Am I an Obsessive-Compulsive hoarder or a recycler with an interest in minimizing waste and excess? I ask myself this question with every thrift store visit, and every tire-screeching stop when I spot a perfectly good discarded ottoman or wingback chair waiting for the trash truck to smash it. Every chair and footstool in my house is a reupholstered piece of salvage, and I like it that way. The thing is that, for better or worse, I have apparently passed the gene on to my son.
After Halloween, he started saving pumpkins that had served their purpose and been tossed to the curb. I encouraged his project, thinking we could till a patch for them to decompose in, and then see if new pumpkins appear next year. We accidently planted a gourd bed that way one year, and it was magnificent. Every night that summer, the north side of my yard was covered in stunning white gourd blooms that shone in the moonlight. Some of them eventually produced gourds.
I didn’t over-think the pumpkin project, but today I count eleven Christmas trees in his yard. He has driven around neighborhoods at night, collecting trees that people have thrown out now that Christmas has passed. There is no planting a cut tree that’s been inside a house in a tree stand for weeks, so I know we can’t start a tree farm with this delightfully aromatic collection of spruces and firs. They’ll make a mighty fine habitat for the creatures that live in the woods behind his house, though.
So I still haven’t answered my initial question. I guess the truth would be that we are who we are.
Marian Carcache welcomes
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