There is a marvelous occurrence twice a year here in Waite Park. The boys and I call it big garbage day, though we really should come up with something more creative. Twice a year, in the spring and the fall people put out to the curb whatever they are tired of having in their own home. Some is truly trash–broken toilets, dishwashers, old carpet, and debris of all kinds–other piles include furniture, toys, home decor, and today even a (never worn) wedding dress! The boys and I always look forward to big garbage day, and I was happy to discover we hadn’t missed it while we were away.
Yesterday and today after lunch we loaded up in the van (after being sure to unload the double stroller) and started off on the adventure. The back seats were a cacophony of sound as the boys spotted piles ahead for me to stop and inspect. There were directives shouted from the windows as they watched me sort through things. Of course, we have to have some boundaries and I reserve the right to veto, which came in useful with a large toy car and a few bags of leaves. (As a note of explanation, in contrast to our Alabama house which had more leaves than anyone could want, this house has no deciduous trees and Jack has missed having piles to play in.) Some things we pick up only to examine and put back out in our own trash pile later, but the hunt is fun. This fall we acquired the following: pumpkin decorations made of plywood painted with Jack-o-Lantern faces for Halloween on one side and painted as plain pumpkins on the other side for general fall and Thanksgiving, a baby swing to hang in the garage in hopes of keeping Sebastian happily occupied and out of mischief when I’m trying to accomplish something outdoors, a toddler sled, a retro cushioned chair for my computer desk to replace the old one (now in the trash pile) that has just about lost its seat, a dresser, an old wooden rocking chair, a Little Tykes desk and chair, and two other children’s chairs.
The boys’ favorite find was two trash bags full of miscellaneous toys that we picked up yesterday. There was extra incentive to complete their school work today knowing that when they finished we could go out to the garage and sort through the bags. We found Legos and balls and Mr. Potato head pieces, but the highlight of the bag was the various fast food happy meal toys. These are special things indeed since only their grandparents buy them happy meals. We found Mr. Fantastic, the Human Torch, Iron Man, Mr. Incredible and Dash, and various Star Wars characters.
It is hard to say who enjoys this most, me or the boys. Now to find a place for everything!