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A local lady checks all around the village on the day before garbage day as we set out our recycling boxes at the curb. She does her rounds in late afternoon. In her pocket she carries several plastic bags to sort and carry things as she goes from box to box. She sometimes collects newspaper flyers to cut coupons from. Heavy duty Mason jar glassware such as the type used for pasta sauce are picked over and destined for preserving applesauce or pickles. Aluminum cans are sorted as she saves them  for the local Scout groups for their recycling fundraising projects. She makes her stops at familiar homes and may approach folks she hasn’t met yet just to socialize a bit. Grateful  for any donations of housewares or bedding she immediately considers donating them to those who need them. I’ve noticed that she may check the roadways and ditches for possible finds as well. She doesn’t miss a thing.

She is an amazing lady who knows what she is doing. The rest of us try to recycle and donate but don’t come close to her sense of frugality. She has it down to an art form. The local kids like to visit with her and she beams at them as they tell her about school or activities. She doesn’t ignore or throw away their friendship either.

It amazes me how much is wasted from our daily living. Food is wasted, clothing is bought on a whim , worn a few times and tossed. Our cupboards are too full already and yet we buy more. By cracky, I sound like an old geezer but our throw away society needs to do much better. I need to emulate my local role model and do what I can to set a good example for my son .

When my son needed to set up an apartment for university I was glad to send my extra stuff  hoping it would go to good use. Well, it all came back home eventually. Some of the stuff was broken and battered but a lot of it returned and needed to be put again in storage. I brought home years of  my accumulated school materials  and books when I retired in June and as I really don’t need it now I have to donate it appropriately. Family mementoes from my parents home are in boxes lining my hallway waiting for my attention. At the back of my house I have two woodsheds with dusty old things such as mops ,pails, dog leashes, firewood, flowerpots and garden tools that need to be assessed and cleared out. There are old canning jars filled with ancient preserves in the basement along with boxes of old dinnerware that have seen better days,  Closets are crammed again  despite an annual purge. This accumulation has come from being busy with work and not having time to deal with it properly at the time along with things being acquired from family, yard sales and shopping for day-to-day needs.

 Every spring I do a clear out, donate what I can but often send a pile of it to the dump. I think this year I will call our friendly local recycling lady first. I’m sure she will take some of it and make sure it gets to a good home.

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Filed under family relationships, retirement, writing

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