Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Today at work I had to make an announcement about our community garden project. I was so excited to get up in front of everyone and speak. I was talking about scarecrows; our contest for the best upcycled/found object scarecrow, using props I had gleaned from our corn crib and tool shed and some basic old stuff I had lying around.

After we finished the skit-like announcement and I talked to some of the folks at my job, I realized that other people don’t have as much stuff, (useless stuff anyway), as we do. I take for granted that everyone has an attic stuffed to the rafters with broken bunk beds, dry rotted baby clothes, Christmas ornaments, old boxes that computers or valuable electronics came in, boxes and boxes of book, dearly departed loved ones old clothes and pee stained mattresses. If they say they don’t, I figured they were lying.

It’s not just the attic that is full. The basement contains an old bird cage, various old hot water heaters, mason jars, an abandoned beer making kit that will surely explode some day, a large, frost-filled freezer, perhaps an old black snake skin, the washer and dryer and lots of old things from my original family home in Chapel Hill that my dad made me take. Those things weren’t ever unpacked, just left in the basement in boxes. Did I mention that the basement floods in the rain? It is a paradise for grubs. The floor is not dirt but just barely. It is little better than a root cellar.

I have lived all my life in houses where the windows were propped open with dowels. Doors became swollen in summer and drafty in winter. Our windows have wavy glass. The well water constantly causes pinprick pipe leaks from the minerals in the hard water. I don’t know what it is like to have wall to wall carpeting. Threadbare orientals and a faint smell of moldy books coupled with smelly dogs has been a way of life for me for at least 25 years now-when did other people clean themselves up and move on?

Today I made the announcement feeling a little like erma brombeck. I finished talking with my peers and felt like ma kettle. WHERE ARE MY PEEPS?

Please comment if you sympathize! PS-There is a new show on TV called American Pickers about 2 guys who travel around buying and reselling junk. If you like the antiques roadshow you will love this new program.

More Later-must go kill some bees that are in the house because I don’t have the screens in yet. Doesn’t anyone have storm windows but me? When did all this happen?!




  1. I just donated two big bags of clothes and household items yesterday... I have no ideas how we keep accumulating so much stuff! hope your community garden project goes well.. sounds fun! ;)

  2. Oh my goodness...sounds like we may have lived the same life of sorts!!!(And still do!)But- I wouldn't trade "country living" for one second!(Bet you wouldn't either!)I get a bit nervous in a really clean house...and there is something absolutely wonderful about walking barefoot across well worn wood floors in the warm weather!
    Good Luck with your project!