One day I watched a talk show where a couple appeared nicely dressed for the occasion and had a book to promote. Their clothing had to do with the book. This wasn’t a fashion show. It wasn’t even one of those outlet interviews where people can learn of places to shop for less.
This couple took recycling a step deeper. They paid no monetary price. Yet they showed a table full of their valuables on TV. They had literally dived in dumpsters for them. They chose neighborhoods that would reap the finest. Their finds of things for body and home showed quality and good taste. Besides the thousands of dollars they saved, they talked of the fun they had.
““Many things we come up with,” “they said, ““have never been used. The labels are still attached. People throw perfectly good things away,”” they laughed, ““gifts they didn’t want, lots of useful things.”” The couple was careful. They wore gloves and watched what they touched, they said.
I was in conversation with a woman whom I recently met. My dilemma came up about computers and whether I want to get another since the first one I had gave out. She’’s a poised and dignified looking person. Her son has a similar aura about his thirteen year old body.
““We found two computers, perfectly good, in a dumpster,” “she said.
I told her about the program I’’d seen on the subject.
““We only go when we have a feeling,”” she said.
““I really should get a computer,”” I said.
““How much do you want to pay?”” she asked.
Outside of our apartment, a few feet away, is a garbage shoot in an area the size of our kitchen. When I leave the apartment my hands are invariably full. My cautious husband reminds his practical wife to keep keys in purse or pocket, not in hand, when dumping a bag on the way out. I dont expect to throw my keys, which are in one hand, when I throw the bag which is in the other. But when he asks me so nicely, what can I do?
It was the day before our daughter Riki’’s return flight to the East Coast. We were catching up with loose ends. I wanted to take her to lunch. We needed to do laundry and I wanted to get her to the shoemaker right away. She had a pronounced awkward stretch of her left leg when she walked, as though she were searching for the correct placement of her foot. In prior visits we thought this was because of the way she was left after an accident.
I began asking mentally why that was so after she’’d had chiropractic and traditional medical care. The answer came to me. When we measured her legs the answer was visible. Her left leg was half an inch shorter. No wonder!
On our way to transfer laundry to the dryer, before going to lunch and the shoemaker, we grabbed up boxes and wrapping left from the holidays. The trash dumpster is at the other end of the building. Riki held the lid so I could throw in my huge armful. I couldn’’t see over the biggest box as I dumped all that and reminded her to hold the cover till I got my arms away. She emptied her hands and groaned, ““I threw my shoes in.””
““You threw your shoes in the dumpster”’?”
“”Yes. Soon as I did it I wondered why I was holding two bags.””
““I’’m not going to climb in there,”” I said, wondering how to get the shoes. There was no question in either of our minds of her diving in. She’’s shorter, heavier and a Libra, the scales of balance; I’’m the Capricorn mountain goat.
We began to laugh at our ridiculous predicament.
““I’’m going upstairs to get a broom. Maybe I can pick up the bag by the handles.”
We looked at each other and had delicious, silly laughter again.
As I went to the third floor–no elevators there–I thought of getting the step stool, too. When I got inside I began laughing again
Back at the dumpster I stood on my sturdy oak step stool and looked down into the nearly empty space. I reached for the bag handle with the holding end of the broom. To my very pleasant surprise, it was so easy to fish it out.
The shoemaker was able to take care of us right away. “Good, we”ll come back after lunch to get them and wait while you do the pair she’s wearing now.” We left the dumpster shoes with him.
When my husband came home he asked if the shoemaker was able to fix both pair.
“Just one pair,” I said. “The others were too far gone.”
“So, did you leave them there for him to dump?”