Have you ever gone dumpster diving? Well, I have to admit that I can now scratch that off my imaginary bucket list. The family was gathered for the Sunday night ice cream social when one of my SIL mentioned that there was a dumpster parked on the driveway of the condo on the corner. You would have thought that they were kids hearing the faint sounds of the ice cream truck heading their way. People sat up straight, ears at attention, and then the discussion began. “Is there anyone home there?” There was a brief accounting of who lived there, when they died, what was being discarded. This was immediately followed by a ransacking the garage for flashlights and a group of us headed to the dumpster. Fortunately the end door was not latched which made it much easier for all of us old farts to get a look at what was being tossed. Basically whoever was doing the clean out was pitching everything. The salvaged items included: a hand crocheted lace round table cloth, 2 cloth aprons, a box (12″ x 12″) filled with all occasion greeting cards, a bag of cloth grocery bags, a pair of nearly brand new wool mittens, a desk lamp, 3 framed prints, 2 picture frames, a large metal mixing bowl (with rings on the sides for hanging), a cast iron skillet, an ironing board, 2 push brooms, a small case containing 45rpm records, and an arm full of sweaters, jackets, and blouses.
So I brought home the greeting cards and one picture frame. My MIL thought the table cloth would work on her kitchen table but it didn’t so she gave it to me… We later discussed the folly of just pitching the contents. One SIL’s mother was a hoarder and when she had to be moved into a rehab center (due to a fall and complicated by dementia) they had to sort the valuable from the junk. They found money hidden in all sorts of places – inside shoes, as book marks, in coat pockets, paper clipped to calendars, and stuffed in sugar bowls. Another SIL said that when she and her husband were sorting his mother’s estate they found stock certificates and bearer bonds in her piano bench interspersed with old sheet music! I went through the cards and only found 2 postage stamps. Still 2 Forever stamps are now worth a little over a dollar! Then about a week later Sparky and I were out for a little evening stroll. We passed the dumpster again. The previous load had been hauled away and new things were in the dumpster – a very nice sofa, a variety of sinks and counter tops, a couple of badly broken mirrors and medicine cabinets and some more clothes. Right on top was 2 large bottles of Gain laundry detergent. One was unopened. It saved me some money and kept that out of the landfill!
The saying is that one man’s trash is another’s treasure… So have you? Gone dumpster diving that is? Or trash picking? Or to rummage/garage sales? Please let me know I’m not the only one trying to keep things out of the landfill!