Tag Archives: Trash can

Weird Things for Which I Was Thankful — Even in 2020

Image by Daniel Roberts from Pixabay.

(In this edited version of my newspaper column, I recall a Thanksgiving when COVID ran rampant.)

Have your children or grandchildren watched “Sesame Street’s” Oscar the Grouch? I worried, lest my offspring adopt him as their patron saint.

Fast-forward to 2020. Thankfully, my children don’t live in trash cans. Nor is Oscar their role model.

I, on the other hand, sound more like Oscar every day. So, this Thanksgiving, I choose to be grateful, even for weird things.

Thank You, Heavenly Father, for the following:

  • I don’t have to mask when I talk with You.
If praying with a mask seemed difficult, singing in the church choir was harder!
  • Because of COVID-19, I rarely try on clothes in stores. No multiple mirrors!
  • Squirrels playing nut-soccer on our roof don’t weigh 400 pounds.
  • Delivery drivers bring life’s necessities — like apple cinnamon air freshener and SunChips® — to our doors.
  • Potholders that aid in taking golden turkeys from the oven have not, unlike everything else, gone digital. I haven’t had to recharge one yet.
  • Not all gas pumps show videos.
Image by Artsy Solomon from Pixabay.

I also thank You that my husband has never, ever refused to open a pickle jar.

  • We use clean water I didn’t haul a mile.
  • Though some idiots — er, futurists — drool over human interfacing with technology, my Internet still has an off button.
  • Leaves filling my yard are not poison ivy.
  • I rarely worry about charging hippopotamuses.

Thank You, too, God, for pie. Any kind but mince.

  • Also for the fact no one has written or performed “Medicare Supplements: the Musical.”
My niece’s pie looked much better than mine, so I used her pic.
  • For the color periwinkle.
  • For the rustle and fragrance of a real book that keeps me up late.
  • For phone calls from Little Brother. When I was a teen with a boyfriend, and he a brat with mirrors, I wished him 2,000 miles away. Eventually, my wish came true. Now, I cherish the bittersweet joy of hearing his voice.
So thankful that the COVID situation improved so I could travel and visit Little Brother out West.

Finally, Lord, I’m thankful for my two-year-old grandson who sings in the night.

You hear that, Oscar? Probably not, as you have clapped your trash can lid on tight.

Image by Maaark from Pixabay.

Stay there, if you want. But if you change your mind, gratitude’s an excellent antidote for grouchiness.

Even for you, Oscar.

Even for me, this Thanksgiving of 2020.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: For which aspects of COVID’s wane are you thankful?

Let’s Hear It for Garbage Collectors!

A recent study by the Environmental Protection Agency declared we Americans generated 254 million pounds of trash in one year.

As a boy, my brother believed he had carried out all 127,000 tons — though practice didn’t make perfect. Ned dumped — accidentally, he still insists — the plastic container into the burn barrel, too. We kids loved watching it melt. Mom? Not so much.

Despite that innovation, taking out garbage wasn’t fun, not during steaming summers or icy winters.

Trash Day still isn’t fun. Especially if a person forgets, awakens, then dashes outside before realizing . . . pants would have been a good idea.

Once dragged to the curb, though, garbage disappears, right?

We want to forget the smelly, disgusting subject. Yet, what if the nearly 120,000 U.S. waste workers didn’t do their job?

Many New York residents still remember the 1968 sanitation department strike, when 100,000 tons of eggshells, Twinkie wrappers and medical wastes piled up while officials clashed with unions in a feud almost as nasty.

Inspired, my brothers tried to strike. Mom, however, proved even less flexible than Mayor Lindsay.

The New York workers proved more successful, obtaining a modest pay increase and bargaining rights. The yucky crisis ended, and urbanites, appreciating garbage haulers as never before, cheered their return.

Trash collectors’ greatest fans, however, are children. Our three-year-old grandson told his folks he wanted to grow up to be a garbage man. According to USA Today, Deacon Ross, a Texas toddler, considered their trashman his best friend. When he and his family had to move, his mother helped Deacon plan a goodbye gift for O Dee. However, I doubt she agreed to Deacon’s insistence they name their new baby after him.

When did I personally learn to appreciate trash collectors? Not until I worked an overnight shift at Denny’s. I grew to welcome garbage guys who drank 4:30 coffee every morning. After my night of placating recovering party people, the quiet, hardworking men, who always left dimes under coffee cups, presented a refreshing change.

I also have visited countries where gunky garbage in the streets is considered the norm and trash cans aren’t.

I’ve sworn off cheap bags that sometimes explode in the unlucky collector’s hands. Hubby, our personal hauler, also appreciates the change. I’ll thank him, maybe bake his favorite pineapple upside-down cake. For our faithful collectors who pick up trash in all kinds of weather, I’ll write a note of thanks or put out a plate of cookies.

Melted plastic trash can notwithstanding, I suppose I could thank my brother for his service all those years. …

Nah. That’s taking garbage gratitude a little too far.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Who takes out garbage in your household?