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Frigid air = no bag today …

There won’t be photos today of other people’s junk or tales of anti-litter resolve.

I half forgot, half neglected to take a bag out of the pantry this morning. It’s the first time in memory no bag made the trek.

A contributing factor was the arctic air: a wind-whipped 16F at 5:30 a.m. No telling what the windchill was. 6F, 8F? The intent was to keep moving forward and not dawdle to perform the usual routine.

The first mile to the corner of Colony and Fairview Roads was spotless; there was nothing to pick up even if I’d wanted to.

But old habits die hard. There’s no way I can let non-degradable junk lay around. A crushed polystyrene cup was soon picked up and moments later, a flattened mini-liquor bottle was stuffed inside the cup. One of those hotel-size bottles of complimentary water soon joined the collection. After a few other plastic odds-and-ends were retrieved, the cup, and my hands, were full.

To clutch this rag-tag assortment made my mittened hands freezing cold. The conditions were as bitter as I’ve ever felt in North Carolina. The stiff breeze made it feel like a Midwestern February. I double-timed it home as quick as I could, bypassing non-plastic debris I would normally pick up. It’ll still be there tomorrow.

But for the time being, my hands desperately needed the hot cup of coffee that sits just to my right.

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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