Sunday, March 31, 2013

Antique Trash

Several times a year I walk the last quarter mile of the scenic byway in Haywood County, NC and pick up the trash on the side of the road because it annoys me. Both sides of the road make a half mile of highway that I try to keep tidy. Today was trash day.

I pulled an amazing amount of trash off the slope below the byway in the garden becoming when I first got started. I can still find the occasional buried beverage container when I weed or plant on that slope. When I finally moved into the cozy cabin I cleaned up all the trash on the property below me 50 yards into the forest because I could see it from my windows in the barren of winter. Looking at all that trash was annoying.

The forest can do a pretty good job of absorbing all that rubbish by burying it in an annual layer of leaf litter, twigs and branches. Wind blows it deeper into the forest and erosion on steep slopes can bury it in the soil. After a long winter of plenty rain, snow and freeze thaw, some of that crap can get pushed back to the surface.

Today I found trash that could have been tossed out by some slob 40 or 50 years ago. Upper 10? I had to google it. It is a lemon lime soda made by the no longer in business RC Cola. Pepsi-Cola in a spiral bottle. When was the last time anyone saw one of these? A soda was only 10 ounces back then whenever these were tossed. Triple that portion for today's Big Gulps in styrofoam and plastic.

The number one trash item along the scenic byway is beverage containers. Sodas first, beer second. Empty Mountain Dews full of chewing tobacco spittle compete strongly with beer cans for second place. Those are special.

After trash I went next door and dug up a bunch of suckers from the Annabelle hydrangeas to plant in my garden, moved a couple buckets of rocks into the heiau and took a nap as it started to rain again.

The last quarter mile of scenic byway in Haywood County, NC is tidy again for the next day or two. I doubt many people will notice, but it feels good to me when I drive by.

Looking out over the cozy cabin and the garden becoming it sort of dawned on me that in that last five and half years I have completely changed the experience of what it means to drive to the top of Betsys Gap. Give me scenic and I'll kick it up a notch to inspiring. Then I'll pick up the trash.


Lola said...

It is amazing what one will find picking up garbage on the by way. I did the same thing. I could see it out my end window. With the church next door it really surprised me more. I still have a butcher knife that I found.

Sallysmom said...

My husband does the same thing. He keeps looking for a gold coin but so far no luck ;)

Carol said...

Taking care of your bit of paradise. If more people did that...

Cheryl Kotecki said...

Nobody drives by on the 10 acres of slope in back of our place - and we own all of it to the top of the ridge. There are no roads until you go down even further on the other side. Yet, colorful and not naturally found items wash down after any major precipitation event - bits of foil wrappers, shotgun shells, and of course,the most prevalent item is beverage containers. It never ends.

Rebecca said...

May your tribe increase! I would notice the clean landscape, I assure you.

I'm also looking up "heiau". It's a new word for me and would work well with the hands I've been dealt in Words With Friends lately!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Good job. You could put those bottles in line with some of the beverage bottles you have lining a flower bed. They are collectible to someone. I pick up around our place. I live just off a busy road. Lots of odd items thrown out here too. I even found a hypodermic needle once. UGH..

chuck b. said...

"Empty Mountain Dews full of chewing tobacco spittle compete strongly with beer cans for second place."

Oh, how ghastly. I've taken to chewing on slivers of raw ginger and calling it chaw. It's my yuppy, gay chaw.