We had a few nice days camping before the rain came back. Check out that sunrise – and people ask me why I would want to live up there.
Back in Chico, me and the dogs are holed up in the house again. When the rain let up for an hour or so around noon, we went out to see what there was to see. I notice the grass I’d planted outside my front door is finally coming in, on a dead heat with the weedlings.
Toward the end of Summer, when it was just DRY, my nopal cactus had started to wither, it was shocking – the leaves began to wrinkle up like raisins. As soon as the weather turned wet they started to swell up, so much a few leaves actually broke off from their own weight – see the leaf laying on the ground there next to the strawberry pot. I notice they can rip very badly if they fall off by themselves, so I’ve been watching, and when they start to sag I cut them off with the loppers. I save them in an old planter pot and plant them elsewhere when I find a spot. They last forever, just sitting there in the pot, looking sad, and then you put them in the ground and look what happens!
No it’s not pleasant working outside in a dumper, but I got plenty of other stuff to occupy my time. Back to The Hoard.
Last Spring we sold an old rental, and my older son, who was living in the “mother-in-law” unit with his girlfriend, had less than a week after the new place was available to get their stuff out of the old place. They tried to save time by moving a bunch of stuff into our garage. I have to laugh – moving is so frantic – they took everything. Once the panic had settled down, they looked at their mish mash of boxes and realized, a lot of it should go either to the thrift store or the trash. Since they both have real jobs now, I’ve finally decided to take on the job of sorting through their stuff. I found out – a lot of it belongs to my husband and I, junk we’d left behind in the garage at their apartment when we moved off the property.
I’m always asking my husband, “what is this and is it usable?”
Sometimes he laughs and thumbs toward the trash pile, other times he says, “wow, I forgot that…” The other day we found my mom’s old can crusher.
My mother was a consummate hoarder, where do you think I got half my junk? She also drank Pepsi out of the can, it was like her oxygen tank. “Where the hell is my Pepsi?!” A child of the Great Depression, she never threw away any type of metal. She saved her Pepsi cans for the neighbors kids, and sometimes she’d even drive the whole pile of kids in my gramps’ ’66 Chevy pick-up to the scrap yard to turn the hoard into cash.
I’ll never forget how shocked the neighbors were when she died – one said, “she just took the kids to the dump last week…gave ’em all $5…” Yep, that was my mom!
Mom’s garage would get cluttered with cans sometimes, and the neighbor kids weren’t always around to help, so her boyfriend got her a can crusher – what a romantic! My mom loved stuff like that. Screw it to the fence, drop in the can, pull that lever and VOILA! That’s French for “Holy Shit!” Can comes out looking like it’s been had-over by an 18-wheeler.
When my mother died I saved everything – including a Post It note I found on the refrigerator – “call the kids” The can crusher went in my husband’s shop, along with other relics – tools and farm junk. My husband is also a hoarder, that’s why it’s so tough to throw anything away around here. I was pretty excited to find it again, because my husband has recently switched to canned beer. I like the cans better, they aren’t as heavy, they don’t break, and they don’t seem to hold as much residue – so they don’t stink as bad as bottles. And now I can crush them to roughly one-tenth their original size – they take up almost no space, and we can take them to the recycling center in old dog food bags. We don’t have to go as often either, and the trips are more lucrative.
And I can’t tell you how fun it is smacking down those cans – listen, an old bitch like me has got to let off a little steam once in a while. It’s fun imagining that I am putting one or another government flak catcher in there and SMASH!