This is a new section on the blog where I get to tell you an amazing or unbelievable or sad or hilarious or strange story from when I was a wee little one. And you're gonna like it, okay?
My childhood best friend, Maria, recently said something that reminded me about this and I am still a little in awe that it actually happened in real life.
I grew up living at the bottom of a dirt hill. Yup, it is just as glamorous as it sounds. Our house was the last of 4 houses on this long dirt driveway and it sat overlooking a bunch of woods, which overlooked a canyon that had a creek at the bottom. I spent lots of summer days staining my clothes with mud in that creek. As you could probably guess, there were lots of wild animals in those woods. Even bears. I know there were bears because occasionally they would come up to our porch and eat our dog's food and we would stare at them out our front window.
My Mom and Step-Dad are crafty folks. And resourceful. And sometimes cheap (sorry Mom, you know its true). Instead of paying for garbage service to come pick-up our trash weekly, my parents decided to own their own garbage truck, wait till it was full of trash and then drive it themselves to the dump. Crafty, huh? Looks REALLY nice parked in the driveway too! Their garbage truck of choice was a pea soup green 1978 Datsun pickup. It was awesome. It would just sit at the bottom of our hill and wait to be filled with Costo sized garbage bags until it was time to be taken to the dump. This may have had something to do with the bears coming to visit. I also know that the bears liked the garbage because of the discovery of the "bear sized" poop on the roof of the Datsun. I'll never forget that poo and checked it out at least a dozen times because I couldn't believe my eyes.
My Step-Dad has LOVED saying this at least 8,247 times since then:
"Does a bear poop in the woods? Nope, he poops in a Datsun pickup."
Here begins the saga of the "Mulch Pile"...
Recently, there's been a large push for people to have "worm bins" or "compost bins", but my folks were WEEEELLLL ahead of the game with the infamous mulch pile. It was a place out in our yard that was fenced off to throw our compostable food and gross stuff that went bad in the fridge. Sounds great, huh? Good for the environment, less garbage to throw in the Datsun, sounds like a win-win, right? Except that the mulch pile was closer to the woods and farther from the house which means that I could be eaten by a bear at any second on my way to deliver the food to the mulch pile. And no one ever thought to take the mulch out during the day. AND, it was just a coffee can or bowl that sat on the counter collecting waste and attracting flies until someone was finally forced to take it out. I'll never forget hearing, "Patty! Take the Mulch out!"...at which point we would often stand as close to the house as possible and try and heave the food as close to the mulch pile as we could, then turn and run as fast as we could back into the house. It was really attractive having a pile of rotting food just sitting there on our counter feeding the flies, but at the risk of being eaten by a bear I would always choose to leave it there. Also, "mulch" just might be the grossest word I've ever heard.
As an adult, I've NEVER regretted having garbage service or a garbage disposal. I LOVE them with all of my heart and will forever be grateful.
(love you mom!)