giving away treasures

I woke up at 7:15 this morning. After sleeping until 10 am almost everyday while we were in Florida, I should have known there was a reason. I was writing in my head. I have one more article for MerriMail Issue Six that I need to write. Every word danced and flowed clear and coherently. But I ignored this gift and wondered why the alarm wasn’t going off. In fact, it was set for 8 am instead of the normal 7:15. Around 7:30, I got up and turned on the radio and changed the alarm time, even though I knew that the morning news would only wash away my memory of these words.

I even peeked out the window at the garbage men to see why they were idling for so long. Apparently someone threw out some really good stuff, because they were carefully going throw the bags. I saw one guy inspect a small object and while another tossed a hard-back book into the back of the garbage truck. That made me think, Why don’t we have a regular give-away pick up along with recycling instead of people throwing usable items in the trash? Maybe I should post a list of places that accept donations throughout the city along with DC recycling lists. Do people know about the Salvation Army on H Street NE? As long as you run in before the bus comes, it’s an easy drop-off. That is if you are in a car.

Then I heard an interview with Ellen Langer about her mindfulness study that I wrote about a couple of weeks ago. I was very excited to listen to that. Then I got up to make the bed and breakfast. I didn’t even write in my journal until well over an hour and a half later.

See how easily it is to lose just what you need? I knew I was in trouble when a wave of sleepiness hit me this morning around 10 am. I guess I didn’t suddenly become a morning person after all. Just a missed opportunity. I need to make sure I place my notebook back on my bedside table.

A few months ago, I had all of these thoughts about the homeless issue we face each day here in DC. That night, my head was spinning with ideas, people to contact, ways to start to make a change. Finally, I promised God that I would do something about homeless problem if I could just get some sleep right then without getting up and writing anything down. I have in fact emailed a few people about it, so it wasn’t any empty promise. I guess that surfaces as one of my New Year’s resolutions. But more on that later.

Right now I am trying to gather my thoughts and finish this last piece. I can’t wait to share it with you. I interviewed one of my new favorite artists. His work will make your heart leap with joy. I promise to share it later once the issue is mailed out in the next week or so. Now, I have to finish before Henry arrives home from work.

Oh yeah – Don’t put good stuff in the trash! One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Keep a bag or bin in your closet or car to constantly collect give-aways and periodically drop them off at the appropriate place. (And keep a notebook by your bed. Those thoughts are significant.)

For donation drop-off locations in DC, explore these listings: Goodwill and
Salvation Army

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5 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    I am a garbage collector — sometimes we find all sorts of stuff out on the curb awaiting pick up, but ususally don’t go through the bags. At times things will come out as the truck is pressing…you ever see the garbage truck working?

  2. Caroline Armijo

    Thanks for commenting!

    Yes, actually. One day I drank way too much coffee and didn’t sleep all night. When I heard the trucks arrive around 6 in the morning, I thought I should watch to see how it works. Quite amazing!

    I freaked out when I saw the recycling truck because it was all dumped into the same bin. I confirmed with someone from DC government that the recycling was actually being recycled. To me, it looked no different than a regular garbage truck.

    It was pretty obvious that not much stuff will last once it is compressed in the back of the truck. I didn’t notice anything popping out of it though. Sounds crazy! Everyday must be an adventure for you.

    In North Carolina, you can find big Goodwill trucks almost everywhere. We need one in that giant parking lot at the Old Convention Center site downtown. Or maybe another sorting bin for reusable items. But like I said, our recycling collector doesn’t sort. They did in NC.

  3. Anonymous

    🙂 You name it, we take it. Had a woman get very upset yesterday when we put her old christmas tree, which was still covered with lights and tinsel (not recyclable) into the hopper with the bags.

    While not me, and not my truck, this is basically what happens in there.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGRaeFZn88A&feature=related

  4. Caroline Armijo

    Great video!

  5. Anonymous

    what part did you like best?

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