let kids watch beauty and the beast

A dirty little secret about rural life

The first weekend after we moved, we had fourteen people here helping us move and helping us with some necessary remodeling projects. Fourteen people, one toilet and a bucket to flush with so you know we were having loads of fun.

As you might imagine, fourteen people can go through a lot of garbage, even without remodeling and moving. We filled up two dumpsters and a bin that were left in the garage by the previous owners. “No matter,” I thought. I mean, all we needed to do was call and get the trash service started and it would all be taken away.

Except those early days were pretty full and I didn’t really know who to call to make it all be taken away. I kept forgetting to try to figure out who to call. Then I discovered how few businesses bother with any sort of online presence in this county. Then our phone book finally came and I made a few calls.

And found out that the guy who does the trash service for this area doesn’t actually service this area.

This was a new thing for us. So new, we hadn’t even considered that there might not actually be trash service. I mean, who ever heard of that? My whole life, the garbage was something you bagged up, kept in the garage and took to the curb once a week. Sure, if you ever forgot to take it out one week, it got to be a bit of an inconvenience, but it was rarely something we thought much about.

But now, suddenly, we were going on nearly a month and inconvenient was hardly the word I’d use to describe the problem that was developing. In case you even want to imagine what I was beginning to feel like, Shel Silverstein actually put it rather well in verse.

…And so it piled up to the ceiling:
Coffee grounds, potato peelings,
Brown bananas and rotten peas,
Chunks of sour cottage cheese.
It filled the can, it covered the floor,
It cracked the windows and blocked the door… (Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout, by Shel Silverstein)

Fortunately, it was all occurring in our dumpster on the back porch, but that wasn’t going to last forever. I began thinking about trash in a whole new way. Buy a pizza and you are left with a box, a cardboard circle and a piece of plastic. Buy apples and you are left with a plastic bag and plastic tie. Buy milk and you are left with a plastic jug. Eventually, the trash was going to find the rim of the dumpsters, even the new ones my husband added on, the lids weren’t going to snap closed and we were going to have a bit of a problem, one you don’t want to have when you are already on unsteady terms with the local wildlife.

The neighbor lady who buried her trash in the backyard where we used to live was starting to seem not quite so odd. It was, after all, becoming rather tempting.

To be continued….

Oh yes, stay tuned for the next exciting installment, In Which My Husband Tries to Burn Down the County.

And thankfully, that image is NOT from my backyard. It is a landfill in Australia, courtesy of Wikipedia.