meanwhile, back at Roundrock

crate

Living in suburbia has advantages: good schools, low crime, relative cleanliness, nice paved trails for running. But it isn’t all sweetness and light, friends. You also have to live with . . . suburbanites! By and large, they are decent people, but many of them are strict conformists who came to suburbia so they wouldn’t be challenged, and they want to make sure no one does so to them.

Our trash company recently supplied each household with two rolling bins. One is for regular trash and the other is for recycling. They stand about four feet tall, and I suppose they are big in that way so that they can hold the copious amounts of trash many suburban households produce as well as hold their place at the curb in the high Kansas winds that sometimes come along.

Having lived for decades with the ability to toss a bag of trash at the curb each week (we’re not copious producers in that way), we found that we had to make room in our lives for these two bins. At first we parked them on the patio in our back yard. Not long after we received the bins, a card came in the mail from the city (presumably to all of the houses in the neighborhood — but now I wonder) saying that the bins had to be kept either indoors, most likely in the garage, or within an enclosed outdoor structure so that they could not be seen by residents of neighboring houses (who, apparently, shouldn’t have to be troubled by the rudeness of life). None of our immediate neighbors seems the type to report us to the city, but all of our immediate neighbors also managed to fit the bins in their garages. And so after a few weeks as scofflaws, we determined that we had to make some space in our garage for them.

Which turned out to be a good thing. Our garage had accumulated a lot of junk over the years we have been here, and the need for space caused us to look at the junk with a critical eye. Much of it went into the bin that would take its place. Some of it got reorganized here and there. And a good amount of it went out to our little cabin in the woods.

We burned a half dozen broken bird feeders and bird houses, various pieces of scrap lumber, an old wicker picnic basket, and the peach crate you see above. Finding ourselves in the spirit, we also scoured our packed basement for items to burn and found a bit more. It was a cleansing fire, and I’m glad our hand was forced, so to speak. I wish there was more we could get rid of like this.

My truck now fits nicely in the garage (it always had, but now you can open the doors on either side), and I’m slowly getting used to not pulling into the garage on the nights before trash collection until I have the bins out of the garage and at the curb. As hardships go, it’s not so bad.

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2 Comments on “meanwhile, back at Roundrock”


  1. How many matches did it take to make that fire?

    I feel your pain. My neighbor pulled me aside and did a thorough critique of the state of my lawn. This included that they could see our trash cans, which are tucked behind a hedge.

    I don’t know why trash cans are such an abomination. We all have them. You gotta put them somewhere. I hate people.

  2. Paul Lamb Says:

    One match, natch!

    My lawn is the scandal of the neighborhood, but I don’t care.

    I, too, hate people (most of them, anyway).


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