Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Dumpster Diving - The Table

As promised, here is the photo of the dining table set we found in the dumpster.  My husband had to buy some hardware to reconnect the legs.  The hardware was the only part we didn't find in the dumpster!

I've always wanted a square dining table, and now I have one .... for FREE!!!

Now I have a new project in front of me.....crocheting a lacy tablecloth for it!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Dumpster Diving

I never thought I'd be a dumpster diver.  Dumpster are full of trash and yukky stuff.  I could not imagine putting myself in contact with anything in a dumpster.

My, how times have changed.

As we approached retirement age, my husband and I began the downsizing process.  We uncluttered our four-bedroom, two-story monster home and downsized to a four-room apartment.  Living in an apartment complex is different in many ways but one of the ways is having a trash dumpster outside our building.  No more trash stacking up in the garage waiting for trash day!  It was very easy to take the trash out every day if necessary!

I also soon learned the rituals of Moving Day as neighbors began moving to new apartments.  I noticed furniture, mattresses, large children's toys and much more.  At first, I marveled at the disposable mindset of my soon-to-be former neighbors.  How can they just throw these things away?  Couldn't they Craigslist them?  Donate them to Goodwill?  What a waste!

My apprehension of coming in contact with dumpster dropped items lifted when I saw two small shelves on the ground next to the huge metal trash dumpster.  They were exactly what I was needing for my office area.  They were not actually "in" the dumpster, so I picked them up, washed them off, and hung them by my desk.

Later that day, I found a small lamp which was perfect for the corner of my desk.  My work area was now complete!

There was now a part of my brain watching the dumpster area a bit closer than I used to.  I spotted a stackable table.  These normally come in sets of three or four and can be stacked for storage savings.  This shorter table was perfect to add next to my bed, next to the taller table that held my clock and gave me extra space for my glasses and my books.

But the best find was just yesterday!  On my way to the car, I spotted two dark wood dining room chairs inside our dumpster-shelter, beside the dumpster.  The wood was still nice and shiny, with no scratches.  They were in great shape.  As I hauled both of them back into my apartment, I was thinking, "Boy, I wish there had been two more so I'd have a set of four!"  My initial plan was to use these when we set up the card table for card games, puzzles or a day long session of Monopoly.

I left in the car and was gone about six hours.  To my surprise, I noticed the other two matching chairs sticking out of the dumpster itself.  I rushed into the apartment, grabbing my husband to help me dig these chairs out of the dumpster. While we are working on this, I notice a tabletop propped against the wall.  I told my husband to check out the top of  the table and voiced disappointment that the legs were gone.

Getting back on track, we pulled the two chairs out of the dumpster and were happy to see they were also in great shape.  We talked about our good fortune and how much money we would save when we decide to purchase a new dining room table since we wouldn't have to purchase chairs.

Our day suddenly got even more exciting.  Under the chairs, bound together in duct tape, were the four table legs!!!

Unfortunately, we were unable to find the hardware to fasten the legs to the tabletop so my husband will be making a trip to the hardware store so we can assemble the table.

Rest assured, another photo will be forthcoming when the whole dining room table set is set up and complete!

So with these positive adventures under my belt, I have heard others share their dumpster dive salvage stories and am finding it amazing what people throw out and what people find.  Share your stories with me, please!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Campus Observations

I wrote these short observations while waiting for my next class to start, sitting in the common area on campus.  It struck me how alone all of these people were, even while they were in the same room with each other.

I sit at a table in the common area of the campus building, watching my college classmates as they adhere to their scholastic schedule.  Candy wrappers crinkle as the elevator door opened to admit the one lone rider who throws his empty candy wrapper in the trash can between the two elevators before entering the small roving room.  The electronic eye, that made sure no one was between the doors before they closed and allowed the elevator to make its assent to the upper floors, failed to see the two other people scurrying to catch the vertical taxi cab, and they merely ended up exhaling a sigh of exasperation as one of them hit the call button three times, as if that would get the elevator back even faster.
A young lady walks down the hamster tunnel connecting the two buildings on campus, hitting the large blue button labeled with a stick-figure in a stick-wheelchair so she wouldn’t have to open the door herself.  Her light touch failed to engage the opener’s mechanism but she just stood there for a couple of seconds before she took the two steps back to hit it again, not thinking if she had just gone ahead and pushed the door open manually she would have been well on her way by now.
The tall kid with blonde hair walks by with his head down and his fingers busy on his phone, too heavily engaged in his own electronic conversation to notice he was walking past a young lady at the center table heavily engaged in the same intense activity, both of them alone and surrounded by a sea of invisible friends through their electronic connection to a social life.

The dozen or so computers are all in use, each person focused on their screen, oblivious to any activity around them.  It is so quiet.  There are no conversations, no questions going back and forth, no joking, no banter.  Small white wires can be seen hanging out of the ears of some of the computer users and walker-by’s, locked into their own silent world of sound, closing out any of the outside sounds around them, not really aware of the sounds of life they are missing.