Some people scrounge; others just collect

Yesterday was a good day for a scrounger. First, I ate a piece of toast that someone had left in a restaurant (I dunked it in my coffee); then I found a pair of perfectly good socks under a park bench (socks were actually on my shopping list); and lastly I spotted some votive candle holders on a curb (I’ll use them for shot glasses).

“People who have class don’t scrounge,” Peggy objected.

“Ha!” I said. “In my family, they did. In my family, the ones without class went straight to the dump.” THAT’S low class. Finding stuff around town is serendipitous. (I don’t really think it’s low class to get stuff from the dump—I think it’s damn efficient—but I was trying to impress Peggy.)

“Hey, you didn’t tell me the light changed!” Peggy yelled as a car barreled past. She was prying a penny from the asphalt as we spoke, and I was standing on the curb where I was supposedly warning her of oncoming traffic.

“Shit, Peggy, don’t you go hollering at me. It’s not like you got run over or something!”

This reminds me of a funny story about Peggy—after 38 years together, I could tell you A LOT of funny stories about Peggy.

Peggy abruptly stopped her bike one day when she saw a penny in the bike lane. The biker who rear-ended her was pretty upset, so Peggy lied about why she stopped. Another time, Peggy was going somewhere with Shirley when she saw a penny at a gas station. She had Shirley drive round and round through the pumps until she saw it again. Naturally, the station’s bell kept going off, which, for some reason, seemed to piss off the man whose job it was to answer it.

Peggy isn’t a scrounger though; Peggy is a collector. A collector only picks up things that aren’t good for much, things like beads, pennies, matchbox trucks, and squished rings from Cracker Jacks’ boxes. A scrounger picks up things he can actually use. I especially like baseball caps because I wear one almost every waking moment. Peggy worries that I’ll get head lice—and give them to her—but the risk seems worth it.

I think that what is really low class is waste. I would even say that waste is worse than low class. I would say that waste is a sin. I went to a talk about mysticism at Unity Church last week, and the leader gave out ten-page single-sided handouts. I was horrified. Not only does double-sided printing save resources; it saves filing space in the event that anyone wants to keep the handouts. I was also horrified because Unity claims to teach a better way to live. Well, duh.

Another time, I was in a writing group when a woman read an essay in which she trashed loggers. She gave everyone single-sided copies of her essay. What was she thinking—besides how superior she felt to all those damn loggers?

My Dad was a scrounger, only it got out of hand when he was old. He would bring home things like broken baby cribs, things that took up a lot of room and didn’t even have parts that could be used in other things. When I moved him from Mississippi to Oregon in 1992, I spent weeks getting rid of it all. Everyday, I would take one truckload to the dump, one truckload to the junkyard, and set aside another truckload to sell. What upset me most were the scores of worthless (to him anyway) magazines that he had paid money for, magazines like Mademoiselle and Working Mother. He thought they would give him a better chance to win the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes. When Ed Mahon—Johnny Carson’s sidekick who advertised for Publishers Clearinghouse—died last month, my only thought was that I hope there really is a hell, and that Ed Mahon is in it.

To waste means to hold in contempt. The problem is that we all do it. I live in a 1,250 square foot house that has a double garage and sets on a fair-sized lot. All of the houses in my neighborhood are about the same size, and most were occupied by families of three to six people when they were built in the 1950s. Now, most of them contain widows or divorced people. I’ve asked several people who raised their families in my neighborhood if the houses seemed small back then. They all seemed surprised by my question, yet today, anything less than four bedrooms and two baths would seem small.

There really is no end to how much we want, because as soon as we get one thing, most of us start thinking about how nice it would be to have something else. I think 1,250 square feet is too big for a couple, but Peggy disagrees. Ten years ago, I talked her into at least looking for something smaller, but everything that was smaller was in a rundown neighborhood. People who couldn’t afford big houses apparently felt too discouraged to take care of the houses they could afford. Yet, when you think about it, the smaller the house, the easier the maintenance.

I think that, as a culture, we’re going to remain wasteful until something from outside stops us. Here’s why I think that way. Take the average overweight and under-exercised person. If that person develops serious health problems that can only be cured by weight loss and exercise, he or she is probably screwed. Now, extend the unwillingness of the individual to deal with problems that imminently threaten his existence to those problems that will threaten society as a whole a generation from now, and tell me what the odds are of voluntary change.

I have a friend who says that the problem isn’t waste per se, but the ever-growing number of people who are doing it. In his view, this excuses him from changing how he lives. I would consider waste to be an act of contempt if I was the only person on earth, but he’s probably right in a purely practical sense. Yet, I think we’re obliged to do what we can to better the situation we are in rather than to simply bemoan the fact that a better situation doesn’t exist.

There used to be a story that circulated the Internet about a little boy who was throwing stranded starfish back into the water (I don’t remember how they got out of the water—maybe a hurricane). A wizened old man came along and pointed out that, given the thousands of starfish that were stranded, the little boy wasn’t making a big difference.

“I guess I made a big difference to that one,” the kid said as he threw yet another one into the water.”

That’s the way I see it. I didn’t scrounge a pair of socks or a set of shot glasses. I respected them by rescuing them from the garbage. It wasn’t much, but it was something, and I treasure such finds far more than anything I could buy.

47 comments:

rhymeswithplague said...

I really liked this post, Snow. I liked it even better when I re-read it using Andy Rooney's voice in my head. Perhaps you are a curmudgeon-in-training.

The way I heard the fish story originally was with starfish on a beach. Slight difference that probably doesn't make a difference, but that's the way I heard it.

I always pick up pennies. It makes my children roll their eyes. They don't even pick up nickels and dimes.

Keep up the good work....

Marion said...

Snow-man, this settles it---we're definitely related somewhere down the line. (Mama's from Pascagoula, MS---and all her brothers and sisters looked like their Indian heritage, short with dark skin, hair and eyes but she's long-legged with green eyes and auburn hair---where is your daddy from? LOL!)

I can relate to Peggy, too. A penny found is a penny earned! LOL! Love your stories.

My husband and I will pull a U-ie to go back and go through some 'trash' on the side of the road. I have a HUGE legless striped wooden cat 'table' (no shit) in my office awaiting my son-in-law to make it 4 legs to fit into the holes under the cat's belly. We pulled it from a roadside trash pile. My husband will give me whiplash to stop and get a hat in the middle of the Interstate!! Our house is overflowing with books...in milk crates. No wasted money on bookcases for this family! And 90% of the books came from our local library sale where we pay 25 cents for each book. Our house is 1,800 square feet but we can't move due to the rooms full of books. And we have pared them down quite a few times, but they keep multiplying!! I collect free magazines and use them for decoupage and collage.

Oh, get this, one year we were driving around and saw a man in a ritzy neighborhood getting a new wooden fence put up. His old fence boards looked fine to us---we asked him if we could have the old boards and he said hell, yeah, haul them off! We got enough boards to fence our back yard and, until one of those wicked hurricanes took it, that fence lasted for many years. If you, me and Peggy were in charge of the economy, it would be in much better shape!! I hope you're feeling better. Hugs & Blessings!!

nollyposh said...

i ~love~ this post and TOTALLY agree! It concerns me that most people diagnosed with cancer (for example) find it easier to cope with radical chemo and radiotherapy than to change their diets and exercise more... It's as if we are just stuck in a way of thinking that expects all change to be an external thing mostly derived from commercialism when actually change must come from within... i'm like you, i love the adventure of discovery and the excitement of invention... and when one starts traveling down this path, well that's when all the magic happens (as long as one doesn't become obsessed of course!) X:-)

Snowbrush said...

RYHMES, I like Andy Rooney too. As for your kids rolling their eyes when you pick up pennies, I guess they just take a lot of things for granted. It seems to be a common affliction. I saw an experiment on some show (I actually think it was 60 Minutes) in which various coins and bills were placed on the pavement to see which ones people would pick up. Few people picked up less than a quarter, and a significant number needed a good bit more than that.

I think you're right about it being starfish rather than fish, but do you remember how they got stranded?

MARION, my father was born in Brookhaven. His mother was 3/4 Indian, which would make him 3/8 Indian, which was enough that no one would have been surprised to learn that he had a lot of Indian blood. He had rather dark skin and jet black hair.

Peggy cashes in her found coins every few years or so, but she keeps the other items. They're all small, so there really isn't that much--about a churn full, which is what she keeps them in.

I keep very little of what I find. I usually pass it along to someone else, or else take it to Goodwill. The important thing, to me, is not that I hold onto things, but that they get used.

NOLLYPOSH, I guess it's the difference in doing something FOR ourselves versus letting someone else do something for us. I prefer the former if at all possible, because it gives me a sense of control. When I depend upon someone else to fix a problem for me, I worry that they will make it worse.

My physical therapist tells me that I'm unusual in that I actually do my exercises. He can tell this because, at the start of each visit, he asks his patients to show him what exercises they've been doing (out of the ones they're supposed to have been doing), and few people can demonstrate even one.

Natalie said...

Good job! The scroungeing and the messages.I am with you all the way.xx♥

patsy said...

I have a problem I can't throw anything away! I put something away thinking I will need that some day and then the day arrives and I can't find the thing.
I also pick up pennies. to me it is a waste not to pick up pennies. my children throw them down and I collect them in a jar and then they cash them in . I never have cashed in pennies.
I save everything no matter how small. My sons will say mom do you have any ------------ some small item and i always have the item but never know where it is.
my poor old grandmother collected string and paper sacks she had a room full of paper bags once but I have never keep paper bags. I would like too but then I think of grandma and her room full of paper bags and say NO.
I don't think I would take home a pair of used socks from the park but I might.

Mim said...

I also have scrounge in my blood but unfortunately am married to a non-scrounger so I have to curb my habits of bringing home broken furniture to "fix" and the like. He thinks I'm nuts!
String..? love it, bring it on. but not used socks - sorry!

Teresa said...

Hi Snow, I really love your blog, and we sure are a bunch of consumers, and we waste so much! We could all simplify, and then simplify, and then simplify again, and still have too much of everything. I am amazed at what most people see as 'paring down' and 'going green'... I too am among the wasteful...even in my apparent poverty right now.

geek said...

Nice post! My parents were scroungers when they were in Japan. I remembered we had a stereo, a TV, and a radio just from my parents' scrounging in the streets of Osaka because the Japanese usually leave their stuff in the streets when they move to a different house. My dad's presents for me were usually stuff he scrounged from the airplanes after he cleans them. My favorite one was the hairy puppy key holder.

My mom also likes to collect centavos. She doesn't understand why people just leave them anywhere. She says that a centavo couldn't buy you anything, but if you collect them, you might have enough to buy something.

And in my university, we give our unused stuff to our clubs and organizations. They usually use the stuff for income-generating projects.

Love the caps, by the way!

Hugs from across the world. :)

Diana said...

Hi Snowbrush, Wow the beginning of your post flooded me with memories. As a young girl growing up in chicago, very young, my cousins and I would always go garbage picking, especially on Sunday evenings. You see the newspaper way back when would have these posters of the peanuts characters inserted every Sunday. Well not only did we go searching for those every week but we would come home with all sorts of things. It is amazing what people throw out.
My 14 year old is so enbarressed by this practice but so what, I found a perfectly beautiful desk in the alley last year that I made her help me carry home! And a few months ago I found a big hanging picture for my dining room, it matched perfectly! Kid's, what do they know!

Snowbrush said...

Natalie, thanks for stopping by.

Patsy "I have a problem I can't throw anything away!"

My father and mother were that way, but I tend to go toward the opposite extreme, at least in regard to things that have no practical value. Even if I get something like a knick-knack, it annoys me more and more until I finally get rid of it.

Patsy "I have never keep paper bags"

Most stores here give a nickel credit for every bag that they don't have to use, so it pays to recycle bags. Since I often shop on my bike, I get the credit for using my backpack to carry my purchases.

Mim "I am married to a non-scrounger so I have to curb my habits of bringing home broken furniture to "fix" and the like. He thinks I'm nuts!"

As I explained scrounging to Peggy. "It doesn't hurt anyone; it doesn't cost anything; it saves resources; and it gives me a great deal of pleasure." Seriously, Mim, what part of this would your husband call nuts?

Teresa "I am amazed at what most people see as 'paring down' and 'going green'... "

Good point, Teresa. The emphasis is still on feeling good rather than making a significant difference.

Geek "the Japanese usually leave their stuff in the streets when they move"

I surely wish Americans would do that. I regularly put unwanted items in front of my house, and they are nearly always gone within a few hours if not a few minutes. BTW, do the Japanese have yard sales?

Geek "Love the caps, by the way!"

A funny aspect of my caps is that some of them represent sports teams. Sometimes, a person will see a particular cap and ask me how such and such a team is doing this year. I know NOTHING about sports, so such questions threw me until I discovered the cap connection.

Diana "My 14 year old is so enbarressed by this practice but so what"

Has there ever existed a parent so cool that nothing she did ever embarrassed her 14 old? When I was that age, I would NOT have wanted to have been seen pulling lumber from a dumpster in front of a construction site (my BIG hauls are always lumber). Now, I truly don't care what anyone thinks about it just so long as they don't run me off.

Lisa said...

I know this subject all too well! My husband is a "trash picker", I guess that is a collector...and he has turned me into one, we drive around the rich areas on trash days and you should see the beautiful stuff they just chuck, it really is unbelieveable. My Grandmother is too proud to ask to have the food that she didn't eat at a restaurant wrapped--I don't understand it, I understand it as pride, and that is how she presents it, but coming from the Depression, I don't know, I guess coming from that it could go either way. Anyway, I get her food wrapped and take it home with mine! A lot of people opt to not take their uneaten food, and that is a very big sin, in my book, I absolutely hate it. Almost as bad as people who put their cigarettes out in the sand on the beach--which I think is saying Eff You to God and the Universe.

Great post, you write so well, it is always a pleasure to read your stff--love it.

Lisa

babbler said...

Snowbrush,
I have been over to meet Ms. Rabbitus Emily, and was pleased with my visit. Thanks for the introduction!

I am in awe that you have perfectly described my love for all found objects, be it a penny or a single shoe laying in the fast lane on the freeway. Everything has it's purpose, even if it is to confound others who know we collect/scrounge/reuse/recyle/create art/cash in at a pawn shop/give it to Goodwill/Salvation Army or the best scenario, actually use the darned thing because we actually needed it.
I pick up pennies every day, and since I am a self-employed Slug, they are very easy to find as I slide through my busy day. There is no such thing as spare change - every penny you earn or find is hard won and important. A found penny might be all I have made in a weeks time, as my payoffs come in larger lump sums after a transaction is finished. Those few pennies literally keep my spirit from flagging in a slow month. When I find any kind of money on the ground, I hold it up and exclaim, "I can see I am on the right track to collecting lots more of these." If the coin is silver, I get especially excited and say, "Sillllvaahh!" Kind of like I have struck it rich at a mining camp.

I wrote a poem as a youth, I have never forgotten it.

Here it goes:

"My Paper Bag.
Something inside if it, inside of me.
Yet as I sit here staring at the tiny pieces of wood and glue,
I am somehow able to understand how it feels."


So, with that, I will leave a little cyberspace for another individual to communicate with you - but before I go back to making an effort to bgetter myself in some tangible way, I will present you with this very important thought:

I hope to live in the present, presently. Mrs. Slug

geek said...

I'm not sure if they have yard sales in Japan. I never saw one when I was there -- probably because I stayed in a dormitory. But yeah, they leave great stuff when they moved to another place. My mom got her oven from one of those. And my mom's friend got a good cabinet from the streets.

And I think sports caps are cool. Though, like you, I'm not much of a sports fan myself. They just look cool.

All Consuming said...

I am both a collector and a scrounger then hahaha. And I have 5 baseball caps that I wear an awful lot of the time...great minds think alike eh? Then again fools seldom differ heheh.

I was brought up with the ‘waste not want not’ motto, and although circumstances have made it so that I pretty much have no choice about being like that, I do know I would be the same were I to come into money. No rubbish skip is safe from me and my dad finds it hilarious that when people compliment me on some article of clothing I invariably tell them all excited that it only cost £1.99 from the charity shop. You see I think that’s brilliant, a bargain which is also recycling someone elses trash and helping a charity. Everybody wins! But I do find other people, often women, look at me like I’m mad to have admitted it. For them the more it costs the nicer it must be. Duh.

Spatz however takes it a step further and has filled his house with tons of second hand stuff he just doesn’t use and can barely walk round it all. He’s the third of the trinity; Collector, Scrounger and the holy Hoarder.

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

one good thing that is coming out of the recession is that more of us are aware of waste and how to avoid it. But I guess as you say, that is necessity, it would be great if it continues though.

robert said...

Good morning Snow, hope you are doing fine. Must be now more than two decades since I did wear my favourite sneakers - had them until there were holes in the sole. My parents found them on the street and I'm still proud to be their son. Along with my wife, you are the second person to know this. What a great entry of yours! Proving another time that one is glad to bow for the writing and its content!

Snowbrush said...

Lisa "My Grandmother is too proud to ask to have the food that she didn't eat at a restaurant wrapped"

This reminds me of the time I went to an "all you can eat buffet" with a woman who I knew had a lot of money. She loaded three plates with food, and then asked for a doggie bag. They gave it to her, much to my surprise. I lost a great deal of respect for her over that incident because it came awfully close to theft in my mind.

I wish I could ride with you and your husband to find some of those goodies. It really bothers me about rich people that they seem to have so little appreciation.

Geek "I think sports caps are cool... They just look cool."

I think hats look even better, and I have lots of those too, but hats aren't as convenient, and they're also easily damaged. My eyes are light sensitive--esp to fluorescents--so I wear caps indoors mainly to protect my eyes. I worry that this might offend people in some circumstances, but I really need the protection.

Babbler, you and Peggy would get along famously with your found penny collections. The ones I like best are the newer ones that have been run over (or walked over) so many times that they're all scratched up. I would pick them up regardless, but I keep them to give to Peggy. If it were just me, I would simply throw them in with my other money.

All Con, I just love caps on women because they make them look fun, sporty, light-hearted, playful, tomboyish, and ready for almost anything. Unfortunately, Peggy has such fine hair that it's hard for her to keep them on. The best she can do is to tie her hair in a ponytail, and pass it through the opening in the back of the cap.

Reasons, I doubt that the majority of people are ever frugal in the absence of necessity.

Robert, I loved the story of your sneakers. I recall a time when I was similarly attached to shoes, although I must admit that a certain hardness has crept in over the years. Thank you so much for your kind words, coming all the way from Greece, no less. I must say that I am quite taken with where you live. Maybe someday, I will be be able to visit there. It won't be anytime soon though.

Putz said...

i have a very adroit comment to make and then i will go back and read all the commednts that are above me and find out someonwe has left the very same comment and i am such a dorfus to make the same commenrt like an as----.so here it goes if yopu were bill gates or harold trump no that is bill... howard .....trump and you saw a 50 dollar bill down on the ground ...in the time it took you to pick it up you would have earned LESS than if you at work on the clock making what ever business you make when you are doing businness...it would behoooveth you[NOW THAT IS A WORD]to leave the 50 alone and continue on your way....now i will read your comments and see if someone else trumped me on the comment

rhymeswithplague said...

He meant Donald Trump....but what else he meant, I haven't the foggiest notion.

Renee said...

I don't like waste either.

I do it, but I don't like it.

Love Renee xoxo

CreekHiker said...

Snow, I guess I'm a scrounger too. My favorite pair of sweat pants were found draped over a bush in the creek. I waited a week, in case they were left behind by some homeless person. I also have a t-shirt and a sweatshirt I found out there.

Snowbrush said...

Putz "it would behoooveth you...to leave the 50 alone and continue on your way...."

Same with Peggy and her pennies. She earns more pennies in an hour than she is likely to find in a lifetime, so if profit were the only consideration, she would do better to increase her work hours.

Rhymes "He meant Donald Trump...."

Yep, I think. Every blog needs a fact checker, and not just for its readers either, so always feel free to jump in there. I appreciate you, and always smile when I see that you have written.

CreekHiker "I waited a week, in case they were left behind."

I have sometimes left something behind accidentally, and then found it gone when I returned, and felt bummed about it. I have also hesitated to pick something up in case the owner should return; I've never waited a full week though.

A Brit in Tennessee said...

Snowbrush: I think the all time scrounger/recycler/ditch-diver is my daughter. I saw this with conviction.
Each April the city conducts it's annual "clean up the city" month. Residents are encouraged to put whatever they need to dispose of, at the curb, and the city sanitation workers, come around for four weeks in a row, and haul it off for you. My dearest daughter has made it her annual ritual to make it around the city, before the workers have a chance to look through/haul off/keep.
The child has collected more items, than Goodwill industries combined. If she can't use it, she will find someone who can, including myself. You would not believe the amount of STUFF people just throw away...perfectly usable, just not needing it any longer.
A person could furnish a house or two on what is thrown away, it just is such a waste.

BT said...

Hello Snowbrush, thanks for visiting my blog and your comments. I've sent your link to husband Jim and he's going to have a read. I really think you two would get on.

I have just read your blog back to - oh, a long way back. You're such a good writer and easy to read and funny too, in spite of the crap you've suffered/are suffering. I've just been chatting to Jim about it. Must go to bed now as it's 3am but will call back. As for this post, I am a collector/a scrounger all in one, as is Jim! My mother used to pick headscarves and handkerchiefs off the beach and wash them and either use or jumble them! It's in the blood.

xx BT
xx

Renee said...

Snowbrush thanks for the best laugh I have had in ages.

You are so awesome that in your honour I am going to leave a perfectly good baseball cap on a park bench for someone to scrounge for.

Love Renee xoxo

kj said...

snowbrush, i am slow in reading my favorite blogs--yours of course included. my vacation is coming. i'll be in better shape then...

xoxo

ps are you coming to blogland lane?i think you might like it....
:)

~Babs said...

Aaaah, A subject dear to mine own heart!
Curb collector, junker,,it's amazing what you can do with all this 'still good stuff' if you have some imagination!
I have many items of furniture in our home that were only in need of a coat of paint or new varnish.
Waste is what it is for sure,,often it's not junk,,it only needs encouragement!
Great post!

Gaston Studio said...

I'm a scrounger AND a collector. Have you ever noticed that pennies are about the only money you find anymore? I used to pick up greenbacks in parking lots several years ago, and sometimes 20s!

A wise little boy. One person can make a difference; I do it everyday in one way or another.

kj said...

snowbrush, i love to collect too because i love a good bargain. i'm often on the lookout for wood furniture so i can paint it even though i buy it and then don't paint it....

police on blogland lane! do you think that's necessary? so far we all seem stable and congenial. i suppose the first conflict will be around duplicate house numbers!

anyway, are you volunteering to be the police dept? because if you're interested, i think you could just be the judge and that would save a whole step.

xoxo
a

Strayer said...

Yes, you're right, we're screwed by our natures. I am looking for a smaller place. I can't handle a two bedroom with garage. I love this house of my brothers'. But it's work to keep up something too big for me. I liked that shack I lived in, the slumshack, for size. 325 sq. ft. It was perfect for one person. If I'd owned it, I would have fixed it up to be an efficient little cute cottage. I have all these ideas I'd use too, to make it self sufficient, energy wise. I'm a closet inventor.

Renee said...

Whether you are serious or joking you still make me laugh.

xoxoxo

Mariana Soffer said...

I like to collect books, old books, even books that are in language I will never be able to read. I think I am hooked with them

Pat - Arkansas said...

Very enjoyable post, Snowbrush. I'm not quite yet a roadside trash picker, but I was married to one, and spawned one, a daughter who cannot drive by any pile of cast-offs without stopping. She usually leaves with something she can rework and use.

I do actively look for dropped coins, and most of the days I am out of the house will find one, or more. Pennies and dimes seem to be the most frequent finds, although I did once find a silver dollar. I don't care how grungy they are; I just clean them up.

babbler said...

Hello Snowbrush,

Mrs. Slug here, I just thought I would come over and visit you personally to tell you I think you are a good egg. Mrs. Slug has a thick mantle of skin and has never taken offense to any slug related comments, as we all know how slugs can wreak havoc on a gentleman's garden. Besides - I have a little bit of human in me, got it on Mom's side, you know. We slugs understand the nature of being a part of nature, not always pretty.

I truly enjoy your visits, I hope you will always feel that the gooey welcome mat of slime is out for you and that you are one of my favorite commenters! We are currently building a new structure over at #77 Blogland Lane to compliment the one over at Slug's Rest. I hope to have it built soon, gotta pull the permits today for the plumbing. Mr. Slug wants to make sure there is plenty of water available at the new place! I will be inviting you over for some green leaf tea and a spot of smooth jazz when it is done.
Have a pleasant day, :)
Mrs. Slug

Chrisy said...

Well Snow as I look around my place here I see everything and yes I mean everything is preloved...I love those council curb side clean ups...particularly here where it's advertised that all the stuff goes to landfill...and thrift shops...have bred two children who are now the same way inclined and both have interesting character filled homes of their own...tho my son is a bit of a worry with the hoarding...I prefer to give to charity, family or friends if I get too much stuff...my place is small so it's really made me cut down...but having said that...I could do better...

Snowbrush said...

Brit " My dearest daughter has made it her annual ritual to make it around the city, before the workers have a chance to look through/haul off/keep."

Does this mean that you have daughters that you don't think so well of? I would be surprised. I would also be surprised if your daughter is the only one to make the rounds. I know I would.

BT, thanks for your interest, your kind words, and for sending my blog link to Jim.

Renee "I am going to leave a perfectly good baseball cap on a park bench for someone to scrounge for."

Hey, I want that cap! Send it to me, and I'll put it on a bench and pretend that I found it.

Jane "Have you ever noticed that pennies are about the only money you find anymore?"

Yes. Here in Eugene, it's not just the hard times that are responsible but the fact that I live near downtown where there are a LOT of scroungers.

KJ "I'm slow in reading my favorite blogs"

Yep, those horrid ones just fly by--ha.

Babs "Waste is what it is for sure, often it's not junk, it only needs encouragement!"

I like that! Things that get thrown out do seem a little like abandoned puppies to those of us who tend to anthropomorphize everything.

Strayer, good luck in your search for a smaller place to live.

Mariana "I like to collect books, old books, even books that are in language I will never be able to read."

Wow, you must have a lot of books, but you must also have some criteria for determining which ones to bring home. What kinds of things appeal to you?

Pat " Pennies and dimes seem to be the most frequent finds, although I did once find a silver dollar. I don't care how grungy they are; I just clean them up."

Peggy found a $20 bill once, and another time she found a LOT of coins in one small area, as if someone had dropped their piggy bank. Peggy also cleans them, but I think she mostly does it when she wants a better look at the date or something.

Mrs. Slugs "I have a little bit of human in me, got it on Mom's side"

You are one of the few bloggers who always tells the literal truth. I know that. That said, let me say this. I've heard about the goings-on among shepherds and sheep, marooned sailors and dogs, and even between farm boys and pigs, but never have I known of anyone doing it with a slug, must less a pregnancy resulting. By the way, was it the human or the slug that got pregnant? Inquiring minds REALLY want to know this one.

Chrisy "Well Snow as I look around my place here I see everything and yes I mean everything is preloved..."

I would LOVE to see your house. Such dwellings have character unlike one that is filled with new things can never achieve (until the new things become old anyway).

Bella said...

hey Snowbrush, interesting post and comments. I always look for a bargain myself, whether it be at the local Goodwill or flea market. I don't collect anything, and as a matter of fact, I am looking to simplify and get rid of the unnecessary, which seems to be in good supply around here! Somebody will have to clean up our junk when we die so I'm going to save them the trouble.

Mariana Soffer said...

I like mostly old books, the ones that have been printed a long time
ago, and that seem to have been read lots and lots of times. Also the
ones that seem to be classic books, that somehow transcendent their
own time and culture, they could influece it based on that simple
text. IT could alter people thoughts and ideas about the world. I like
the books that seems to be like that, andy you?

Joy said...

What was it George Carlin said - that other people's stuff is junk and our junk is stuff? Something like that anyway. That's true about getting larger houses to hold our junk! I agree with you about waste and like the starfish story. True!

Sonia ;) said...

Scroungers UNITE...I am a Scrounger..woot woot.

Smiles,
Sonia ;)

babbler said...

Snowbrush,
I am glad I came back over here to read your reply to to my family lineage, "I got the human on my Mom's side."

I am still laughing too hard to write!

I do not think I got the slug lineage in the traditional way, but more like an earwig enters the brain through the ear.

Mrs. Slug

Val said...

I absolutely loved this post, so true! And thank you for visiting my blog and leaving such kind words.
Blessings,
Val

Snowbrush said...

Bella: " I am looking to simplify"

This seems to be ever a challenge for many of us in affluent cultures. The amount I own seems to increase so quickly, and even though I make a considerable effort to avoid owning so much, I find myself having less and less space.

Mariana: "I like the books that seems to be like that, and you?"

I have quite a few books that are connected with my past--even to my childhood--that I keep, but I'm no longer a collector of books. I do own a great many reference books, although I've come to use the Internet more than I use them. I'm down from thousands of books to hundreds, or maybe as many as a thousand.

Joy, thank you for your kind words.

Sonia: "I am a Scrounger.."

Ah, but do you keep everything--or most everything--you scrounge? I often think about whom I can pass something along to--like the official NY Yankees baseball cap that I found last week but that wouldn't fit me. I thought to give it to the kid next door, but his mother kept it for herself.

Babbler: "an earwig enters the brain through the ear"

You can buy a rinse for that, but it has sulfuric acid in it, so I don't use it unless I get a really bad infestation. If you don't get drunk and pass out on the ground near a woodpile in damp weather, you can avoid a lot of earwigs.

Val: "I absolutely loved this post, so true!"

Thank you, Val.

VioletMind said...

Go Scroungers! lol
There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with scrounging, especially if you're gunna benefit from what you manage to scrounge up. Scrounging is useful, beneficial. I don't see why most people don't see it that way. The world is too caught up in newness and conformity. Gosh, it sickens me.

I actually had an incident a few
weeks back where me and a small group of friends were out by a restaurant called "pat n' oscars's", [and boy let me tell you, pat n' oscar's has thee best breadsticks! EVER!]
and I saw an empty table
with a basket of FRESH breadsticks![Someone, was stupid enough not to take them] All of my frineds wanted breadsticks, but we were all money-less, and yet, none of them agreed with me when I decided to take one and eat it! How PATHETIC, right?! lol
But seriously, why pass up a
darn-good opportuniy? We were all hungry anyway!

People, I will never understand them.

Snowbrush said...

Thanks for the kind words, Violet. You and I would have probably run to the breadsticks at the same time, and got into a big fight over them--ha.

Just_because_today said...

There is a society, or group of people who eat from waste. Literally, they eat from garbage...that's a bit extremem for my taste. I am from a developing country where waste (if there is ever any) is looked down at. You shall not waste.