I Spent a Few Hours picking up Trash from the Shoulder of our Road.

Tuesday has become a day to post an amateur photography blog, the page went blank this morning. The Electric Service went off at 8:30 am, it was planned; the notifications were sent two weeks ago. Everything co-operated with it, the temperature was 72° F (22.22° C), traffic was light on the road, and Skunkpuppy didn’t chase anyone; it was restored at 4:30.

Not one to be bored with nothing to do I loaded a bucket and my grabber onto my scooter and headed down the road to pick up trash. I started a few month’s ago picking up 3 pieces, now I just pick stuff up and toss it in a bucket; no need to keep count. The assortment of garbage on the shoulder is not dominated by any one type of item. Make no mistake there are plenty of fast food cups, bags, and plastic water bottles, but that’s just a sampling. It’s not a brand name type of thing either, there is junk from every corner of the fast food and consumer world.

I don’t know what became of this old bike, I’m glad I spotted it and took a photo.

It’s not people tossing junk out of the car window, I came to that conclusion because of the variety. In my opinion, most of it flies off of the garbage trucks, pulled out by the vortex they create behind them. Some of the stuff is new, some has been there a while and much of it is in a state of decomposing. Even the plastic bottles disintegrate in the sun, but that’s not a solution as it merely breaks down into micro-beads mixing with the soil.

Organic materials such as cotton rags, towels, leaves, and small bits of cardboard are left behind. I raise earthworms which dictates my criterion for what gets left to compost if the worms won’t eat it I pick the stuff up. They eat most organics, some Onions, Hot Peppers, and heavy starches they avoid. However, they will consume everything else including bones but it takes them forever to (literally centuries) render them down to nothing.

Nylon rope, packaging materials (plastic mostly), and little odd bits of parts of things. There is no reason to point a finger as to the source, most people won’t junk up the front of their property on purpose, I’ll say it again, the garbage trucks contribute mostly. If that were to be eliminated it would entail a new government entity and take part of my job away.

Tuesdays are a good day to traverse our road, traffic is at a minimum although there were more large delivery trucks than normal, even for a busy day. Wednesdays aren’t too bad, it’s the second-best day, but the rest of the week forget about it. Most of the drivers are exceptionally accommodating, some stop to chat with me. Of those about 1/2 are new friends I meet, the others I already know, but every one of them has a smile on their face. A very few are nasty grams.

Some of the few think it’s funny to pretend they are going to hit me head-on then swerve at the last second, once in a blue moon, some knucklehead will hollar at me to get off the road. I generally know where to find the perpetrators and I will talk to them when I catch up to them which always ends future problems as far they are concerned.

I keep going back to the Walt Disney Cartoon where Goofy is the nicest guy in the world until he is behind the wheel of a vehicle, then the horns come out. I take the tacked of “Forgive them, Father, they know not what they do.” That is evident when I’m talking to them about the damage a 2,000-pound vehicle would do to me and my 300-pound scooter, together we weight 496 pounds. I feel they realize how things are in a small town real quickly, we all know one another, I do remind them of that as well.

The Levees have been blocked to access by handicapped persons on mobility scooters, not to walkers or bicyclist. I took on the governing board last March, they were co-operative and created an egress for me at the gate I use, but to go into town I have to navigate the treachery that is our road. I’ve written earlier that some asked me to battle for the same solution be made to the rest of the gates around the 17-mile circumference of the Island. I’m leaning towards taking that on, but I need a consensus to determine how many of us are affected, first.

Not being able to drive the Levee would have a major negative effect on me.

As things go however there are some issues with Levee access complicated by the fact we all own ours and have complete control over them. Several owners don’t want any wheeled vehicles on it at all, I can kind of see their point. Dogs are another contentious issue, this is a semi-rural area, people as I do let their dogs roam around their property’s. Some, as mine does, enjoy the grand sport of chasing people and getting all up in a guy’s face. Using the Levees as a walking path invites the mongrel/human interface, much like the rural/subdivision interface as related to wildfires. There is a “Catch 22” also.

A requirement for using the road versus the Levees is the vehicle must be able to travel at 25 mph. Golf Carts and Mobility Scooters have a top speed of 12 mph making them illegal for street use. The Sheriff (whom I respect) will pull us over and give the warning to stay off the road. The Rabbit Lady got one, but they only seem to pull over pretty Ladies, and not grizzled old guy’s like me.

Only Tuesday or Wednesday, the rest of the week is a death wish.

A Sheriff went past me twice today, her reaction was to wave and smile, even after I had a two-car backup behind me for a short stretch, go figure. As I said the people here are all good, well with a few exceptions but for me, they are no problem. I will make another garbage run next Tuesday or Wednesday, smile and wave at people, talk to some. I’ll rest in the shade of a big tree and remind myself just how good this life is.

I never did find out what caused the Power Outage, I had to turn around when my bucket got filled up and my battery was running low.

Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance

3 responses to “I Spent a Few Hours picking up Trash from the Shoulder of our Road.”

  1. God bless you for doing this! If everyone did a little we could keep our Earth clean! I am done with with my kids around our neighborhood several times………it really made an impression on my kids to help keep their little part of the world clean.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Proof it is possible o have a nice ramble outside and do something valuable ( if unrecognized) and productive at the same time. Once people would take littering and tossing trash out seriously – now people just shrug if you printout the conflict of their “save the world” message when they are so careless about their own little part of the lands.
    The bike is a great picture – always something interesting and beautiful in it’s own way to discover if time is taken. Enjoyed the walk with you


  3. Thanks, I ride my scooter down the road seeing the stuff on the shoulder; I was picking up a few pieces here and there. I filled a bucket now I’m thinking of filling the wagon I pull behind me, it’s a small thing but I have the time and inclination, at least I can keep our 3 miles a little cleaner.


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