On Saturday I mentioned to my 96-year-old mom that I have a new hobby: picking up trash. Usually I have no “news” for her since my life is pretty much the same day in, day out. The cats are getting older even though Junior still acts like a hellion. Nothing new with my husband’s back (it still plagues him although he manages to work around it). And, yes, he is still enjoying retirement. I don’t tell her any more about my aches and pains because why should I? She who never has such complaints takes it pretty hard when she sees or hears her children struggling. So I tell her about my new hobby instead, and she chuckles.
Picking up trash is becoming a bit of an obsession for me, although not quite in the league of David Sedaris who might spend 3 to 5 hours a day picking up trash. But I can no longer go on a walk without my grabber and a couple of bags (13-gallon kitchen trash bags which actually are not the best choice because they tear easily). The one time I tried, I wound up taking a dog poop bag from a dispenser in the park and used that to pick up bits and pieces of plastic.
I’ve added purple heavy-duty household cleaning gloves to my tools. They’re a bit awkward but, since so much trash I find is along ponds, they keep my hands protected as well as dry. Today, my husband gave me a small case that I can clip on to my belt and use as a kit to hold my gloves and trash bags.
He’s also had the patience to go with me and recline on the grass while I make my way around the perimeter of a stormwater pond … or two. I don’t ask him to help because of his back, but I like having his company.
Here’s two views of one particular pond called “Lake Le Marc.” Seriously. It’s a stormwater
pond facility (my husband, the engineer, says) but if Tallahassee wants to call it a lake, who am I to argue? You’d have to zoom into the photos to see all the plastic bottles floating on the surface. If you can’t zoom, just trust me. They are there.
This was some of my haul from Saturday’s walk and pick-up.
I pretty much filled the 13-gallon bag, had it all nicely tied when I found a broken plastic hanger. Yes, I did, with some patience, untie the bag and fit it in. But then that was it, and, believe me, it was really hard to walk back home and not pick up any more trash.
Picking up trash is not just a new hobby. It’s a new obsession.
This photo is from last weekend. Me trying to stand like a hunter with my trusty
rifle grabber, my buck bag at my feet.
Thanks for reading. As a reward for looking at photos of trash, here’s one of Wendy, or her bum anyway.
When temps get below 70 degrees, these Southern kitties seek out warmth. The fleecy blanket is the one I brought her home in, 6 and 1/2 years ago. It’s her “blankie.”
Marie A Bailey
Writer, blogger, knitter, cat lover, and introvert.