Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring Cleaning

This shot shows the process of my annual cleaning of the road in front of my place. My house is just beyond the dividing line between urban and rural. It seems to be the point of liberation for folks who don’t want to throw their trash into someone’s yard; they just wait until they see a ditch or field, I guess.
I can understand the alcohol containers; when you drink and drive, you don’t want to be caught with the evidence. The rest of it is “pure, cussed laziness,” as my mom used to say of my sister and me. (We still mimic her. Sarge is SO good at it!)
The laziness particularly applies to the bottles of urine. WTF?!? There are no tractor-trailers on my road! Why can’t these people stop to pee?
Besides the pleasant visuals the urine creates, cleaning up road litter doesn’t really bother me, since I’m always picking up junk from my property, anyway. My husband came from a big family that was raised just after the Depression. Those were the days of self sufficiency, when people didn’t go to the dump. They threw their garbage out in the back 40 or they buried it. Most of my neighbors have the same issue.
That’s just what people did back then. I know that sounds terrible today, but if you really think about it, we’re no better now, despite all our laws, initiatives and education. We’re just paying someone to do somewhere else what we used to do in our own back yards. It all ends up clogging the planet with junk.
It amazes me the way the earth will “cough up” garbage decades later. If you’ve ever had a road burn or been tossed against a windshield at high speed, you know that your skin will discard shards of pavement and/or glass for ages afterwards. It’s really a fascinating ability that our bodies have to cleanse themselves. Well, my yard continues to do that with refuse that was intentionally dumped or accidentally dropped by one of the 10 kids playing on it. It’s really remarkable, if you consider it.
When I was young, people littered. I don’t mean that it was practiced or encouraged, by any means, but nobody was chastising anyone for it. People just weren’t aware. Except for my aunt, that is. She is the only person I remember who had sort of a “policy” of not littering. That was really quite ahead of the time, then. I remember her trying to teach me not to do it; it was pretty foreign to me. I think she might have stopped and made us pick something up once, if I remember. Thanks, Joyce!
I am on a mission to outlaw the plastic grocery bags. It will take legislation, just like was required everywhere the banning of them has been successful, but there’s no reason that we haven’t done it yet. They are everywhere – in trees, lakes, fields, buried in sand on beaches, etc. I really can’t believe that we haven’t done anything about them yet.
Please get a few pretty, reusable grocery bags. They’re great for gift bags, too!

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