Around here we love old things. I guess that’s why we bought this old house. When we bought it the realtor considered it a ‘tear down’. She thought someone would buy it just to build something new in it’s place. We saw the heart and soul in it. It’s great natural light, the wildness of the yard, the good neighbors.
When we dug into and got down to the bones of it we travelled from the 1970’s back to 1907. That’s a lot of layers and sadly a lot of trips to the dump. We needed a truck for dump runs and after buying the house there was no money left to purchase such a thing. Then, we remembered Big Blue sitting out in a field at my husband’s old family place. The ’69 Chevy hadn’t run in many years but we knew it could. With some elbow grease and a trip to the junk yard for new wheels and tires Big Blue was on the road again. In no time we were on our first run to the dump with a truck load of green 70’s carpeting, cheap wood paneling, and many layers of wallpaper and acoustic ceiling panels. We were feeling good and getting things done. Then the hood blew up and the engine overheated and we were stuck on the side of the road. We were out in the country so we knocked on the door of a nearby farmhouse and got some water for the radiator. Got some rope to tie the hood down and continued on our way.
When we got there we couldn’t believe all of the trucks and trailers filled with usable things heading for the landfill. This was the last year our local dump just had you drive to the edge of a great precipice and dump everything over it. As we pulled up to our spot on the edge I saw a truck parking with a wheelbarrow in the back. As my husband parked I jumped out and ran like the bionic woman over to that doomed wheelbarrow. “Wait!” I yelled. “I’ll take that!”. Whew! Nick of time. I had it in my possession. We got it home, fobbed up a new axle for it and have been using it for 9 years now.
As I said, that was the last year our dump operated that way. Now, there is mandatory recycling and an amazing place called Recycletown where the still-usable items are sold for a nominal price.
I recently thought about all of this while using the wheelbarrow to haul base rock for the floor of our new greenhouse. We just started construction last week. It will be built with windows from Recycletown, redwood from an old water tank, salvaged leaded and stained glass windows and a salvaged door. Should be fun! I’ll post our progress here.
Big Blue has since gone on to be a Father and Daughter restoration project in a nearby town.