I LOVE going to the dump.
As odd an enjoyable past-time as that may seem, it’s true. There is something that I enjoy deeply about taking a full truck-load of trash and dilapidated bits to the tip, hucking it all out the back with wild and gleeful abandon, and then heading home a (measurable) ton lighter.
Liberating! Refreshing! Freeing! Enlightening!
Best of all, I love the physical space that opens up as a result, and the feeling of freedom that less stuff brings. The older I get, the less stuff I want hanging around. (Except for maybe the fiber stash, I seem to have no problem with *that* getting bigger over time.) Sometimes after a good cleaning-out, it can feel as if the atmospheric pressure has lessened. Somehow, in some way, either the clutter or the things themselves seem to have a physical impact on me – even though it is slight – that I can perceive removed when it’s gone. I love that feeling.
Like many people, I usually have a good cleaning-out between Christmas and New Year’s. But we took it a step further last year after Christmas, when we cleaned everything out of our basement in preparation for finally finishing the unfinished space.
That involved several trips to the tip, and at the time I took about three loads to the Shoreline location. In that short time, Benny became a star.
They remembered him every time we went. The weigh-station ladies took pictures with their iphones as we drove through to pay. He even got to get out of the truck to say hi to some of the guys working on the pit (cavorting underneath signs that read ‘Children And Pets Must Remain In Vehicle’). Benny was King of the Dump.
As a result, we had the basement all cleared out. But before we could get serious about the finishing work down there, the Hawaii Crossing became the prevailing need. As you might imagine, junk and stored items slowly crept back into the basement.
Nearly a year later, this past Thanksgiving weekend, we cleared out the space again. And we took it a step further: we knocked down all the old walls in preparation for a little fresh cement to even out the floor.
Lucky me! That meant another trip to the dump to huck out (with wild and gleeful abandon) about a zillion pounds of sheet rock, some old ductwork pieces, and other random hunks of junk that we continue to unearth around here from people living for the past 50 years at this old house.
As usual, I had my
accomplice co-pilot, a full truckload of junk, and a proper hucking attitude.
Off we went. We arrived, and Benny settled in for a good time watching all the action.
All was going swimmingly well. Hucking had commenced. Sheet rock was dumped. Then oh! The HORROR! My very favorite 4-tined rake – my treasured all-purpose yard and housework tool used for gardening, composting, fire tending, and tip trip assistance – was knocked from its resting place against the tailgate … right into THE PIT!
I watched it slide right over the edge. It was like being trapped in a nightmare, a slow-motion horrible reality that seemed to last for endless minutes. I was frozen in place by disbelief, I kept thinking to myself ‘catch it! CATCH IT!’
But I couldn’t move, first for shock, but then because chains blocked my way, a whirring, grinding, crushing machine swung overhead, and finally because the slick edge was wet with who knows what concoction of evil acid that would probably burn my face off if I got bare skin within 16 inches of it. (And besides, you know, it was just a rake.)
Still, I stared helplessly and moaned a sad “Ohhh Noooooooooo!” as it slid out of sight.
Seconds after it disappeared over the edge, the tip operator told those of us working that pit to hold up for a moment because they were switching trucks. I watched wordlessly as my rake was driven away.
A little piece of my heart drove away with that truck.
After a moment of respectful silence, it was back to work. With a very inadequate shovel and push broom belonging to the transfer station, I managed to get 99.97% of the detritus out of the back of the truck. With a heavy heart, my co-pilot and I drove away.
As sad as this particular trip was, my love for the tip remains strong. The glorious joy of the huck is hard to beat.
I have, however, learned to keep a better handle on my rake.