Adventures at the local dump

Published 7:00 am Saturday, March 14, 2020

By Jan Miller Penton
To da dump, to da dump, to da dump, dump, dump. Call me silly, but I love to fill up our Tacoma and head north. Sure, the actual dump isn’t especially lovely, but I like the feeling of cleaning out. It is so easy to let things pile up until I look around and realize one thing; It’s dump day!
On pretty days we open the windows to enjoy the breeze, and I soak up the beauty of the trees and wildflowers along Highway 11. I guess it doesn’t take much to keep a country girl happy.
Sure, I could look out the window and notice the trash that occasionally blows out of a truck or is even carelessly tossed away by some selfish soul, but I would rather focus on the lovely. Wonderful and various shades of green and red practically burst from the towering tree branches as they welcome their new springtime buds. How could anyone fail to delight in God’s beautiful promise of a new season?
As I write these words I immediately pause and think of at least three of my dear friends who are going through difficulties that weigh heavy on their hearts, and I certainly understand that troubles can cloud our vision at times. I don’t mean to minimize the pain that is a part of this life; there have been occasions when I could barely see the beauty. I have been so lost in my own grief and heartache that I didn’t feel God’s presence.
I remember vividly realizing that my faith could not depend on my circumstances. If it did, where would any of us be? I suppose that the tough times in life helped me to see the simple beauty of each new day. Now that I have totally gone off on a tangent, I’ll tell my dump story.
My son, Ryan, drove us into the landfill when I spotted a young man with absolutely gorgeous mature plants in the back of his truck. We parked next to each other, and I got out to take a closer look.
“Good morning! Those plants are great. Why in the world are you throwing them away?”
“I know,” the young man answered. “They are beautiful, and I really hate to trash them. I’ve been hired to tear these out for a new landscaping job. Would you like them?”
Not being able to turn down a freebie, I answered, “That would be great!”
Ryan and my new friend moved three healthy Indian Hawthorns from the back of his truck into ours. We were all happy, but my excitement was short lived.
As we drove back over the scales to exit the dump the lady in charge scowled and shook her head pointing back to the area where we had deposited our trash. It seems we had broken one of the rules, and couldn’t leave with our treasure. Looks like my dumpster diving days are over.

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