Saturday, August 14, 2010

Busted by My Own Recycling Bin

I cleaned my refrigerator today. It was about time. Actually, it was slightly past time. Enough past time, in fact, that I’m being incriminated by my recycling bin. I tend to put off cleaning the fridge longer than I should all the time, so I’m kind of used to the incrimination. But I do wonder if the neighbors (or the recycling guys) look at our bin and think, “Geez lady, it’s about time!!”

I’m enough of a frugal Yankee that I hate tossing leftovers if there’s any chance at all that someone will eat them before they go bad. (Hope does spring eternal, after all.) So a bottle of iced tea or soda with two good slugs left goes in there. Half a serving of leftover chili that’s just enough to make one chili dog goes in. A few bites of really good steak that will make a nice (if small) snack finds a home there. Enough cream for a cup or two of coffee can’t be wasted. A few spoonfuls of guacamole or ranch dip or salsa that’d be nice on a fajita gets saved. And eventually I forget that they’re all there, and they go bad before I use them up. So when I clean my fridge, I end up with a recycling bin full of tea and soda bottles, empty salsa and dip jars, plastic tubs that held chili or dip or whatever. And I feel like I’m putting out a big sign that says, “Hey everyone, I finally got around to cleaning my fridge!”

But if I think about it for a little bit, it says a lot more to me than just that I finally cleaned the fridge. It reminds me of the great party we had a few weeks ago with friends we hadn’t seen in a long time. It calls to mind the fantastic meal my sweetheart made for me when I was having a rough day. It reminds me of the happy, relaxed chatter of family as we sat and snacked and laughed at Ryan’s antics. It makes me think of cups of coffee shared with a dear friend. It makes me reflect on all the lovely gatherings we’ve had all summer long, the warm evenings by the pool, the laughter by the glow of the fire pit, the old friends and new who’ve visited.

And if only they knew all that, the neighbors (and the recycling guys) wouldn’t be thinking, “Geez lady, it’s about time!!” They’d be thinking, “Wow lady, boy do you know how to live!!” Yes, I do. I really, really do.

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