annual big garbage item day – saying goodbye to the old green couch


yesterday was the once a year big garbage day in my township. We are allowed to put out metal items and other large items for garbage pick up on this one day in the year. The township says the limit is five items. Used to be a monthly pick up of large items but that was changed last year.

Last year I was ill and having a lot of difficulty walking and lifting or dragging large items to the road for pick up was an impossibility. This year I managed.

The run on extension to an old metal desk was the first sacrifice. I used a banged up old cart to haul that the 140 feet to the road. Next was an old metal fireplace log grate. Then the old barbeque that had not been used for ten years. Red meat went the way of the dodo in the household and I am just not much of a summer party host. Then an old typing table with two prop up side arms went next. I had bought that for about $20 at an antique mart, but it didn’t really go and I am trying to simplify things, trying to move from near clutter to Shaker simplicity and order. I have a long way to go on that journey.

Then the biggie. The couch was a regular four seater, bought I believe way back in the late 1960s. It started out as a Danish Modern teak unit made like a tank, with green cushions. It was reupholstered and reinvented as a skirted, rose abstracted patterned, pale green couch. It made the move north from the city house sometime after 1992 to here, the cottage converted into a year round residence for my late parents.

It was an excellent couch and survived as a cat scratching post for four cats. My late dog, Diamond, used to love to curl up on it and snooze. It was long enough for me to sit at one end and Diamond and her brother to curl up on the remaining space.

I also have a particularly fond memory of some exceptionally fine afternoon dalliance that was ably assisted by the couch. The lady long gone. The memory still brings a smile.

I also remember an argument with my mother about this couch and its placement in the large main room. She was confined to a wheelchair and complained about the placement of it in my master scheme. I am six feet two inches tall. It looked fine to me, until I sat in a dining room table chair and looked at it from her seated height or as near to it as I could sit and slouch. Suddenly, the couch was no longer a couch but long pale green wall, a huge visual and physical obstacle in the room. We came up with a different place for it.

So yesterday with a little luck and thinking I was able to drag it and twist it to get it through two doorways and out to the side deck, by myself. Then turned it and tilted it down the steps and down to the lawn and then the long drag on its back. 100 feet to the road. My arms and shoulders and my legs complained a lot and I was very stiff for the rest of the day, but today I am mostly recovered. No wrestling my weight in wildcats until later in the week.

An odd marker signifying the passage of time. Funny how these inanimate objects we choose to live with become so very personal.

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Author: William J. Gibson

62 year old - writer/photographer Canadian, survived open heart surgery, received kidney transplant, sometimes dour, sometimes amusing, over six feet in height, severely follicle challemged

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