Saturday, November 15, 2008
I took this in my parents' yard last weekend. The colors were brilliant that day. Just to the right of what you see here is where we used to keep our trash barrel, where we burned our trash. Oh yes we did.
I remember a time when we burned trash in a rusted out barrel. In the back yard.
Chesapeake Bay Children? 30 or so years ago, products didn't come in plastic containers nor did you need an act of Congress, the strength of Hercules and the patience of Job to open things up. (Have you tried opening stuff up lately? Something as simple as a package of batteries requires heavy equipment and TNT to get into.)
There was no such thing as plastic grocery bags. Drinks came in glass bottles or aluminum cans. Milk was in a cardboard carton or a glass container. Nobody had printer cartridges, plastic trays from microwave dinners, an infinite number of plastic McDonald's Happy Meal figurines that make you want to beat your brains out especially when you step on them in the middle of the night trying to make your way to the bathroom EVEN THOUGH YOUR CHILDREN ARE NOW 10 AND 13 AND HAVEN'T LOOKED AT THOSE THINGS IN 5 YEARS.
Pardon me. I got distracted. The stuff I'm stepping on is a topic for another day. Yes, it's a post entitled: Chesapeake Bay Woman Drowns in Clutter.
Drinking water came out of the hose, the spigot or a water fountain. My grandmother would have busted a gut laughing if she knew the day would arrive when people paid money for drinking water poured into a plastic bottle and sold at prices rivaling a gallon of gasoline.
No, back then, my mother came home from the store with one or possibly two paper bags filled with some fruit, some vegetables and some meat. Milk, bread and eggs. Flour. Sugar. Most refuse could be burned or disposed of locally (where disposed of locally = my grandmother used to take the glass bottles down to the shoreline and smash them and anything that happened to be left over went to the dump).
Those same paper grocery bags were used as garbage bags, and they performed their job admirably. You didn't need hefty-sized plastic bags that gripped the garbage can, cinched up easily or smelled like a rose bush.
I'm not saying we here in Mathews were the only ones who burned trash. It's simply not true. I'm also not saying that people still don't burn trash. But it's definitely a rarity, whereas just a couple decades ago it was the norm.
Do you remember people burning trash? Did you used to drink from a hose? Do you have so much clutter in your house that you want to blow it up and start all over?
Sorry. That last question belongs in the yet-to-be-written Drowning in Clutter post.