Friday, May 14, 2010

Party Time

It's festival time in my side of Beaver, Pennsylvania.

Which is to say, it's the evening before the borough's annual Large Item Pickup Day. Up and down the blocks, homeowners are bringing their discards out to the curbs, and up and down the streets wend the cars and the trucks (some with trailers), their drivers on the lookout for something great to snatch up. Up and down the sidewalks stroll the neighbors, giving sidelong looks to one another's junk, and, ever so casually, pulling out the pieces they like and making off home.

It's a hoot. I have to think that the borough trash haulers get maybe half of what is put out. The rest of it is taken by other people and reused, repurposed, and recycled.

Last year I found and rescued a wooden screen door that, with a little work, will do nicely for the back of the house. This year, I spotted some rustic-built drawers that would have made fine outdoor planter boxes and some glass shelves, one of which might have done to replace the one my kittens broke in the bedroom . . . but alas, I am not allowed to lift things that heavy and I had to let them go.

My own curbsite deposit was a disappointment to the eager recyclers. There was the box of broken plaster from my 3rd floor Study ceiling. The neighboring teenager who is helping with my dog offered to take it out to the curb for me. As long as I was getting rid of things, I gave his family the air conditioner my POs had in the Study window when I moved in; I'd thought of advertising it on CraigsList but they've been doing me such a big favor with the pets it was right I should let them have it for free. The kid had to call a friend to get the AC up to his room, and when they were done, they came back for my junk.

Anything besides the box of plaster? Yes . . . much as it breaks my heart, I asked them to take the worm-eaten rustic hickory garden seat to the curb for me.

I had such hopes for that seat! It was going to be my perch in my little oasis in the back corner of my kitchen garden, from whence I'd admire my garden when everything was done. Nobody mentioned, when I bought it five or so years ago, that the maker had failed to treat the wood and it'd start falling to pieces in a season or two.

I moved it away from the garden corner a couple of years ago, because its back was keeping light from getting to the sand cherry that I'd planted behind it. The sand cherry was moved, and died, and was replaced by a hydrangea. Don't know if I thought I'd repair the seat and put it back once the hydrangea got big enough, but the rot got ahead of me.

Then last night, the bench back gave my senior cat just the boost she needed to jump up to the top of the fence. She was crouched on the neighbors' side, on the top rail, and contemplating jumping off into their yard, when I caught her at it. Their gate was shut, and I suppose I could let her jump and waiting till they got home to get her back: she couldn't go anywhere, after all. But I panicked and picked her up. Which I shouldn't've done, since she weighs over ten pounds. Ouch, Wennie, dammit, you're heavy! Ouch, I hurt!

Taking things all together, I told the boys this evening, yeah, the rustic seat can go, too.

And judging from the way it fell apart when they were carrying it through the yard, it was time and past time. I wonder how much of it the trash haulers will take. It looked like garden waste by the time the kids got it to the curb.

Unless somebody needed some firewood?


Sandy said...

I am hoping you are OK after toting that cat off the fence!

JaAnBe said...

Cumberland used to have this kind of free pick-up day. It was a great community swap meet which has, alas, succumbed to cutbacks.

Jayne said...

Ouch. Hope you're okay after picking up the cat. I wish my town had Large Item Pickup Day--I would be one of the people picking through my neighbors' stuff!

Kate H. said...

Swap meet! That's exactly the term I was trying to think of.

We used to have it twice a year, but the borough had to cut back. However, I think it's cost-effective for them to do it at least once per annum. Helps people resist the temptation to dump their stuff illegally down the bluff to the river. Not that anyone around here would be so inclined . . .

Kate H. said...

And thanks, no permanent damage done due to the cat wrangling.