What treasures have you found among someone else’s “trash?”

One mans trash…You know how the old saying goes. What may no longer be useful to one person, may well turn out to be a cherished treasure for another. This rings true in numerous ways.

I was driving back and forth across my suburban town on a typical, putt-around Sunday, and several times passed by a house having a garage sale. The weather was a bit too frosty, in my opinion, to make that endeavor worthwhile. I was thinking this, as I passed the chilled figures working the sale. As a seasoned host of some rather lucrative garage sales, I have learned that you don’t rake in the customers, in temperatures too hot, or too cold. I have a great appreciation for the myriad of benefits that come along, from doing something as laborious and unglamorous as having a garage sale.

I had never shopped garage sales, and had certainly never hosted one, before my second child was born. I snubbed my nose at garage sales for the most part. Who would want to sift through someone else’s discards anyway? Or spend their day selling their own junk in their own driveway? What would the neighbors think?

Fast-forward to a 2-year-old son, and infant daughter later. “Oh no, all these baby clothes, and toys, and hoppy chairs, are designed for boys. What were we thinking? And what will we do with all of this boy stuff? And gee-wiz, replacing it with all girl stuff is costly? And wow, no baby shower for the second-born, to ease the financial bleeding a bit, that comes from baby-having, and subsequent child-rearing, kind of sucks…” And finally, “Heyyy, maybe those garage sale people are onto something…”

Needless to say, I have held my fair share of yard sales in the 6 years to follow that naive time in my life. It was amazing, I was decluttering my house, helping people attain some rather nice items, for which they had need or want, at a fabulous price, and I was making some extra cash to contribute to my family. And by-golly its a green thing to do, and in total compliance with the concept of reuse, repurpose and recycle. Amazing!

Let’s get back to the poor popsicles I saw running their chilly-day sale. On my last pass, at the end of the day, dropping off my daughter’s friend from a play-date, I see that they have shut down shop and carefully moved all that didn’t sell to the curb, for trash pick-up. Alas, the curious picker in my head forces me to stop the car and assess the situation. Well, my goodness, am I glad I did.

I am now the happy owner of a pristine and life-like porcelain doll, which my daughter was thrilled to receive (incidentally I priced it out and found it to be valued at around $85), an extra large, wooden-framed, backyard table-umbrella, in excellent working condition, and a perfect, unused, hardcover, copy of a book that one of my dearest friends, and cheer-leader for my writing, had been urging me for months to read, coincidentally (or not) written by a blogger-turned extremely successful author, writing about some sh*t his Dad says. Amazing!

As I think of all of this, I grow more certain that there are no coincidences. A dear childhood friend, whose first husband had told her on numerous occasions, that she was a piece of garbage, eventually remarried a man who absolutely adored her for the stunningly beautiful, kindhearted and imperfect woman she is. 10 years later, they remain madly in love. Amazing! Sometimes, what might appear to be “trash” in our lives, turns out to be a hidden treasure, waiting to fall into the hands or heart of just the right person.

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In This Moment

“Lucky to be alive,” can oft’ be heard

in the whispers surrounding one whom

trauma or disease, accident or disaster

has befallen. Upon surviving

such misfortune or malaise, it is

spoken with conviction.

”Lucky to be alive!” they say.

Such circumstances

give cause for

reflection and gratitude,

or perhaps

a fleeting understanding

of the delicate strand

by which all

dangles precariously.

“Lucky to be alive!”

is proclaimed loudly

to survivor, and hero…

 

Yet isn’t it so, for one and all,

from mountains majestic,

to a grain on the shore,

each breath and thought,

through battles fought,

each win or loss,

and through remorse,

is “lucky.”

Each sunrise, a second chance…

 

Let us be thankful,

as sweet breath gives us life.

Let us be thankful

through challenge and strife.

Let us be thankful

during tasks mundane,

when the sun is shining,

as when God sends the rain.

Let us whisper from within

with certainty and grace,

“lucky to be alive,”

in this moment, in this space.

Thank God I Married the Wrong Man

As a self-proclaimed “scorned” woman, and you will come to see, I definitely fit within the parameters of such a title, I have learned that there is a pitifully negative connotation attached to this status. It’s societal and familial. It is the concept that we are not whole if our partner or spouse does us wrong, or worse yet…leaves all together.

I actually use the term “scorned” in a satirical nod to my ex, who, during those dark times in our relationship, following the initial break-up, used to throw the word around at me as if this was some valid explanation for my “irrational” resentment towards him. In fact, it was true. I was scorned. I was hurt, angry, broken. At times, I was like a crazy-women, pissed-off and reeling, especially during those first treacherous months, whilst trying to regain my balance. I had two little ones, a boy, age 4, and a girl, age 2, at the time. I believed wholeheartedly that someone had pulled the rug from beneath my unsteady feet, and my entire world shifted.

The reality is, it is not possible to force another person to hold true to their commitments, even after you’ve both proclaimed, in front of God, Church and family, “‘Till death do us part.” Though, with my vision becoming increasingly clearer, it is apparent that, even though our marriage didn’t go the distance, my relationship with this man who scorned me is interminable, for the simple fact that we were gifted with two awesome children, who now literally bind us in ways both obvious and imperceptible, till death and beyond.  And I wouldn’t change a thing.

There is a quote by Cynthia Occelli, about a seed, which resonates so deeply with my feelings on the failure of my marriage, and the ensuing chaos and subsequent calm to follow. “For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.”

I am that seed, and my desire and ability for growth astounds me. Each of us is capable of this incredible blossoming, even after we are faced with a seeming destruction. For this, I am thankful. For our beautiful children, I am thankful.  And for marrying the “wrong man,” I am indeed thankful. From that scorn, I was reborn.