That stinks, thank you.

H (7 and awesome) and I were making good time this morning on our car ride to school. The trees dropped a fresh crop of leaves in the last couple of days, our foliage thick neighborhood is covered in orange and brown from the driveways to the canopy.

There was a light but steady rain this morning and it’s not freezing cold yet but it ain’t exactly balmy. Today is trash day for our part of town. I had taken our bags out about 20 minutes before H and I left for school. I used to set the trash out the night before trash day, roaming cats taught me the error of my ways.

We approached a turn onto a short street that some of our neighbors sometimes have blocked off for parties (Rock!). There by the curb was a trash truck. The trash collector, in his bright green reflective uniform was behind the truck scooping up the last of what looked like a bummer of a spill. Apparently a bag had ripped and dumped its contents out as he was throwing it into the truck.

I pointed out to H what the trash collector was doing, mentioned that the bag must have broken open and told H “That stinks.” He added “literally.” The rest of our short ride we talked about how the people who pick up the trash work all year round. In the brutal heat and the bitter cold, the dry late summer and the wet Fall and Spring, in snow and wind and whatever nature queues up, they’re out there.

We live on nice streets lined with trees. Kids play in the yards and people walk their dogs up and down the streets at all times of day. Our neighborhood isn’t covered in trash and litter. It isn’t much of a hassle to bag up our refuse and carry it to the curb once a week.

I try to impress on H as often as I can that we rely on many others to help make things nice for us. One reason we have a nice area to live and work and play is that there are people who get up early every morning, suit up, and haul off the things we throw out.

And oftentimes I’m sure it stinks.

So thank you trash collectors.

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