You know all that stuff you need to get rid of? The broken garden bench, the old storm door you replaced last winter, the child’s toy that was a garden ornament for a while, until it looked like what it was, a piece of trash with weeds growing through it? My town helps everyone clean up and clear out all that stuff.
It is called Bulky Pick-up Week, and it is one of my favorite times of the year. Of course, I like to get things gone like anyone else, but the reason it is my favorite is because of human nature. Mine, and others’.
When I first moved here, I didn’t know about Bulky Pick-up, and wondered why all of a sudden, people were putting things on the street. I found a charming wingback chair with a tattered slipcover just sitting by the curb. My sister and I got out of her car, looked around like thieves in the night, and threw that baby in the back of her car. I washed the slip cover, and I still have that cute chair in my bedroom. That was my first bulky pick up adventure. A few years later, one of my church lady friends and I were on our way to coffee after mass, when we passed a wicker love seat and chair in the typical place…by the side of the curb. We hauled our booty into the back of her van, and it is in my tiny-tiny outbuilding, waiting for the day I can clean it up, repaint it, and place it in the remodeled “tiny-tiny” that is to become my craft studio.
This year, I watched the others look for and find their treasures. The notice goes out to the citizens of Bulky Pick-up dates. The weekend before, people start dragging their rejects to the curb. Then the cruising begins. In my little pocket neighborhood, we see many pick up trucks and vans pulling trailers circle our streets. As they pass by, the truck beds and trailers begin to accumulate things like old bikes, garden hoses, storm doors, satellite dishes, old furniture and flower pots.
I didn’t find anything “good” for myself this year. I was looking more to dispense with my stuff, rather than gather more. And I was looking to see what others found desirable, as the pickers cruised by. It’s kind of a badge of honor to have one’s own personal pile gone before the city actually picks up the stuff in front of a house. (Not to brag, but my pile was depleted, totally. And I say that in all due modesty. )
It heartens me to know that someone will find some good in what might end up in a landfill. The whole process saves the planet, gives some people an income, gives me a chance to get rid of my junk, and gives me something about which to think. Win-win.
Disclaimer: This is not my stuff, but I did look at the bench.