting. Eventually we’ll all see the progress but it won’t be an overnight thing.

Last night I took aggressive action against empty boxes piled in the basement.  Tiny little ring boxes, a shiny red box hidden inside a plastic bag to keep it shinier, a huge box from a snow blower that is now living in Cincinnati – boxes of all shapes and sizes.  These boxes once served some purpose and were waiting their next assignment.  Well, I’m sorry to say – their next assignment is to become brand new boxes after they spend some time at the “rehab” center, spa soaking and getting roller massaged.  

As I was slashing my way through the mess, I devised a little contest.  The oldest box prize went to one from gas regulators – addressed to NIPSCO on 15th Ave in Gary.  OK – even if he brought that box home on the day he retired (1983) it would have been a mere twenty-five years old. Twenty-five years of mold from a damp basement…I think I’ll have bronchitis in a week or so. The smallest – went to one of those ring boxes.  There were two and I gave the prize to the silver and white striped one because it was cuter.  The sturdiest box award went to a Bonita banana box which could have served as its very own boat from Bogota it was so strong.  

Anyway – in preparation for this chore I bought myself a serious…a really serious, box-cutter last week, knowing I’d have to attack that space sometime.  It is so serious that it doesn’t even have a retractable blade.  It just juts out there screaming danger to all who come near.  

I’ve had some box-cutter experience at the boutique where Shop Girl hangs out. It is shameful to see how much packaging goes into sending things to stores but at least the stuff gets recycled. One day last winter when I was still working at the hospital and was on my way to interpret for a therapy session, I decided to make a quick stop to say “hi”.  There were boxes to break down and I just love the feel of a weapon in my hand so I made use of my time and got busy.  Ohhh, I could just hear my dad’s voice in my head that I was doing something wrong when before I knew it I had cut across my thigh – slicing open my black cords and just nicking my skin.  Yikes.  That would have been hard to explain in the emergency room being an adult over the age of 50 and all.

Well in my haste last night (or anger? or frustration? or glee that these boxes are going to stop harboring mold and mildew?)…I now have two half-inch slits in my jeans…and one little tiny scratch on my thigh.  Oh Billy’s voice is screaming at me for being so stupid.  He’s yelling as only he yelled…not with terrible words…just those kind that are really recriminating.  Like “only a knuckle head would…”

There were so many boxes cut up and ready for recycling that I couldn’t even take them out to the curb.  I don’t need to give the neighbor anything more to talk about.  They come up with things on their own.  So I will load them into my car, along with bags of leaves for the city compost site and take a little drive.  Besides the sun is shining – and it’s going to be a whopping 45º today.  Good for melting the 9″ of snow that fell two days ago.

The only crazy thing that gives me pause is when I see his writing on some of these boxes…even if it says, “his and hearz buks”  – a clue to the last few years.  But my time in the dungeon was profitable on another front – at least I found a decoration or two that she’d not seen for years because he’d been the last one to put them away – then forgot where they were.  

“Baby step – baby step to the elevator…” Thank you Dr. Leo Marvin.

back to work

26 10 2008

Sometimes we just need posted reminders about where things go. For eight years I had a job in a four star hotel where my uniform was stored in a locker that I would open five days a week at around 6:30 a.m.  There are things that I don’t miss about that life but others that I do…like the great memos that would appear from time to time, whether circulated or posted – and always good for a laugh.  I remember the day I took this picture with my phone.  It still makes me chuckle – NOT chuck – chuckle.

Now I’m doing my own memo posting.  The ma is “green-challenged”.  Before I left her house this afternoon, a note that explains what is garbage, what isn’t and where it all goes was taped to the counter.  After 81 years of putting rubbish in the one logical place – I’ve thrown her a huge curve ball by trying to get her to sort plastics, glass, metal and newspaper.  She generates so little trash as it is that I may just make life easier for both of us and let her throw it all away.  I’ll sort it when I’m there. It’s the least I can do to make her world a bit less complicated.

When I walked in the other day she was watching What Not to Wear and paying close attention.  The issue of the “right shape of jeans” came up, she mentioned again that she needed a new pair.  I’m wondering if Stacy and Clinton would be interested in doing an episode for octogenarians?  A quick run to Target while channeling my stylist Shop Girl, I found a pair I thought would work and tried to imagine Shop Girl doing the same for me in 30 years.

It’s been just over two months and the ma is still trying to find her way.  All she wanted to do last week was to visit the dentist in the hope of getting work done then finishing up the process with some whitening.  She’s not vain.  These are just things that have been on the back burner for a few years as Billy declined and kept her close to home as his full time caregiver.  

But from the dentist chair to the hospital she went as her world started to spin, blood pressure spiked, horrible headache set in and she couldn’t walk straight line to save her soul.  Two days later after a CAT scan, MRI, blood work and the like ruled out stroke or tumor, she got to go home.  Her internist, who works exclusively with the elderly, said he sees this with women that go to the hairdresser each week. The degeneration present in cervical bones causes a shift that messes with the two large nerves that meet at the base of the skull and go up into the head.  The result is that the women collapse in a heap after they have had their heads tilted back at the shampoo bowl. 

We are addressing the blood pressure with new meds and given all she’s been through in the last few years and especially the last few weeks – it is not a surprise that it is on the rise.  No more dentist’s chair for a while and I’ll have to follow up with that Dr. to see where things were left.  

Needless to say, I put a few miles on the car this week but I feel good.  I am going back to work tomorrow morning – my kind of work – cleaning my very dirty post-week-long-film-shoot house. Visiting Nurses will be checking in on her in Indiana twice this week and I’ll be back there in a couple of days.

Maybe I’ll be surprised that my memo does the trick – but if not, it will take me all of two minutes to sort through what it there.  At least, she knows where the “locker room” is!

purses and ears

6 10 2008

I was sort of productive the other day and decided to put a freshly laundered slip cover back on a chair in the living room. As easy as that sounds, it was quite the challenge. It came off with little thought but out of the dryer, it looked like a fabric jigsaw puzzle. After a few attempts, I figured out what went where and was back in business. Actually while I was trying to get things where they belonged, I found myself thinking that by this point in my adult life I really should be beyond garage sale glam and on to real furniture.

For almost eight years, I worked at a four star hotel running the business center. Hotels have to keep up with the times and when rooms are redecorated, they sell off all the old furniture. Employees got first dibs on things going for dirt cheap. Naturally, I don’t want to spend any time thinking about how many people might have sat on that chair for the years it was in a hotel room – (thanks to CSI ) I stopped at the fact that it was an upholstered chair that cost all of $25. It was just a filler for our living room. It didn’t really match the other pieces- wasn’t the most comfortable chair in the world – but it was a bargin.

The couch and loveseat have also seen better days. What I want, I won’t be able to afford until I win the Mega Millions lottery. I keep catalogs around just to remind myself of how real people decorate. Knowing that I had to buy more time, like years, three matching slipcovers were enough to camouflage the glaring distinctions and help me pretend. Even that took a bit of work to accomplish – I went to two different stores, looked on line – again, I didn’t want to spend a fortune. Those stretchy ones – give me the creeps – I can’t touch that material. So I settled on the twill.

Somehow between chair, the photo on the front of the package and reality, there are some serious flaws. No matter how hard I try to pull, push, cinch, tuck, yank, poke, smooth – what we have here folks- is me trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. The only consolation I have, or maybe it’s really just a rationalization…is that I am keeping this chair out of the city dump just a little longer.

I force myself to think philosophically. Furniture does not make a home. I’ve been in spaces that are professionally decorated – they have all the most expensive stuff, just the right look, but they don’t feel “homey”. There is much more to creating that ambiance than where I park my behind. Stupid slip covers over old furniture it is – I am satisfied.

After all, there are thousands of families losing their living rooms today.

When I get a…

26 09 2008

I don’t even feel like writing and I take that as a sign that I should.  There are only 15 minutes left till the 25th is officially history.  I wasn’t even tracking on what day it was today until late this evening she drew my attention to it.  A month has gone by and today I feel pretty overwhelmed.

She wanted to go to George’s for breakfast – it was strange to be there without Billy.  George wasn’t even there so she couldn’t personally give him the little card thingy from the funeral.  We left it with the other guy and hope he gives it to him.  Maybe it was being there again that silently set the tone of the day.

I thought I’d be responsible and proactive by fixing the outdoor sconce first thing so soon as we got back home,  I had it taken it down and taken apart. Ninety percent of the project went off without a hitch.  But before long I found myself in the garage and in the basement staring at his work bench looking for specific things I couldn’t fine.  Finally, two more trips to the hardware store and four hours of work lead to so much frustration that by early afternoon,  I called an electrician’s shop and took the stupid thing in to have them fix it.  It wasn’t that I couldn’t figure out how to repair it, it was just a simple logistical matter that got me in the end.

I knew I should get something else accomplished…something significant.  But I had been sabotaged early on.  Looking for what I “needed” and seeing all the things I need to sort through – I hit a wall.  A big wall.  One that reminds me that there is plenty of work to be had around here.  

It’s not lost on me that I was so energized last week by reading someone else’s blog about organizing their work space.  This is my work space. I’ll start with the four boxes method:  Goodwill, garbage, keep and the “Oh God what do I do with this now” box.  I have to be disciplined and remember that this didn’t get here in a day (more like 41 years!) and it’s not going to be taken care of in a day. There will be days that I will be able to do alot…and there will be days that I don’t do much.  I’m really very grateful that she doesn’t have to do this alone.  

I found myself in the basement wishing a dumpster would magically appear in the driveway accompanied by six strong men without bad backs – like the kind you can hire outside the Home Depot on Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles for a song and a dance ‘coz they are just thrilled to find “work”.  People I don’t know – but people I can boss – people that won’t engage me in conversation or distract me.  But they aren’t here…

Or someone that walks behind me snapping digital pictures that are automatically uploaded to eBay with the perfect descriptions and eager buyers already bidding by the time it is posted.  There really is a gold mine here.  But do I have the patience, time or energy to recognize it all?  If the group from Antique Roadshow would just pull up outside they could tape 10 episodes for sure.

Tomorrow is another day.  The day after the day he died a month ago.  Supposedly that will make the 25th of next month easier.  Maybe I will have made so much progress by then I will feel better. But for now, I’m officially giving myself permission to take this a baby step at a time and say …it’ll get done when I get a round tuit.

psycho writer

16 09 2008

I can barely contain myself.  It is like I just found someone in the universe that I really relate to.  And it was a chance meeting…

As a fledgling blogger, I am learning what this process is supposed to look like – and one of the components I’ve seen mentioned in numerous articles I’ve read say I should be reading other blogs to see what’s out there.  Good research…any amateur writer knows that.  

So I try to find other bloggers talking about things that sound like my life. I’m not looking in the political arenas, or the techie closets – mine is just the mundane with a psycho twist.  Hard to find that category in the WordPress index of themes, but today was different.  In their business section (who knew?) I notice a blurb that catches my eye and changes my day and maybe my life!  Words from a nationally exhibited working artist– trying to wrap her head around getting her life in order.  What a relief!  It’s not just me.  I’m not the only one struggling with which comes first the chicken or the egg – do I write first, or clean first?  Am I not productive artistically because I’m not organized or am I not organized because I’m not writing?

Now, I know most of you reading this today (or should I say posted today – read on a Thursday as I get the feeling that my readership is sneaking peaks at their workplace and really can’t afford to until they are well into their work week and sufficiently caught up…) have better things to do than to be inspired, entertained or motivated by blogs.  It is my personal goal each week to keep you sufficiently engaged to keep coming back for more of my own musings..let alone expose you to the big dogs in blogworld so don’t feel pressured to click on the link to read some really good writing…

I’m not the kind of disciplined writer that has a set pattern to my day – a this-is-when-I-work-so-do-not-dare-interrupt-me.  Nor does my inspiration come to me like that.  Much too random.  Much too chaotic. Take today for instance – “to do” lists aren’t really part of how my brain functions. It’s more of a kaleidoscope of things moving around in my brain like a pseudo LSD trip you’d see on a bad music video from the 60’s…forms emerge, retreat, morph into other things.  That is a typical day for me.

I am understandably fragile and moody and easily given over to whim. When that flow starts out my fingers – the rest of the day can settle into whatever.  It’ll all be good from the moment my curser moves to the “publish” button and it’s public. But if that inspiration isn’t quite ripe yet, then it’s a arduous process.  Like the urges we feel when we need to go to that one room of the house…but things weren’t really in “place”…you get my drift.

Worse yet, when I finally find that inspiration waiting quietly like a dust bunny in the corner – and something happens…a phone call, a knock at the door, a “can you tell me where…?”, or “what were you thinking about for lunch?” (the answer is always, “I wasn’t”) – and poof…the magic moment is gone and I’m deflated and feel like I have to start all over again.  Little noises, subtle squeaks in the floor, the cat meowing – anything can derail my train of thought.  So today I’ve decided – since my workspace is too public, too accessible – I will only write in the dead of night.  It is the only Do Not Disturb time when I’m not in peril. 

Actually I’m trying to figure out if I’m more frustrated by having started this process after 25 years “off” and not having the perfect writing environment or was I better off never having started back and having all the pressure mounting inside my head unexpressed.  See why I’m certifiably psycho?

I think it’s better having started writing…I think I am making progress.  I did take 500 lbs. of old magazines from a pile on my dining room floor and into the drop box at the hospital for re-purposing.  That felt good. And shredded bunches of junk mail just in time for the recycle pick-up tomorrow. Baby steps, right?  Baby steps. And today I have to wash my hair.  I may be on a roll here.

Just in time for me to pack up and go back to do the same thing at Billy’s. But what writer would be put off by being back in the space with such potential great ideas for future blogs?  It’d be like a sculpture artist passing on a trip to see Michelangelo’s David.

playing with fire

9 08 2008

Last Wednesday morning I caught my dad dragging the garbage cans out to the side of the road. “Hey, let’s wait a couple of days for YOUR pick up – we use another service…” “Naaa, they’ve been taking ours when they take everyone else’s. You don’t know what you’re talking about” , mumbled just loud enough for me to hear.

So the tug of war started and I won dragging them back to the garage. Less than 8 hours later, I get a notice via email saying that our quarterly payment arranged via bank whatever was declined. What the..fat – (as the Dr. says)? I finally have 2 reserve ounces of brain power and concoct a plan.

Garbage has become one of his particular compulsions in these later days. If you should blow your nose and drop the kleenex in the wastebasket – I dare say it will be there no longer than 10-15 seconds before it’s scooped up and put in one of the orange plastic sleeves the newspaper gets delivered in…that are re-purposed as hourly trash bags. On a monthly basis over the last year’s time I’ve been know to haul trash back to Michigan in the trunk of my car so he wouldn’t cull through it after I left. Old medicine bottles (and they generate quite a few), yesterday’s newspaper (“is she finished reading this one?”) or any plastic item that might be turned into something else (you know those vented lids for the microwavable bowls of soup…they make great coasters).

One of the things that help occupational therapists determine if patients are safe and able to be on their own is general cleanliness…can they wash dishes, do light housekeeping, etc. We have the opposite problem here. Heaven forbid if a thread is on the floor…but this doesn’t count for all the newspaper clippings in piles waiting for God knows what. I remember asking my dad – the consummate junk collector, garbage picker- if he recycled. I might as well have asked him if he’d considered going to mass at the Catholic church rather than the Baptist church. Yikes a beee. I had just asked the MOST ridiculous question ever.

Now I do believe that if we would have been GREENER EARLIER – we might have stumbled on a gold mine…remember this is the guy that smashes all cans and we visit the metal recycler now and then. But to have to think every time something goes into the garbage can he’d have to look it over and decide if it was animal, vegetable or mineral…NAGI! (must be text savvy…not a good idea) But maybe just maybe I’ve stumbled on a perfect hobby for his late stage dementia.

This time last year the “committee” decided there was no purpose served by changing waste haulers and adding to the weekly labyrinth of pills, calendars, chores and generally complicating life with sorting. But now that I’m here most of the week – I am just danger loving enough to tempt the gods and go for it. Getting sick of the prices going up every quarter (yes I know what gas costs) I called around after taking an informal poll of the neighborhood…which 95 gallon containers – the green or brown represented which company and who had more customers in the subdivision… Power to the people! Brown won! I called this morning and the very bright, intelligent Ruby heard me say I was calling on behalf of my elderly parents and set us up for the Senior rate. THERE IS A GOD!!! That’s another $120 a year I saved.

We’ll just have to see how far my tempting of fate takes me…today is the “old” garbage day and I don’t think they’ll cancel pick up until the second notification of non-payment. So I will put the cans out and then I’ll call at 3 p.m. to cancel our service after I see the garbage in the back of the truck bouncing down the road. Come next Wednesday, we’ll have another pick up when everyone else in the neighborhood does and in a few days – they’ll drop off a big, new shiny container PLUS the recycle bins. Secretly, I think that was the deal breaker for me…I like those roll away containers instead of the sorry busted up “cans” I have to drag out each week.

Well I’ll head home and wait to come back after the weekend and face the music on Wednesday…I’ll have some explaining to do…Billy was right all along…pick up is on Wednesday along with everyone else in the neighborhood. What was I thinking?

tin can alley

25 07 2008

Months and months of preparation go into this outing.  In my world we take them to the grocery store where we first bought them and get money back but here they really make you work for it.  So since Heck was a pup each can is washed, the tab saved in another location for the Ronald McDonald House, promply smashed and stored in the garage till the bin is full to overflowing. Then the day arrives and the announcement is proclaimed…we must go to the can place.  There was only one hitch in our plan – he couldn’t remember how to get there.  But I have a crystal ball and google saved the day.  Twisting, turning, down by the cement trucks in a part of town rarely seen by most I surprised him with my magical powers.  A crisp 5 dollar bill and and 2 brand new quarters were his…