Spring having sprung and all that, could I comment upon the sad indication that numerous persons hereabouts in the area are taking the opportunity to come down with a bad case of illiteracy? I am referring to the piles of stuff—junk would be a more accurate description but I’m attempting to be kind—that are appearing outside the various containers located in various places, plainly labeled “Clothing and Shoes Only.” What? You don’t know what clothing and shoes are? You’re in the habit of wearing baby play pens on your feet (size 27?)? You are accustomed to going out dressed in discarded children’s books? Come on, folks, the signs tell you plainly and right up front what’s supposed to be placed in the bins. What are you doing leaving broken toys, mismatched and stained dinnerware, half-full paint cans and past-their-prime potty chairs in front (and around the sides and sometimes crammed into the openings) of the boxes? You’re in such a hurry to get your place ready for the photographers from House Beautiful that you can’t wait until the Spring trash pick-up? You don’t want the relatives to know that the pieces of stunning décor that they’ve been sending you in the mail don’t match the leopard print dining room, so you’re redecorating the whole place? The potty chair belonged to your youngest and he’s just graduated college and is living in Alaska? What?

If you’re really desperate, you could call one of those disposal companies, like Trash Daddy, and get the whole shootin’ match hauled away, maybe even to benefit some charity or other. Don’t just dump your trash in public places and tell yourself the big, fat lie that this is good for anybody but yourself (Except, of course, that you’re now living in a place where there are trash-dumpers) and whoever it is that picks up the stuff can do some good with it. NO! What they want is Clothing and Shoes. Says so right on the box. Why would they lie? Why would you think that they want your other stuff?

Can’t you read? That’s a sad story in itself. Either you can’t read or you willfully choose to litter—that’s what it is, littering, to dump junk where it is not supposed to be—and on top of that, to impede groups—charities, profit-making companies, whatever—who are trying to do some good. Are you real impressed with yourself when you do this dumping? Ha, Ha, no refuse pick-up fees for you. You’re really clever, sneaking around nights, leaving things in church parking lots, in business driveways, in back of public buildings, aren’t you? If you really thought it was O.K., you wouldn’t be sneaking, wouldn’t be waiting for off-hours to do your deliveries, would you?
Get a grip. What you are doing is littering and when some public-spirited soul or some fed up business owner or exasperated church board of trustees finally decides to put up surveillance cameras and catch you in the act, we’ll be talking fines here, and rightfully so. Can’t be too soon. Watch for them next time. You never know.
And now for my next rant….

Is it just the weather or is there some other factor that causes the roadsides to blossom with discarded cans and bottles? Maybe they’ve just been covered with snow but I don’t think so. I’ve begun walking more around the village—on sidewalks where there are any, on the proper side of the roadway if there aren’t—and the number of aluminum cans I’ve collected is simply amazing (I’m not a trash picker-upper, just aluminum cans that get taken to the G.U.M.C.—Garrettsville United Methodist Church—where John Porter, “the Can Man”, collects them and takes them to the recycling, for cash which goes into the local fund for good works). I’m picking up cans early, I’m picking up cans late, I’m finding them on lawns, I’m finding them in ditches, some empty, some partly full, some smashed flat, some hardly dented. They are brands of all kinds; one particularly unsavory-sounding variety contained light beer and “clamato” juice (clam & tomato, I guess). Wouldn’t be my choice, that’s for sure. Big cans, sub-standard-size cans, serving every size thirst, I guess, but the fact remains that whoever’s drinking this stuff is just pitching the cans out the window. What? You big, adult-sized people are scared that your Mamma is going to see what you’re doing in the car? Very mature behavior, yes, indeed. You can’t stash a trash bag in your vehicle and dispose of the empties in a responsible manner? Oh, wait, you’re not responsible for anything that you don’t wish to be. Right?
Right. I won’t hold my breath.

Well. I feel better now. Better, that is, if I don’t count the miscellaneous aches and pains left over from cleaning up around my palatial estate on Sunday when the weather was just about perfect for being outside doing anything. There was mowing, there was blowing, there was raking and trimming and weeding going on. I supervised. Bob, the landscaper dude, found a little-bitty turtle, about the size of a quarter, in one bed out in the back; I took it down to the creek to make for home and upset a mamma Canada goose who was sitting on a nest of eggs on a log down there. She paddled off; I scrambled up the bank as fast as I could (not easy, pretty steep and covered with leaves and loose dirt). Hope she returned before they cooled. Now I have a bunch of empty planter pots sitting around as well as bare spots amongst the rest of the greenery. It’s time to hit the garden centers and Stark Bros. catalogs.
Probably time to wash windows so that I can see all of this from inside the house. Ha!