Saturday, February 25, 2012


Out for my daily morning walk, I turn off of 60th onto Sherman where the street is lined with blue recycling and green yard debris carts, yellow bins full of glass, overflowing garbage cans, a few large black garbage bags, and a litter of miscellaneous trash. It looks like some people are still adjusting to the every other week garbage pick up that started last October.

Near the end of the street I glance across and notice what looks like a child's easel sandwiched between two carts. It must be broken, I say to myself. Completely out of character, I find myself crossing to check it out.

Pulling the wooden easel from between the carts, I notice an assortment of other discarded items. Not only is the easel not broken it still bears an Ikea label and looks nearly new. Is this a mistake? Looking around as if being followed by a hidden camera for a reality TV show, I slide the treasure back. What use is there in a child's easel?

By the time I reach the double reservoir, ideas start to flash through my mind. I picture the easel being crushed by machinery in a huge garbage truck - surely the hauler would notice and set it aside. Maybe it should be rescued and donated to a good cause or used as a sign for a plant sale. Memories of my childhood and my children's childhood come flooding back. If it is still there on my return, I will carry it home.

Thirty minutes later, approaching Sherman Street again, I hear a garbage truck and my stomach sinks. Perhaps it is too late. Quickening my pace I am relieved to see nothing has been disturbed. I slide the easel out looking from side to side for that hidden camera, put the cross bar over my shoulder, and walk boldly home.

The little easel is now sitting in my kitchen waiting to be cleaned up and readied for it's next life whatever that might be. It is a waste to think of something as trash even if it only cost $14.95.


  1. Dottie Mae the Dumpster Diver! This post bought a smile to my face. Also had me thinking of how disposal of "stuff" became such a huge issue when I moved to the USA after I had grown up always having a big sector of the population glad to recycle whatever you don't want - food, clothing, household goods, anything. Sometimes possessions could be redistributed or liberated from you before you even knew you were ready to part with them. It kept us living lean and without accumulation of possessions. Nobody has storage units in South Africa. You post also had me thinking about the Bainbridge island family who organize the rag pickers at the Rotary Auction and then have a party of free gifts from this for children - I think they might have something on it on their blog:

  2. Thanks for the link. We could all benefit from a reassessment of our waste and a simpler life style.

    You wouldn't believe the outcry when our city went to every other week garbage service and weekly food scrap recycling (picked up with yard debris). With all the curbside recycling options, we don't even fill our garbage can in two weeks.

    I am thankful for growing up with a mother who taught me the value of a simple life.