The Kansas City Star news
STACEY HATTON COMMENTARY
Now that we’re starting summer, there’s so much to look forward to!
Family vacations pent up in crowded vehicles traveling coast to coast, relaxing poolside while gazing up occasionally to make sure your young children haven’t drowned, all-day spouse golf outings to which you are not invited, and according to many acquaintances, the best day of the summer: large trash pick-up day!
I actually enjoy watching how some people’s eyes light up at the mention of this sacred day. Some treat it as a national holiday and get the whole family involved, while others have cute family names for the big day.
If you have experienced this event, you realize there are two ways of looking at it. Either you are the Type A Personality who relishes getting the family on board to clean out the basement, attic, and/or garage and then place all tired items curbside or you are a (whispered) secret shopper.
Fess up. How many of you have been curbside boutiquing, Dumpster driving or nighttime free drive-buying? If you haven’t packed the family up in the minivan so you can have the fastest getaway with the prime goods, I’m sure you have seen or known someone who has.
My favorite shoppers are those who hook trailers to their old, banged-up trucks. Some even rent big flatbeds. These guys are professionals! And I must say watching a king-sized bed frame, a dishwasher and a hide-away couch traveling through the ’burbs at 2 mph cracks me up, unless I am late for a meeting and stuck in one of these crazy traffic jams.
My neighborhood association has the annual neighborhood garage sale extending over a few days and then the following day is large item pickup. Brilliant! Whoever came up with this idea should get a medal — and a wake-up call from me at 2 a.m. when the scavengers come out with floodlights that fill our bedroom like a scene from an alien movie.
To avoid this annoying late light show, I have vowed, “No more garage sales. Ever!” No curb dumping the remnants of a sale that was so bad no one wanted the junk I didn’t want. I’m also hoping to slow down the night traffic on my street a bit — doubtful, but a gal can wish.
However, I must admit I am not against cleaning house to find the more simple way of life. And in the past on large trash pick-up day, in certain neighborhoods I might have been known to slow down and stretch my neck to assess the curbware. And perhaps on a rare occasion, I may have circled the block for a second look. Is that so wrong? After all, to quote Gandhi (or maybe it was The Beatles), “One man’s rubbish is another man’s load of junk for next year’s event.”
Leawood has tastefully changed its event name from “Haul off my Junk Day” to “Large Item Recirculation Day.” If only we were all so classy.
Stacey Hatton is a pediatric nurse and freelance writer. You can find her blog at http://nursemommylaughs.com.