Sunday, January 31, 2010

Fine Wines at Night. Trashed in the Afternoon.

Well, we have gone from highs to lows in about 18 hours.

The high was last night when we went to dinner at Andrew and Majella's. It was the first time we have seen them in ages, and we were really grateful for their invitation to catch up before we said au revoir to Sydney. What turned out to be a huge bonus was a simply fantastic dinner and some outstanding wines (Petaluma chardonnay and Geoff Weaver Lenswood Sauvignon Blanc, to name two of my favorites that I haven't splurged on since retirement). AB even remembered Linda's fondness for scotch and bought Laphroaig, which is a bit of an overachievement when the usual question is Red or Black. Lovely night.

But then we called an early mark. OK, it wasn't that early since we had already been there six hours - about the time hosts start wondering what they have to do to get you out of there. But it was still early enough that we still hadn't made it to Sunday yet. Which meant a taxi did finally show up - no certainty on a Sydney summer Saturday night.

And no matter how wonderful the dinner at Andrew and Majella's, today was looming.

This was the day we had to throw out about a third of the stuff in the garage. It was heavy lifting and hot, dirty work. Lugging all that stuff out to the curb reminded me of something, and then I remembered - most of the things I was taking for collection was stuff I had carefully organized when I cleaned the garage about 13 months ago. (I wrote a a post about it, and at least it had made sense then.)

I guess I could have made tough decisions last year and thrown more stuff away, but LK was out of town and I do understand the difference between a tough decision and a foolhardy one. Anyhow, today's decisions on whether to junk-it-or-move-it were all hers. And to be fair, she was quite ruthless. Lots of the stuff that went to the curb, of course, has been in the garage for well over a year so there is a logic that says we probably don't need or use it anyway. Still, that's just logic. it's tough to throw out stuff. For some of us.

But of course, one man's trash is another man's recyclable goods. Before we had even locked up the garage a woman drove up in a station wagon and asked if we minded if she had a bit of a scavenge of our things. From prior pick-ups we knew this would happen and had put usable stuff on the curb and left the true rubbish in the driveway so the people who drive around collecting trash wouldn't have to deal with the stuff beyond repair and re-use. I didn't do it so much to make their life easier, but because I've learned that they throw stuff around that you have to pick up later if you don't sort it for them. What is the world coming to when people scavenging your trash aren't neat!

Anyhow, this woman headed up a family team. Her two young kids started going through stuff and picking out things like broken shovels. We tried to explain to the kid that he was going through the true junk pile and things like a broken shovel weren't very good. But he seemed pretty happy with the pickings there. Then she phoned her husband who showed up in a pick-up truck, and they chose a few more items from those on display.

It seemed kind of odd to be using a beautiful Sunday afternoon training your pre-schoolers to pick through other people's trash. But then again, maybe that's why everyone around here calls Greenwich a family-oriented suburb. Doesn't mattter. Only two more weeks here.

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