Free to a good home

When we purchased our lakeside home, we quickly discovered there was no scheduled garbage pick up. Every trip to town included the bagging and hauling of trash.

We purchased the house furnished, in need of updating and repairs — this meant large “trash” that simply didn’t fit in to a Hefty Ultra Flex. This list included:

  • 11 window shutters that were home to wasps and carpenter bees,
  • 4 tall kitchen bar stools that were too tall for our particular bar,
  • 2 dressers with mirrors and matching side tables damaged from roof leaks,
  • 6 lawn chairs past their prime, 2 broken lounge chairs,
  • and more.

Where and how to haul these items off easily became a challenge.

Remembering our younger days when we had more time and energy, we decided to take a Free-to-a-good-home approach. We carefully and lovingly displayed the items at the end of our drive near our mailbox so the occupants in cars passing in both directions could “window shop”.

The prime “shopping hours” in our neighborhood were before and after church on Sunday. So we were always sure to place items before 10 a.m. on Sunday morning. “Shoppers” would look on the way to church and “purchase” on the way home.

The shutters, a particularly hot item, were gone in less than 30 minutes. The lawn chairs took less than a day. In fact, nothing remained “in the window” for more than 24 hours!

One man actually knocked on the door to ensure we were giving away the 4 bar stools. He wanted one for his duck blind and ended up taking them all. (They were nice enough but just the wrong size for our needs.)

Finally all the good stuff was gone — upcycled somewhere in our own neighborhood, BUT…

There remained THE FRIG.

Deep in the back of our boathouse storage area was what we believed to be a 1970s, harvest gold, full-sized refrigerator. It was not running and despite the double-dog dares, no one was willing to open it.

The day finally came that the frig had to go. As we pulled it from the depths of storage and into the sunlight, we discovered that behold it was a relatively new frig that was at one time white but was now covered in rust giving it that 1970s golden hue.

And still no one would open it.

We placed THE FRIG lovingly at the curb thinking secretly that no one would ever cherish it enough to give it a good home.

We left that day on a run to town with several Hefty bags. I saw THE FRIG in our rear view mirror sure that it would never “sell.”

That was the last time I laid eyes on it. Somewhere down the road THE FRIG has found a good home.

I think about these items sometimes — items we would have gladly hauled to the dump if we could have done it easily. I’m humbled and delighted that someone found value in them and kept them from contributing to the size of American’s building waste lands.

I encourage everyone to find a good home through Goodwill, Salvation Army or the curb at the end of your driveway.

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Here’s a great page on upcycling. I wonder if THE FRIG became a storage unit like the one they show here.

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