Yesterday I put out the “give away” box beside the garbage. In the box was an old cutting board, candlesticks we never used, some Christmas ornaments. All in good shape, all ready for a second life with some new owner. And I put out my old ice skates which I had been hanging on to for no particular reason. Then it so happened that my wife and I were looking out the front window later in the day when a car stopped on the other side of the street and a heavy-set guy got out, ran across the road, grabbed the skates (which were what had caught his eye and caused him to stop) and then he just grabbed the whole box of give-away stuff. The whole box! For some reason this surprised us. We had both imagined that someone would come by and take one or two things and then someone else would come by and take something they needed or wanted. But this one guy took everything. What’s he going to do with all those things? Sell them on eBay? Maybe. That’s what got us, I think. That our recycling had gone from a one-person-to-another gesture to a money making venture. A small amount of money, certainly, but still. It just jarred with our expectation. The upside of this is that nothing was left for us to have to deal with later.
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