Dumpster diving...

Junk jumping, refuse repurposing, garbage grabbing, dustbin discovering, trashed treasures...
Call it what you will, but we had a fantastic family outing this evening, sorting through castoff items by the side of the road.  I know it's crazy, but before your start wondering of we've lost our marbles let me explain.  As I've mentioned once or twice before, Nova Scotia has a most amazing recycling program.  There are limits on how much "garbage" you can throw away, residents are strongly encouraged to recycle almost every bit of household waste that does not contain food residue and curbside pickup includes emptying your green compost bin (which is the size of Regina's "wheeled totes") with bi-weekly pickup.

For those items which are too large for regular curb-side pickup, waste collection organizes twice-annual "Clean Up Days".  During fall/spring special pickups, residents can put out larger items - appliances, mattresses, sofas, dressers and desks seem to be quite common.  Most people will put these larger items out a few days in advance of the pick up.

Why? So people can parade their junk?

Nope, Chuck Testa!  People put out their stuff so that others can have a quick gander and perhaps repurpose the items!  Valley folks are pretty imaginative and rather thrifty. If someone has put a useful item curbside, it will likely be gone within minutes!

What better way to find green house and cold frame material than to look for discarded windows?  We were turned on to this by Mooshum, who has an impressive collection of windows for various purposes - barn, cold frames, green house, chicken house and shed. 

To that end, we loaded up the family wagon and took off about the county!  We were barely 3 miles from home before we had to go back an unload Gertie!  One stop and we had five beautiful old wooden windows that had been removed from a church outbuilding.

Ten miles after that we found the best windows of our entire drive - two sliders (door-sized) and an intact screen door which has already been assigned to the chicken coop.  We found a wonderful skylight (and a pair of cross country skis from which I intend to make a sled), a half dozen wood frame storm windows and three more double-hung wooden windows in casings.    Just over an hour and we had filled the truck twice. I think we only stopped five times. What a bounty!

Our evening's journey also took us to Morden, where we took a few moments to stare in wonderment at the perfectly placid bay.  Oh the cliffs at Morden are stunning!  We vowed to come back and have a picnic and explore the beach at French Cross soon.  

Living dangerously, we took McNally Road on our way back.  It's a somewhat primitive dirt road, with a sign at the beginning simply stating "Road Impassable".   What the heck, we have four-wheel drive we shrugged, let's give it a try!  So with Gertie full of windows, a singing kid and the spirit of adventure, we took off cross country!

Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy ride!  Good thing we don't have hemorrhoids, because that road was definitely not maintained.  But, neither was it impassable.  We slowly made our way across the top of North Mountain westward to Bishop Mountain Road.

Holy doodle!  If McNally was bumpy, Bishop Mountain Road was like driving over moguls!  We took it quite slowly - at one point the potholes alternated with bedrock and for a fair distance boy and I were wobbling inside the cab like bobble heads.  Laura was laughing so hard she was crying and Gertie was just trying to keep herself together!

Needless to say, none of the windows were the worse for wear.  We bumped and rattled our way to Kookum and Mooshum's for a wee visit and continued on our way - but not without a few rhubarb plants and a nice big cat-mint for our new garden!

On our way home we took the bay road.  As we passed close to the shore, we were witness to an unbelievable sunset!   It always amazes me that people are so active in this neck of the woods - there were several other people on foot, with dogs and in cars parked to watch the sun continue it's westward journey.    Absolutely dead calm, the Bay was a mirror and the evening temperature hovered around 17 degrees.

Every single day I'm reminded how fortunate we truly are to live in such an interesting, wondrous and beautiful place.  I even have a bit of a sunburn on my arms from being outside for most of this glorious day!

As I sit exhausted on the sofa tonight, I realize that we really packed in the activities today.  I'm too tired to continue writing, so stay tuned for tomorrow's retelling of our fruit tree adventure!

No comments:

Post a Comment