I take particular pleasure
I take particular pleasure in picking up litter near the public library because I know that public libraries have been magical places to me. Any bit of effort I can expend to keep the path to that door clear of cans, bottles, food wrappers, crushed cigarette packs, etc., goes toward helping some new kid feel welcome and safe there, and presenting a valuable institution in its best light.
I take particular pleasure in picking up litter near an affordable housing complex, because I know they’re too rare for this area and too often unloved by neighbors for the supposed element they attract. I have not found appreciably more litter there than anywhere else. I have encountered a woman calling down from a third-floor balcony to thank me for picking up. Why wouldn’t she care about her space like anyone else?
I take particular pleasure in picking up litter near bus stops. If you’ve never relied on buses in an area where car ownership is the norm, you might not appreciate how the process of having to wait at a dirty bus stop to ride in an enclosed space with an unpredictable bunch of people toward your destination makes you feel different about yourself once you get there, too.* (I mean, you can see the cars, all the fortunate people in their private vehicle-pods with their own personal playlists and air conditioner vents, zipping directly from A to B.) If I can at least improve the “waiting at a dirty bus stop” part, that’s bound to restore a bit of dignity to the proceedings.
* Suggested listening: “Another One Rides the Bus” by Weird Al Yankovic.
On thanks given
When picking up litter, especially on a bad day, a “thanks” from a stranger can be a wind at my back. These kudos come rarely enough that I can easily keep track of how many I’ve heard on a given day. And because I’m me, with a data-tracking sort of mindset, I write down the numbers. From this, I can calculate the number of thanks received per hour of picking up litter in populated areas.
So, my question is, do you think this number (of thanks per hour) will actually be higher for November, the month of thanksgiving, than it has been in other months? (I have data, such as they are, for August through October.)
Register your guesses now and I’ll report back next week with the November results.
Unclaimed property redux
Following up on last Sunday’s post, did anyone find property worth claiming in the state database? I would be tickled to think that someone had managed to recover something based on my tip.
It’s almost time to begin the annual dig for sweet potatoes in the yard. There’s green foliage up top, but I’m always reluctant to predict or assume the existence of actual sweet potatoes in the dirt. Sometimes a long, hearty green vine will have exhausted itself on the show, leaving little energy for its underground project, whereas an almost dead-looking thing on top might have birthed a whole bushel of sweet potatoes below the surface. Just as it is with people, I suppose. Who knows what’s going on down there until I dig them all up? (Sweet potatoes, not people.)
In recent days, Pfizer and Moderna booster doses became available to all adults in the US. Does anyone else feel that we’re in the bonus round? Like it’s cosmic dumb luck that we are not among the millions worldwide wiped out by COVID thus far, and so everything from here on out, for as long as we have, is extra time we’ve been granted? That’s how I feel. May we use our bonus lives well.