Thursday, May 06, 2010

Tales from the trash heap

I can't believe it has been a month since FIL left us. Some days, it feels like it just happened and sometimes it feels like it has been months. (Lest you think I'm being disrespectful with the title of this post, please keep reading.) This past Sunday, a neighbor left a note at FIL's house. It turns out, FIL would stop by his house regularly to pick up recyclables, even after the city changed to the giant automated pickup cans, and they missed him. I made the slightly uncomfortable call and spoke with the wife. She was very sweet and talked about how FIL regularly stopped by their house for years; they would leave recyclables by the side of the house just for him. She asked when FIL passed away. That was when it hit me that it had been about three weeks since the funeral and exactly four weeks since his passing. So I wanted to jot down some memories before they faded away.

I mentioned in FIL's eulogy how much he enjoyed getting something for nothing, picking though the garbage for recyclables or "valuables" he could sell at garage sales. At one garage sale, some teens found some stuff their dad threw out and bought it to take home as a joke.

On garbage day, he'd troll the neighborhood looking for fans or lamps he could repair. Unfortunately, he collected more than he had time to fix and the backyard was full of rusted, broken fans, lamps, and exercise equipment. We rented a giant bin to get rid of this stuff and should have rented two. It only took an hour to fill it to the top and there was still the side yards and garage to go. We went out for a few hours and when we got back, we had a pleasant surprise. My nephew discovered that someone had cleared out half the bin. Half! This sounds like something FIL would have done (though he wouldn't have been able to haul off quite that much himself). Too bad we weren't home because we would have invited them to take more, lol. We took advantage of the empty space and emptied out the side yard, whew! I suspect some of that stuff was gone before garbage pickup the next day. And FIL would have been right there making sure he didn't miss any of the good stuff.


Susan said...

what a great post!! truly terrific connection to your FIL!

Miwa said...

Aren't memories fantastic? Some stories are just priceless. =)