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Pick A, B or C but not D…

Saturday morning, Jan. 25, 2014

It was 18F this morning as I walked out the door about 6:45. Winds of 15-20 mph, gusting to 30, pushed the perceived temperature to around 10F.

In the first few chilly steps it occurred to me that I: A) have some screws loose, B) am a complete idiot, C) am committed to what I do. Pick one. (Too bad there was no “D) all of the above” option for you to choose.)

Since I hadn’t ventured out the last couple of days, today was a two-bagger in anticipation of a path clogged with debris. But my first retrieval was a very large and intact plastic bag, ideally suited for a heavy load.

A big load requires a big bag. It still stuns me that this amount of junk accumulates in a matter of days.

A big load requires a big bag. It still stuns me that this amount of junk accumulates in a matter of days.

McMullen Creek (mentioned in my previous post) was covered with a thin sheet of ice. The mallard drake was gone, but the plastic sheet was still there, its free-flowing motion now locked in the ice.

I slurped my coffee quickly; by the time I reached Colony and Sharon View in the first half mile it was already tepid. When I pulled into the intersection of Colony and Fairview, it was stone cold. I realized at this point that my body temperature is a direct reflection of how hot my coffee is. When it goes cold, I go cold, too. One of my early finds was an upright polystyrene cup with someone else’s coffee. It was frozen solid but a few taps later, the block of brown ice slipped out.

The load continued to accumulate. One pound, then three pounds and finally about six pounds of assorted debris. The usual culprits: plastic water bottles, beer cans, fast food containers, polystyrene. Getting it the hell off the street and storm water grates is a good thing.

When I get home I typically go out around back to drop off my haul then venture inside for my iPhone to digitally record the day’s finds. About then I noticed some other plastic alongside my creek and tiptoed my way along the bank to corral it once and for all.

So it was a good day. Never really super cold. Lots of junk removed from the environmental chain. To top it off, I found a quarter. Nice.

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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