Monday, December 9, 2013

Dumpster Diver

"Stop buying the unneccessary.  Toss half your stuff, learn contentedness.  Reduce by half again.  List 4 essential things in your life, do these first, stop doing non-essential.  Clear distractions, focus on each moment.  Let go of attachment to doing, having more.  Fall in love with less."  - Minimalist's Mantra

Always, I'm reiterating my lack of attachment to material things and the obvious neglect of accumulating that one would except of someone my age.  In my early 20's I made very little money but some how managed to travel and see and do more than could be justified if put on a balance sheet with income vs. expenses.  I smile now because of all the things I missed about "growing up", being able to go and see different places was it...and it's worked its way back into my life.  What I make now is a laughable fraction of what I had at one time accomplished but I am the happiest of my life.  We just returned to reality after spending Thanksgiving in south Florida and before that we pulled a hastily put together 4 day trip to Islamorada. On the short trip we only packed one litttle bag and as an after thought realized we could've saved the money and put it all in a back pack.  As we waited for the baggage carousel to start up, we hear Velcro being paged.  Our luggage it seems took the later flight and was currently enroute to NY.  They gathered our hotel information and let us know it would be in later that night and they would deliver it to us.  All the quicker that we could get our little rented car headed south.  Alabama Jack's on Card Sound Road was our first "neccessity" stop.  One can not live on Bailey's and Coffee alone, but add conch fritters and beer to the mix and respectable food pyramid can be accomplished. Being that I was in jeans our next stop was at the big lobster for an $8 sundress.  Our list of things we figured we didn't want to live without follows.  Liquor, styrofoam cups, bananas, toothbrushes and toothpaste, peanuts, and some lotion from the dollar store....and a pair of flip flops for the man.  Our luggage didn't show until late morning the next day...we had decided over coffee and bananas that qtips and deodorant were the essential second day items if still no bag.  For the Thanksgiving trip I made sure the phone charger was in the backpack along with a pair of shorts and flip flops, all other "things" can be lived without.  

I have over the years found some of my coolest possessions by or in dumpsters...other's discards have become my little treasures.  Thinking back, the first dumpster score that I recall also is one of only two times that I've ever had to actually "dive" as most things are left more accessibly propped beside said dumpster.  It was a dark room enlarger.  I had a little darkroom at the time, set up in the back of the dive shop and the enlarger that I had was tiny, ragged and very limited as to what I could accomplish with it.  The one I found was the cat's meow.  Luckily there was little else in the dumpster and it was behind a strip center of businesses so no nasty stuff was in there.  Over the years I've gotten a covered cat pan, a Gamecock dog leash, a fake palm tree, a whole box of plates, glasses and knives (even an electric one), a carved african statue, a foldable wheelie cart, and a surfboard that was signed and painted by a what appears to be a group of college kids that were on a bus trip with a surfer driver named Rich.  He made quite the impression, judging from the things they wrote on the board.  It now hangs in my living room as my main piece of "art".  There are more, but I just can't remember them all right now.  My plates came from the Habitat Store for a quarter a piece and they look just like the ones Junior Saprano had, thankfully I don't have his wallpaper.  I have, had several very nice and probably decently expensive sets of dishes.  Someone else still has them.  I am accustomed to dropping everything and walking away.  It's just what I do. I am a runner. When things start going south...I run.   I would be lying if I said I never try to figure out why I am... how I am.  I can't pinpoint any one thing but as with all of us life as a process is what makes us what we are.  My dad was a preacher and when I was a kid we moved about every 5 years.  The house was provided furnished so all we did was box up our stuff and throw it in a truck.  I remember that they had a bedroom set for me that got moved along each time.  When we left we were instructed to "make a clean break" so that the new preacher and his family could form bonds.  Basically leave, don't stay in touch and don't come back around.  Now it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the collation between that and how I am now.    

Since loosing my little girl, Roger may be getting just a bit spoiled.  We celebrated his 13th birthday on November the 15th.  I'm not really sure about the date, but I got him when he was 8 weeks old and that was mid January so I picked a date and it stuck. For his birthday he got a beer and  a treat puzzle.  The beer was stretched out over 2 days... he burped like a shirtless pot bellied man at a Nascar race, then started barking the top of his lungs while cirlcing us...drunk talk.  The puzzle was an attempt of giving him some entertainment along with his snacks.  It has 4 little trap doors for kibble and it spins around inside...pretty challenging.  He had it mastered inside of 5 minutes, my dog is obviously a genius.  He takes after me.  For a 91 year old he is amazingly busy.  His hearing kind of comes and goes...most times I come in I have to go upstairs and nudge him awake...then it's on just like he was a puppy.   I spend time with him on his was in the closet and once lying in there with him,  I figured out he has the best room in the house.  It's small and confined and dark...something my bedroom isn't since it's a loft and  the living room skylights double as bedroom skylights. I considered pulling the cushions off the couch and taking over the closet.  When I come in at night I sit in the floor beside my bed on his bed with him and read or watch netflix on the ipad until he falls asleep.  The problem was even with his little doggie tempurpedic bed my ass was making it to sleep before the dog.  After a few vodkas, it occured to me that I had an airo mattress in a closet so dragged it out and pumped it up for him.  Now in my bedroom there is my queen size bed with a queen size airo bed in the floor beside it.  Some nights I sleep down there with him...he is a bed hog.  

I am in a good place.  Despite all of my quirkiness, I have someone that likes me just like I am and humors me when I stalk Iguanas or when I want my picture made doing the Heisman pose with a coconut that I found on the street.  Everyone should be so lucky.
(No Iguanas where harmed for this photo op)