A round my house I am the one who takes out the garbage. It has just always been that way. At one time I tried to get that to be one of my kids’ jobs, but somehow it never got done on time or when it got full, or something else happened that made me give up on the kids’ chore idea. Ever since then, I have just done the trash when it needs to be done.
Some time ago, (I guess everything happened ‘some’ time ago. In this case it was about four years ago,) I found myself with the pleasant job, (sarcasm) of having to paw through one of those big black bags of trash after I had already put it in the outdoor can. Today I would like to ‘recycle’ that article for you.
I don’t remember the reason I was there under the carport with my head nearly in that bag, but there I was. One of us had evidently lost something… car keys, I think, and ‘someone’ had to look for them. For some reason, at our house, when some really gross job must be done, that is always mine to do too. (Think toilet plunging.) Go figure.
As I said, for whatever reason, and for whatever I was looking for, there I was, with my elbow-length rubber gloves, carefully removing the trash from that bag in the can, piece by piece, and placing it into the open end of another one. As I did so I became increasingly disgusted, and nauseated, and I remember this part well … I never found whatever it was that I was supposed to find. Go figure, again.
Later that day, after I had somewhat recovered from my experience with the trash, I began to think a bit differently about that awful experience. Some of the items I witnessed were still fresh in my mind, (and nostrils,) if the word fresh can be used in this story. Other things were remembered, but a bit differently.
You see, in that trash was the envelope from a wonderful card my granddaughter Sofi had given to us just days before, for our anniversary. That beautiful young girl is such a treasure to us, as are all our grandkids. There were also several empty and discarded toddler food containers from the last time we had fed another beautiful granddaughter, the then two-year-old Nahla. She loved having lunch with Grammy and Papa. I am thankful that she still does. I had to move many merchandise bags from recent trips to Walmart, Hannaford’s, and T J Max, along with others. (Back then people threw bags away. Silly people.) Evidently, in the time that particular smelly trash bag was in our kitchen wastebasket, we had been able to make a lot of purchases at those stores.
There in the trash was a broken toy. (It was always fun to watch Nahla play, but she tended to be a bit rough on her toys back then.) There were a few empty medicine bottles; We had received new ones. What would we do without those prescriptions? There was also a wrapper from a new shirt I had purchased, and several candy and cookie bags. I also recall seeing a soft drink-soaked coloring book picture that one of the grandkids and their grandmother had done together when they were visiting around the dining room table. Of course, there were lots of slimy food scraps and gross coffee grounds in the mix. Evidently, we had food, and plenty of it, including my morning coffee.
Even in recent challenging times, we in our country have much to be truly thankful for, just as I did four years ago when I first wrote this column. As strange as this may seem, counting our blessings may be as simple as counting our bags of trash. If you are the one at your house who always takes them out to the can, be thankful that you have them to take.