Thursday, October 21


People throw out a lot of stuff. You cannot help but notice, when you drive to town, how much is sitting on the curb. Garbage totes are full to overflowing and stuff is piled up next to them. You can't help but look. And sometimes I see something that I can use. But I rarely stop.

Not because I am embarrassed about it or don't have time, but because there is usually a reason that someone if getting rid of something and I do not want to inherit someone else’s headache.

However, the other day, I saw the table. A small, beat-up table that had seen better days and was most likely piled with rusty junk in someone’s garage. It was painted white at one time but it was peeling and flaking. I passed it by and then thought about it. It was the perfect size for that odd space in my kitchen between the fridge and the covered radiator.

I went back and took a look at it. It needed work, but it was salvageable. So into the back of my truck it went, it waited patiently in the parking lot while I got my groceries and ran errands, and then made its way to my driveway.

I sanded it down in the driveway and removed as much of the paint chips as I could, being careful to stay upwind of the paint dust. One of the corners needed to be repaired which was done with two strategically placed wood screws.

Then new paint - a nice light green to match the kitchen trim.

It turned out great, and fit perfectly in the space that I needed. It now holds my indoor compost crock, my egg scale, and my potted African violet which is currently blooming little white flowers.

Does this mean that I should go out scouting for curb-side finds? Since this table worked out so well, should I be looking for other furniture?

I am really thinking no. Not unless it is something I really need and that I cannot see any headaches revolving around it in my future. Then I will spend the time loading whatever it is into my truck.

A note on throwing things out: the other day I was coming home from the library and I passed a man carrying Wal-Mart bags full of apples to the curb. There must have been about 10 full bags of big red apples and I can only think that he must have an apple tree in the back yard and nowhere to throw the apples that he obviously did not want.

Does the fact that this really bothered me make me strange? Maybe it is because I have been really trying to get into homesteading and I am trying to not waste? Too many books on being green? Seeing food in a new way? Probably all of these things. Cider and apple sauce were the first things that came to mind.

In the first place, the guy should have a compost bin in which to throw his apples. But then that would suggest that he had a garden which is probably not likely since he was throwing away perfectly good food, wrapped in non-biodegradable Wal-Mart plastic, and adding to the landfill problem.

And secondly, unless the apples were covered in pesticides or his septic system had miraculously exploded all over his yard, covering the apples will poo, he could have found someone who wanted them. He probably even could have made money on the deal. And something tells me this guy doesn't really care that much about pesticides.

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