Saturday, September 11, 2010

Life Lessons from Craig's List

Today I spent my time around the house. I washed windows and screens neglected this past spring. We did some yard maintenance. Mark cleaned out some clothes, and we started bags for a Courage Center collection/pick up.

We need to clean out, and purge. We have too much. I intended to have a garage sale this summer, but the truth is, I lacked the motivation to take on the challenge, even though my garage is brimming with things we don't need, or want.

Neighborhood dump day is one week away. As residents, we can pull pretty much anything we want to the curb, and the city will haul it away. It rotates between neighborhoods every three years, and this is our year on Riverview Lane. Remember that toilet we replaced after the kids flushed a toy down it? Neighborhood dump day. How about those hollow panel doors we replaced, or the bi-folds? Neighborhood dump day. Small pine dresser used at my various apartments since college, missing one drawer? Dump Day!

But then I felt guilty. Should I find a way to recycle these items, instead of filling a landfill? I decided to place FREE posts on Craig's List for the doors and dresser before pulling them to the curb next Saturday. In the post for the pine dresser, I listed the dimensions, and indicated clearly a drawer was missing. Two hours later I got a call.

"Yes.. the dresser is available. It's all yours if you want it!" I alerted the man it was MISSING A DRAWER. He said he would take it and place a panel over the missing drawer. For my own security (since Mark was out for the evening), I gave him my address, and told him I would leave it on the curb. I said he could take it or leave it, and if it was on the curb at the end of the night, I would pull it back in the garage. Before he hung up, he said, "God Bless You."

Because the dresser was light, I could easy pull it down the drive. Minus the missing drawer, it didn't look too bad from the front, but is wasn't very sturdy. I discovered the back particle board panel was missing too. I felt guiltfor y having posting something so crappy actually.

A while later the kids and I were finishing supper. I noticed a late model mini van drive by and circle, but payed no attention. The kids moved to another window and said, "Mommy, there's a man at the curb!" Dean exclaimed, "Mommy, that man is taking the garbage!"

Instantly, my heart sank. This man was taking the dresser for his children. My own kids (peering out the window in their crisp, new jeans for the season), thought the dresser was garbage.

Hours later, as I type now (hours before going to worship tomorrow morning), I feel so very guilty for all we have, as I contemplate what others do not.

I waved to that man in the mini van after he loaded the abused, damaged dresser. I wanted to do more for him. He drove off, and I cleaned up the left overs from supper. Chicken strips I made scratch, mac n' cheese (Dean's favorite), fuit, milk, etc. What was this man and his children having for supper? What kind of clothes would his kids fill the four remaining dresser drawers with? Here I stood, with bags of perfectly good clothing on my living room floor sorted for donation.

How did I get so lucky to be blessed with so much, my whole life? With all I have, why do I always want more? Why does materialism so clearly find such a strong hold in my life. Now, and in church tomorrow, I will ask for forgiveness...

Life Lessons from my Craig's List Free Post....

2 comments:

Nicole Mages said...

I have been having similar thoughts as we are going through our stuff, packing and moving. We have a ton of EXCESS!! I am trying to give what I can to goodwill, but sometimes I end up throwing something I later think, I bet someone could have used that. We can totally relate!

britta said...

Wow that is deep...like I felt choked up reading this post! Thanks for sharing Andrea!

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