Trash, We Don’t Need No Stinking Trash!

In a previous post I listed my resolutions, mostly household-related because dude, I Am Not a Domestic Goddess. Aside from washing dishes and keeping laundry under control…as if this was even remotely possible, how will my family help others in 2009?

All kidding aside I do take my responsibilities as a citizen and a human being seriously. With my second and third children I was the grateful recipient of several cooked meals. I was stunned at the numbers of people who thought to cook dinner for us. I have paid this forward by helping out others who have had a baby or in the case of one person dealing with a house fire that destroyed part of their house. Making a meal or buying a pizza for someone is something that I can do.

I’ve been in my house since ’94. Before we even put down a deposit we met the neighbors across the street, an older semi-retired couple. This couple let us walk-through their house since we were planning to build the same model. We got a few ideas by looking at their house. Our neighbors were helpful to us in many ways. In fact, several days after the builders put the frame up for our house (a big milestone that I missed seeing), my neighbor handed me some photos he had taken of the construction. I was thrilled as I had missed this big event in the construction of our house because of a pesky thing called work. Think: barn raising in Witness! These photos have pride of place in the photo album showing home’s construction.

I had not seen my neighbor for a few months when in the summer I happened to see his daughter getting the mail and newspaper. I was worried since our neighbor never missed walking during the day. His daughter said that my neighbor was now in an assisted living facility due to health issues. I was shocked. His wife had had some troubles of her own. She was on oxygen 24/7 due lung issues. I was floored. How could so much happen to this couple in just a few short months? And, how had I not noticed? I made the obligatory “what can I do to help” offer. His daughter said everything was under control since two other daughters lived close by.

I was not comfortable doing nothing, but wondered what I could do. On trash day I knew what I needed to do. I called my neighbor to see if she would like me to come and get her trashcan each trash day. She was happy I called since the trashcans are heavy to pull especially if you are not well.

We have made this a family project. On trash and recycling day I take the trashcans down. My children take our trashcans and those of our neighbors back up the driveways. I also bring her newspaper up each day. The system is working well. If one of her relatives has already dealt with the trash she will call me. It isn’t much, but it is something we can do as a family to give back.

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This post was written for Parent Bloggers Network as part of a sweepstakes sponsored by The Quaker Oats Company.

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