Archived Story

Secrets to a long life found in Saluda

Published 10:32am Friday, April 26, 2013

“There is a magic made by melody:

A spell of rest, and quiet breath, and cool

Heart, that sinks through fading colors deep

To the subaqueous stillness of the sea,

And floats forever in a moon-green pool,

Held in the arms of rhythm and of sleep.” 

~ Elizabeth Bishop

As dawn paints mornings, River dog and I take a short stroll, then head back to set up the coffee pot and snuggle back in bed for a “few more” minutes. Mondays being trash pick-up day, most folks pile trash bags and cans by the curb before 7 a.m. Of course, I can’t pass a trash heap without eying the ‘goods’. By the roadside was a wood coffee table: worn, but serviceable. I told myself NO, that as the professed pack rat I owned up to being last week, it was time to turn over a new leaf and just say NO.

Over the years, dumpsters and curbsides have furnished me with a vintage wicker settee, shabby-chic wicker chair, a nice little oak nightstand, and so forth. I used to horrify my ex-husband by my unabashed love of scavenging and lack of shame of dumpster diving or ‘curbside pickup.’ He never understood it — and would wildly speed by whatever prize I’d spotted. (I’d just go back later on my own for the ‘find.’)

To make a long story short, River and I moseyed back home without the table, intent on warm covers just a little longer. My noble leaf-change did not last. Eyes open, mind churning like a water wheel, oh the things I could do with that humble table. What a shame to send it to the landfill. Over and over the table called my name. Finally, I stuffed myself back into robe and slippers, easing out to retrieve that poor hapless table, lonesome and abandoned among bags of trash. Pulling it out, looking around to make sure no one spotted this suspicious pink-robed-garbage-thief-of-old-coffee-tables, I hauled my rescued treasure home, delighted to discover the thing even had delicate metal caster wheels: a major find. So much for pack rat reform any time soon: I believe in recycling. 

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