We’ve all heard the saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”
While I agree wholeheartedly with the concept, I would like to look beyond the treasure and get right to the trash and our ability to collect things that most of us will never put to use.
Allow me to meddle just a bit as the good preachers say sometimes. Far be it from me to infringe on anyone’s tendency to collect, in fact I am right there with you. Most days I avoid my little shed out back that is stuffed with items that I either will never use or items others have put there that I don’t know how to use. My family has heard me say so often that I need to clean the shed they probably turn a deaf ear to my words since I haven’t followed up on my statement.
I must say I try to keep the mess of unused items neatly organized and out of sight from the public eye. With that thought in mind let me get to the meddle part of this story.
We live in a beautiful area. Our towns are communities that each of us is proud to reside in. We are blessed with woodlands that some could only hope to ever see. The Suwannee River is a five- to 10-minute drive for me, and the Gulf of Mexico takes about 45 minutes if I head south on State Road 51. But, sad to say, this natural beauty is often marred by someone’s trash that has been thoughtlessly tossed aside on the roadways, on community roads, and even in folk’s yards.
I suppose our towns are overwhelmed by the task because I am seeing the conditions deteriorate right before my eyes. The grass is overgrown; the trash is still present along with fallen limbs and even a cast-off array of furniture and appliances.
I know what you’re thinking — I see trash, but someone else might see a treasure they have longed to find. If that’s true, please take it home with you and it will be one less eyesore for passing motorists who drive through our towns.
My children and grandchildren would probably agree with all of you that are not bothered by untidy yard work. The truth is, there are three generations that follow me and not one of them has exhibited a desire to follow in my footsteps. It boggles my mind that not a one of them finds pleasure in riding the John Deere mower or slinging the weed-eater to eliminate pesky weeds in the yard. Oh, I’m not saying they never mow, but somehow they didn’t inherit the ‘yard-gene’ that was passed to me from my mama.
It’s so sad to me that they’ll never get the thrill of sitting on the porch, sipping sweet-iced tea from a frosty glass with the sweat of your hours of work running down your aching backbone after a day of satisfying yard work. And, they’ll never know the connection of oneness with the land as you gaze at the blackened soles of your feet that have collected Florida sand into the creases of your toes from pushing the dirt around just one more plant that you had to have for your flower bed.
They’ll never need to soak their hands to loosen the dirt under their fingernails like those of us who always mean to wear gardening gloves but opt to forgo them preferring the feel of the tilled dirt sift through our fingers as we pull the ever-present weeds on a weekly basis.
Although my children and grands don’t share this pleasure with me I do have some fellow yard folks who will agree that a tidy yard and the roadways with tidy boundaries are treasures that we value. This is just the way the good Lord has hardwired us and we promise not to be judgmental if this is not your forte.
On the other hand, if this messy trend continues I can’t promise you won’t see me walking the streets pushing a wheel-barrow collecting the debris that has kept me awake at night as I dream of clutter-free streets and beautiful manicured yards that would be such an asset to our towns.
Are you with me? Let’s clean up our towns, and if our treasure is another’s trash let’s at least keep it out of sight and we’ll all be happily ever after!