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Getting Back to the Earth

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

On the first garbage pick-up day after we received our new compost bin, I was disappointed to see that not many neighbors had their new receptacle sitting out at the curb.  I remembered what a chore it was when recycling first arrived.  Not too many people wanted to take part, because it took a bit of effort, but now it seems like it’s a normal routine and most people don’t mind.  Hopefully composting will become a ritual, just like recycling is today.

Our city has been working on getting and using compost receptacles for about a year.  Some people weren’t happy about it, because they don’t want to pay an extra charge for something they didn’t request.  Other people who are disappointed are the ones who have been composting in little areas of their yards for years and are now required to pay a monthly fee.  I am one who will participate, even though I can relate to the ones who are upset.  I decided that since we’re getting charged, why not use it?  While reading an article recently, I learned that many people in our city are composting; our city has the best participation rate in our county.  Yet, I also read, we are one of the first to participate, so who knows who we should believe!

I didn’t know much about composting, except I knew it was good for the earth.  All the things that get put into a compost, decompose, and end up turning into a hummus-like material that is a great fertilizer for plants. In case you’re not familiar with what can be composted, it’s all food and food scraps, certified compostable products, food-soiled paper such as pizza boxes, napkins, and paper egg cartons, and other items such as used coffee grounds and filters, empty toilet paper rolls, old plants, and wilted flower bouquets.  I found helpful posts on Nextdoor and learned about compostable garbage bags, how people store those bags, and how some people don’t use them.  

Compostable garbage bags can be found at many grocery or retail stores.  The bags are good at keeping odors inside.  Some people keep the bags in a separate container on their kitchen counters.  Others keep it in the freezer, which is a good idea during the summer.  Others recommended using paper grocery bags and lining them with a lot of paper towels. This seemed like a waste. Why use up a bunch of paper towels?

It’s been easy to put items in the container on the kitchen counter.  Now, we usually have one bag of garbage that goes into our regular garbage bin. Many people find they can save money by switching to a smaller garbage cart.

When I put something in the compost, I think how it will have an easier time getting back to the earth, instead of using up needed space in a landfill.  Now our regular garbage is stuff like chocolate candy wrappers that can’t be recycled or composted.  Pretty soon some genius will figure out a way to recycle that stuff too.  Someone’s thought of old clothes or textile recycling!  Clink this link, to learn where you can drop off your old clothes that are too damaged to donate to a worthwhile cause.  

I envision a day where there is no garbage, just a bunch of stuff to get recycled or composted or repurposed. What do you think?

The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. 
The activist is the man who cleans up the river.  ~Ross Perot


“Speed of Time”

backyard chain grass park

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com


As I was pulling weeds in front of our house the other day, I was hoping the new neighbor didn’t think I was some type of Mrs. Kravitz from the Bewitched show.  Something made me look up just as a young lady with dark straight hair drove by.  She pulled into the driveway next door and went straight into the garage.  That was the last I saw of the new neighbor, for now.  Shortly after, a moving truck slowly inched by, almost turning into our place but then realized it needed to move down one more spot.  Mrs. Kravitz might have stayed just where she was, pulling weeds, or she may have moved inside her own house to spy at the goings on through a partially moved blind or shade.

I decided to go around to the other side of the house to see what weeds needed pulling. Slowly, I managed to get to the back of our yard and decided to hang out there to read a book in my new anti-gravity chair while listening to the little kids playing a few doors down.  The birds were singing their usual songs on one of the most gorgeous of summer days.

Suddenly, a young man carrying a big wooden spool was in the new neighbor’s backyard, and he walked along measuring a cable line from the back of the house to the phone line. At first I wondered if he was going to be our new neighbor too, but realized that since he had a cable, he was the cable guy.  Shortly after, the moving truck left, and it made my Mrs. Kravitz self think the new neighbor must not have any children because the unloading would have lasted a lot longer.  Mrs. Kravitz would have most likely taken the time to run right over and knock on the new neighbor’s door, but we might just have to wait to see if the young lady ventures out.  We’ll start with a few waves as she passes by in her car and go from there!

I couldn’t help but think to way back when we first moved into our house.  The new neighbor’s house had been occupied for many years by Bruce and Ann.  When we met them, I thought they were an “older” couple and wondered if they planned on downsizing, since their family was all grown up and moved out.  Ann must have read my mind because some of the first words out of her mouth were, “We’re not going anywhere,” which ended up being fine with us.  Bruce and Ann had been very nice neighbors to have for 20 years, and the neighborhood felt empty after they moved out.

Now, the new neighbor might think we are an “older” couple and may wonder if we plan on moving away to a smaller place. She might even be so young that she doesn’t even know about Mrs. Kravitz!  We used to be the young family with little kids running around, but now we watch and enjoy the sounds of the new little ones taking over.  Bruce and Ann came to the high school graduation parties we had for our kids.  In her cards, Ann was so kind to write about how they enjoyed watching our kids grow up.  Now we’re the ones watching the neighborhood kids grow up.  Isn’t it funny how that happened, and so quickly?

Some day man will travel at the speed of light,
of small interest to those of us still trying to
catch up to the speed of time.
~Robert Brault

House for Sale

I wandered about the house looking up and down the walls to see if any nails needed to be pulled out or if any holes needed to be patched up. When I stepped across the squeaky wooden floor in my Mom and Dad’s bedroom, I stood on the very spot where I slept in a crib the first five years of my life. I even knew that I was too old to be in a crib back then especially when I climbed out of it. Mom’s closet still smells like powder, even though it’s bare.

I know the doors in our house are strong because when I was a child, I liked to slam them hard when I got mad. The harder I slammed the door, the better I felt. Since those doors could not be replaced, I often heard, “Don’t slam the doors, you might break them!” Even the doorknobs are the same as what was there when I was little.

There’s a little white door that opens up to a clothes chute in the closet in the hallway. We use it as a form of communication when we need to let the person in the basement know when the air is out of the radiators and that it is okay to shut off the water. The little stain in the carpet there shows where one of Mom’s grandkids had an accident. Oops!

The upstairs window in the hall gives a good view of all the mature trees and flowers that decorate the yards below. Mom’s flowers look so bright against the white garage, and flowers now bloom where the vegetable garden used to be. Other flowers surround the house getting ready to show their blossoms.

As I walked down the stairs, little spots of wet paint covered all the little nail holes where pictures used to hang. High school graduation pictures of my brothers and me, pictures of Mom’s grandchildren, Mom and Dad’s wedding pictures and a family portrait of Mom’s family are now in a box in the basement of my house waiting to be showcased somewhere else.

The black chandelier that hangs from the ceiling in the living room is an antique. After my Grandpa’s funeral, many people stopped by and I told them about the lake that was in a picture that used to be on the wall. Grandpa said that he used to swim across that lake and I told them so.

Since we only have two bedrooms in the house, and we couldn’t get Dad to move, the sun porch next to the living room was where my bedroom used to be, even though it just looked like a sun porch with a bed in it!

The chandelier in the dining room is silver. The teardrop-shaped blue and pink glass beads sparkle as they hang down. This room is where we laughed at our own jokes and ate until our stomachs felt so tight that we thought they might burst.

The little kitchen was where we quickly ate our breakfasts and went on our way to greet our days. It’s where we fought over whose turn it was to wash the dishes and whose turn it was to take out the garbage.

A house is a place where people come and go and a place where people make a lot of memories. When you have to leave that place where you grew up, left to be on your own, visited as an adult, brought your new husband and then the growing babies that keep getting older, you hope that all the pictures that Dad took will help us to remember all the good times.  All those good times that happened in our house that took our family to make it a home.