One Man’s Trash…

Is another (wo)man’s clean up project! Now that spring has finally arrived and I have some time on my hands, I started doing some manual labor in the yard. My main goal was to move the plowed gravel off our lawn and tidy up a bit. But I’ve discovered that my clean up project is more like an archaeological dig. 

At first I was working near the driveway and most of what I found was likely from the previous owner’s 20-something son living in the house for the last several years: beer cans and bottle caps tossed into the bushes and along the driveway; a car mat, spark plug, window crank, and toolbox wheel in the yard beside the garage; a Stanley hammer (you know, the kind with the BRIGHT yellow handle?) that was somehow misplaced right next to the driveway.

Driveway Detritus – just the beginning!

Off the side of the paved turnaround I found more deposits  –  once brightly colored water pistols, a rusted wheel, a partial bumper with license plate, faded and half-deflated toy balls, rusted metal cans, and even a bag of tent poles. 

Long-forgotten Easter presents?

What kind of vehicle does this go to?

Behind the house and in the field, I found a number of deliberate items among the forgotten bits. A child’s slide, 5 rusted out lawn chairs, a wagon, an old tire, a metal pot used as target practice, 3 large blue tarps, a laundry basket full of trash (including a number of beaten up women’s shoes?), and a collection of plastic recyclables that were all dumped just over our property line.  I wonder if the town charged a fee for recycling pickup before we moved here – otherwise, that bit of trash is the most baffling of all. 

Little Rust Wagon

From the Tree House

Fruits of My Labor

What we had in the end, after sorting out all the recyclable items, was a heaping Frontier-load of garbage. My apologies to any re-purposing enthusiasts – after hours picking up someone else’s garbage, I wasn’t really excited about any of it and a wagon planter really isn’t our style. The only thing I salvaged was a pristine small white mug with brown flowers (from the tree house), which will probably become a “random thing” holder. 

Meanwhile, between bouts of garbage hunting, I was also working on my original project of cleaning up the yard. 

I removed the walkway stones which had sunken and shifted making them more trip hazard than pathway. They were heavy concrete, so for now they are all piled next to the old walkway area.  Moving those further than a couple of feet will require equipment or assistance – or both.

Partially buried walkway with grass mounds between

Stones and grass mounds removed

While I was working on that, I cleared out some stones that were in the yard. Most came up easily, but two fought me a little.  Well, a lot. Here’s why.

If they look small, it’s an optical illusion.

Also, we were told the bushes by the front of the house were planted too close and creating some negative slope towards the foundation, so those had to go. Since the bushes weren’t too big, Aaron got out his trusty chain and the truck, so we could wrap them up and yank them out.

Bushes be gone

Negative slope = evil

Now we just have to get the energy and planning together to put in drainage and a new walkway.  When and how that happens is TBD… ahh, the joys of homeownership.

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