Friday, December 24, 2021

Jean's Annual Dec 24th Story (2010 Chuck)

Am I the only one who remembers that somewhere along the line I started writing an annual Dec 24th story? The inspiration for this one happened on Nov 12.

Earlier this year, the BigHelpfulBrother (BHB) and his wife decided to downsize out of their GreatBigDreamHome full of all kinds of stuff that people who have a variety of interests can amass. It was a huge project - getting rid of all the stuff they no longer needed. By November they had moved out and were down to a garage full of odds and ends - maybe useful to somebody, but not suitable for Goodwill.  BHB and his wife had a couple unanticipated (and difficult) events to manage - so I offered to list the items on Craig's List in the Free Stuff category.

My listing, which included a few photos, offered to hold items - as long as people would pick stuff up between 10 and noon the following day. It worked out beautifully. Of all the random stuff that was listed the most popular item was that bucket of wood scraps. Someone named Ashley had offered to take quite a few items, so I put the bucket of wood scraps on her list to pick up. She mentioned that she lived right around the corner which sounded like she would probably show up. 

Ten people showed up promptly and were very polite. There was also a ton of random stuff that I had not listed and figured that people would indulge in *impulse taking.* Oh.My.Gosh. Did their eyes light up when I pointed to the array of More Free Stuff along the entire west wall of the garage. At least half the stuff was gone within the first half hour.

I was also impressed with how many people made a point of thanking me for not sending everything to the landfill. I was the one who was grateful that I didn't have to haul anything anywhere. It's just nice to know that there are people who take the time and energy to help keep usable stuff out of the landfill.

Here comes the fun part of the story. Ashley had offered to take about 8 things including that bucket of wood scraps. But then she saw all the additional items and was happily filling her car. As she was collecting, I told her that she had gotten the the most sought after item of the day - the bucket of wood scraps.

She said, "Really? Well, I don't actually need it. You can give it to someone else." She probably realized that she already had more than she could fit in her car - and she did end up making two trips.

Sean, one of the people who had asked about the bucket of wood scraps was still looking around and heard Ashley's offer to give it to someone else. "You're not going to take it?" he asked.

"Nope," said Ashley, "You can have it."

"Oh wow," said Sean, "Now I can make Christmas presents."

It was a charming exchange. And fun to see someone so excited about a bucket of wood scraps. I can't remember all the other comments that entertained me for two hours. Things like: "Five gallon buckets!! I've been WANTING five gallon buckets."

Of course, there were still some items leftover after the big 2-hour give-away - because 3 people did not show up. I was going to have to figure out what to do with the dregs - which included a box of hazardous waste materials. As luck would have it, Saturday morning was the final day to haul random junk (and hazardous waste) to Metro Waste. Mr. Wilson agreed to help me. 

When all of a sudden, out of the mist, came Reverse Santa, AKA Kyle. An email popped up from a guy who was sorry he had missed the Friday Free-For-All and wondered if there were any rakes and shovels left. Yes. Joanne did not show up for her rakes and shovels. Great. Kyle said he would meet us at 9 am. Kyle was the best Reverse Santa we could have imagined. He took nearly everything INCLUDING the hazardous waste. So we didn't even have to drive out to the Metro Waste Transfer Station and pay to get rid of stuff. 

Sometimes things have a way of working out. Remind me of this next time I am ranting.

So, that's my Dec 24th story. I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying whatever it is that makes them happy - even if it is just a bucket of wood scraps.

Here is an envelope because we always have an envelope. It is my Dec 2010 envelope from Chuck. A spectacular amount of work. This was pre-exchange - so rather than divide his time between 5 or 6 envelopes, he got to spend all of it on ME :-) And you need to open it and enlarge it on a big screen to really appreciate how beautifully detailed it is.


1 comment:

  1. Love this story, Jean. (I didn't remember that you did that, but appreciate this year's or is it from 2010?) Oh how I wish your BHB and his wife would help me downsize (or share how they did it) and that I could get rid of all the stuff I don't need! I start, get overwhelmed, then quit. Until I begin the cycle again. Ugh.

    Anyway, hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!🎄🎀