Dumpster Downsizing


So I am slowly but surely following my beloved wife’s lead in “downsizing” the “F. Louis and C. Jean Miller Museum of Music, Art and Historical Artifacts.” For those of you unenlightened ones, that’s our house in Maryland, now our “Winter Home” as we have made West Virginia our permanent residence as Sade has flown the nest and become a full-fledged Mountaineer.

Every one of our frequent trips “home” to our lakefront residence on Mt. Storm looks like the Beverly Hillbillies as Coletta piles more and more inside and on the bed of my pickup. Fortunately she lacks the strength to carry my bed out to the truck, or I might come home to find a pile of dust bunnies and my pillows piled neatly against the wall where my bed used to be. Little by little, piece by piece we are moving the entire contents of our house to the one on the lake. Ever hear the analogy about trying to squeeze three pounds of …well you know, into a two-pound bag. Well at some point the lake house will reach a saturation point but she is well-planned and yard sales are liquidating much of the junk and a number of pieces we really are not all that attached to. Many of our pieces came from my parents’ downsizing, my grandmother and aunt’s move to a one bedroom condo in Florida, and another truckload of bookcases, carpets, beds, dressers, mirrors, dressing tables, dining room tables, and artwork galore from my Uncles. (no apostrophe…two of them. Partners).

For all the conversations we have had with antique dealers and consignment shops, and agencies, schools, and organizations that are more than happy to take our stuff at no cost to them and is even delivered…by us. And conspicuous in its absence the place of last resort, the recycling center and the landfill. The recycling center has a big green trailer for electronic stuff’; printers, computers, modems, etc. I hauled one HUGE old style TV, you know the “unflat screen” that looks like a flat screen ready to give birth to a half dozen little tv’s except it carries all its weight in back. They are the size of smart cars and just as unwieldy. I grabbed one, lugged it to the back of my truck, managed to wrestle it into the bed and headed to the recycling center. It was only then that I noticed the sign; NO TV’s. Inquiring as to what exactly one IS to do with this huge behemoth, he pointed me to the landfill where I somehow managed to get it OUT of the bed and INTO the dumpster.

Having one more GIANT BOX TELEVISION to dispatch, I gave my back a few days to relax and lengthen the time between muscle spasms then moved in for the attack. Now this one was even bigger. I thought I bought a 36 inch screen, now it seemed to have grown into a screen a size that would be the envy of every theater owner. There was barely enough room on either side of the entertainment it was lounging in, but I reached in, pulled and it started coming my way. As it approached the edge I tipped it forward to remove the wires attached to it like a patient in the ICU on life support, yellow plugs, white plugs, red plugs, cable TV cables, power cords and who-knows-what. While some of the plugs cooperated, pulling away easily, while some needed pliers to unscrew them and the power cord…it was still in the wall behind the set and wedged in a three-inch space between the wall and the entertainment unit. Trying to unplug the set while holding the set far enough out to get to the outlet was a challenge on par with free-climbing El Capitan. I finally managed to free the set from the power grid and let if fall on the carpet in front of the unit right next to where I was lying, exhausted on the same carpet.

All that remained was getting the beast off the carpet, out of my room, out of the house and then into the bed of the pickup parked in the garage. That thing must have weighed 150 or more pounds. No picking it up and carrying it through three narrow doorways, so with help Coletta we turned it end over end to the garage, down two steps, and then up the 2x8 ramp I had set on the edge of the bed, inch by inch, until it plopped into the bed. Quick trip to the dump, the landfill, and pull so close to the dumpster I had Coletta pull my right mirror in. Jump out, climb in the back of the pickup, summon every bit of strength I have left in me and get that big bastard on the edge of the bed, then over the 8 inch chasm to the edge of the dumpster and with a glorious push, step back as it CRASHES into the bin. I just hope I survive this mission so Coletta doesn’t have to throw what’s left of me into the nearest trash bin.

FLM 5-22-19


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