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Off roading…

Today’s trash fact:

The average American generates more than 4 lbs. of trash per day. (Environmental Protection Agency).

———–

If you’ve never lived in the South, you don’t know brambles. You have no concept of how dense and utterly impassable a patch of thorns can be.

There’s one stretch of my path where I’ve seen several cans and bottles stuck in the midst of a hellacious mess of thorns. But I could never see an entry point where I could retrieve the debris without shredding myself – as I’ve done before to the point of drawing blood – in the process. But there was no pressing new for speed this morning so I resolved to search for a point to squeeze in and make a painless retrieval.

How is it that one 2.5 mile path can fill two bags  to capacity?

How is it that one 2.5 mile path can fill two bags to capacity?

So I went behind the tangle – about 15 yards worth of walking – and, sure enough, there was a sliver of an opening but it was still guarded by enough sparse briars to threaten my legs yet by this point I was within reach. A stick came in handy to nudge the offending items toward me. Moments later and after only a few minor scrapes, three Anheiser-product beer cans and a couple of plastic bottles were in my bag.

Those early finds were the tip of trash iceberg. There was far more ^%$#*& junk than usual. A Walmart bag that was blowin’ in the wind made storage better.

Here's the depressing inventory of my morning's effort. It never cease to amaze me how slovenly Americans can be.

Here’s the depressing inventory of my morning’s effort. It never ceases to amaze me how slovenly Americans can be.

It ended up as a full two-bag morning, perhaps the most ever. The haul included the usual suspects: Bud Light, Yuengling and Coors Light cans, Gatorade and Mountain Dew bottles, a McDonalds‘ bag, along with 100 other objects of my sidewalk search. The added bulk added 30 minutes to my stroll but I suppose an extra half hour sweat equity is worth it if this amount is trash is taken out of circulation.

About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I was a writer by trade so one would think letters would come easily for me. It is so now, but wasn't always that way. Indeed, the first letter was written the Monday after Ellen started her freshman year in college. For years I've wondered - with no good answers - why I swiveled my office chair toward my computer screen to fire up a word processing document for that first letter. I just don't know. I just did. Perhaps it was the angst of separation or wanting to say things that had gone unsaid at that moment when we parted ways in front of her college dormitory. What was a one-off became habitual. When her brother Reid enrolled in the same college, his name was added to the salutation line. They were kids then and are adults now. No matter. The letter writing habit remains so today. I live in Brevard, North Carolina. I'm well away from where they live and don't see them nearly as often as I'd like. That's why letters, at least to me, fill the void of distance. The pages give me something to say and the space to say it. There is no assurance they read the letters; indeed, I have never asked if they do so. With the pace of their busy lives who could blame them for letting a letter sit unopened? Over time, it has dawned on me that the letters are both communicative - and cathartic. By nature, letters are about the writer; the writer can only write about their situation. Perhaps that is as it should be. It's all about the here and now from one person's perspective.

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