Scavengers

by Michelle Lasley

Michelle Lasley is a mother, wife in Pacific Northwest learning to balance green dreams with budget realities.

June 25, 2008

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Categories: The Balancing Act

Three years ago I wouldn’t have known to be thankful for scavengers. Today, I do and I am.

As a courtesy to a friend, three years ago I agreed to take hold of some of his things while he tended to things in his life. The stipulation was that I was able to use these things. The things included two bookshelves, one chair, one couch, and one futon with two pads. As far as I can tell we basically had a verbal contract that kept getting extended in the interim.

He phoned a few months ago that he wanted his bed back, the futon. After thinking about what was involved and now not having space to move something of the nature of a futon frame, he was instructed to find someone with a truck to get this things. Unfortunately for us, he, it seems, never had any intentions of getting the rest of his things – only the futon. After receiving his permission, the rest of the items went to the curb today.

We were most worried about the couch as we could no longer see any value in it, at all. The rest of the items would be easy to get to Goodwill, and our conscience would allow it. So, we brought everything to the curb while Levi cheered in his stroller. I took a box we weren’t using and cut into four pieces then writing ‘FREE’ on each and putting one on each piece of furniture. Pete and Levi then ran out for some errands to help a neighbor while I posted the free items on craigslist and freecycle.

About an hour and a half after we put the items to the curb, a youngish couple pulled up in their well used brown pick up with topper. Diligently, they loaded the couch and chair into the back, and then they arranged one bookshelf on top of the topper, tied securely with rope.

I have never been so happy as I was in that moment to see someone come to my curb and take our ‘garbage’ away. It’s true, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. And today, I am thankful for those scavengers, an essential piece to our city’s services.

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