Whenever Doc B goes off on a retreat, I generally fall apart and make a mess of the house and my psyche. Good thing that trash amnesty day was this week, the day before Doc B. returned from a stint at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, so that I could at least clean up the house. My psyche would have to wait.
So what’s this trash amnesty thing? It’s a once a year affair when the city government uses our tax dollars for something other than top-rated schools and a police force that would put Charlie’s Angels and Batman to shame. On this auspicious day, the city lets us discard just about anything…for free. We set it out; they haul it to the dump. And this is a big deal because we don’t have to put it in pay as you throw trash bags. It’s hard to fit a rusted-out bicycle with flat tires in a pay as you throw trash bag.
So I was feeling pretty good about going through all of the broken things we’d been setting aside for this special occasion: a “got our money’s worth” chain saw that wouldn’t start anymore, a circular saw that shocked you every time you plugged it in, a table we picked up from someone else’s yard last trash amnesty day, the suitcase with the busted zipper that went on our first trip together to Amsterdam (thanks to Clark Howard, the tickets were $65.00 each way in the late 1990’s), and a slew of other loved, but no longer needed, household items.
But then I remembered the one item that I was most disappointed and guilt-ridden about having to set out. Mom, you may need to sit down for this one and please don’t be upset; I’m hoping I’ve done enough crying and throwing of things for both of us. Okay, so are you sitting down? I’m not writing anymore until you do. All right, I now see your feet elevated in the recliner.
First, let me start with a phrase you may not be familiar with: “et up”. As in, “et”, rhymes with bet”, as in “his legs were ‘et up’ by chigger bites”. What? You don’t know what a chigger is? They’re little bugs, like ticks or mites, that are found in hot and humid areas such as Atlanta, GA. So, now that you know the term “et up”, let me get back to the story.
A couple of months ago, when I was cleaning up the yoga room, I discovered that grandma’s handmade braided rug was et up with moth holes. Not the salvageable kind of moth holes like one little chewed up spot on a sweater, but hundreds of these, covering the entire rug. More than half of it was shredded and falling apart like powder. Moths were dead all over it as if this aged wool were a stumbled upon Colorado smoke commodity or a vintage Cabernet discovered in a long-abandoned French winery and they’d overdosed during the inhaling or imbibing of the lucky find. It was moth meth and they’d invited all of their friends to the party. It was the final scene of Breaking Bad but it was just the bad guys. Oh wait, that was the final scene of Breaking Bad. P.s. Mom, don’t ever watch Breaking Bad.
After I went through all of the stages of grief, twice, I cut out the center of the braided rug for a trivet and hauled the lifeless, rolled up lump of wool to the curb. You’ll be happy (or not?) to know that someone took the rug before the city trash collectors came. What they wanted it for, I do NOT want to know. Maybe a dog bed. That’s what I’m hoping.
Okay, now on to my psyche – time to go work in the yard and plant some stuff. But first, another P.S….
If I could read those 1980’s book titles, it would likely include a well-worn copy of Our Bodies Ourselves, Shel Silverstein’s The Missing Piece Meets the Big O and certainly something written by Wayne Dyer. Oh, and perhaps Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s Gift From the Sea that my mom gave me when I graduated from college that later vanished during one of my many moves. It’s okay, I bought another copy and had her inscribe the inside cover. Oh wait; there was also likely a copy of The New Testament that I received in 1978 as a confirmation gift. You’ll be happy to know that I made it through page 16, but stopped at Matthew 7, the section about judging others. No wonder I’ve been stuck there ever since.