Monday, April 27, 2009

trash picker

i remember that "trash-picker" was an epithet we used when i was a child to describe poor people who had to rummage through the garbage of others to find scraps of clothing to wear. or so we thought.

what a revolution now to see people who voluntarily "free-cycle" food out of dumpsters. and it's considered eco-friendly and uber-conscious.

we are not quite that green, but we did do some trash picking this weekend. kisu suggested i take the girls out for a bike ride while he cooked dinner friday, but i knew that bug would not be able to go all the way around the block on her push-bike. pooka pre-empted a toddler meltdown by dragging the wagon out of the garage.

we started out (me:reluctantly) but only got halfway down the block when pooka said she was too tired. we walked her bike back to the house, but she didn't want to go in yet. no, she wanted me to pull them both in the wagon. (reluctant +2)

on our first foray, we picked up the paper that had been thrown onto our walk by a hapless duo in a large pickup truck weaving their way down the street. they lurched close to each drive with one person leaning out the window to throw the paper, then inevitably getting out to reposition it after the lousy throw fell short of its target. why the passenger didn't just stand in the truckbed and chuck the papers out i don't know. do i have to mention it was two females performing this farce?

anyway, as we headed out on our second attempt, i noticed many pieces of garbage lying in the grass. being on the corner, our lawn gets a lot of attention from lazy, no-good bums who can't be bothered to take care of their own messes.

that is to say, we get some mysterious trash items.

i suggested to pooka that we pick this trash up and she was prepared to run into the house to get a garbage bag. she was perplexed when i told her to use the newspaper bag. she couldn't fathom what we would do with the paper.

she was quite excited and we picked up a fair amount of paper bits, and partial wrappers (nothing more scandalous than a cigarette box, thankfully) with her hopping in and out of the wagon just like a real garbageman. (yay for my shoulder muscles!)

we encountered one homeowner who was incredulous when we told her what we were doing. it probably didn't help that although i have seen her taking great care of her yard, we were still finding more there to clean.

we managed to fill that whole sleeve well before we completed the lap. i felt very accomplished and also proud that pooka tackled the job with such enthusiasm. little by little, we are taking care of our world.