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One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

I’m reminded of a time when my daddy took it on himself to haul off the trash for the trailer park rather than pay someone to do it. It was a great idea, but contained a flaw that should have been predicted. He brought back more than he took. Even with good intentions, he couldn’t drive off and leave a ‘perfectly good’ ironing board in the dumpster. No more than he could spot a nail on the sidewalk and not pick it up (because you never know when you might need a nail).simple

On a visit a while back, my daddy was looking for his wallet, adamant that it was somewhere on the coffee table. I was helping as best I could, and picked up something that looked like the back off a cellphone.

“Mama, is your phone broken?”


“Well, what’s this?”

“Your daddy found in the parking lot at the Burger King.”

“Does it fit your phone?”


“So……. (catching up) it’s here because there might be a time in the future when you DO have a phone it will fit, and your phone will be broken.”

Daddy interjecting… “just put it back on the table”.

He came from a generation where waste was unforgiveable – near the end of the Depression. He saves everything. Perhaps there is some universal karma at work. “If I found it, then surely I will need it at some point.”

chickensBut that brings me around to the real reason for this piece. I am grateful that he is the way he is, but am also grateful that he doesn’t know anything about Craigslist.

If ever there’s a moment when I need a chuckle, all I have to do is go to Craigslist and access the link labeled ‘free’. Here are a couple of my favorites from the past.

‘Couch in fair condition sitting beside the dumpster outside the Walmart on Gallatin Road. Better hurry; it looks like it could rain.’

‘Bookcase and piano. The bookcase needs painting and a little repair. I don’t know much about the piano, so don’t start sending me emails wanting to know whether it plays or what kind it is. What it is is free.’

‘FREE Panasonic huge tv, on front porch. Do not ring or knock on door!!!! Bring a buddy & a truck it’s heavy. Works great!!! Will not answer door if you knock, I go to bed by 9pm.’

‘Horse Manure. Just bought a property with a horse barn. There’s manure aplenty. If you’re a gardener or you compost, come and get it. If you don’t garden or compost, but you want a bunch of horse manure, this is your big chance. Come and get it. If you know a gardener or someone who likes plants…well, Christmas is coming. This may be just the thing for that hard-to-shop-for in-law. Come and get it. If your teenagers are totally grounded and you want them to learn the importance of mindlessly unpleasant work, come WITH THEM to get it.’

You see what I mean? It’s a great source of free entertainment.

But this past weekend, I was reminded again of why I am glad my dad doesn’t know anything about this ‘free’ stuff.

I chuckled out loud as I walked into the living room. “Honey, I’ve found the perfect thing for your and dad’s birthdays.” (they share a birthday)……

A skeptical look (as if I was being anything but serious).2donkeys

“Yep. A guy in town is looking to give away four donkeys, one of which is pregnant. My only concern is that I don’t know who should get the pregnant one.”

“Well, maybe you should just give all of them to your dad?”

“I could do that. Another guy is looking to give away three chickens and an ‘old’ rooster.”

I am convinced there’s a world of opportunity just waiting for us to find it.

Generally, there’s a deeper message with my writing. But this one – well, it’s just about enjoying life, and laughing when you get the chance.

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