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Jan 30, 2016

Did Your Charmed Childhood Include a Trip to the Dump?

Where did we shop before Goodwill and yard sales and Craigs List? I don't believe I know anyone that doesn't have a story about how they acquired that wonderful old chair or table on the sunporch. Without those second hand places we would be lost. How did we ever manage to survive?

I was talking with our daughter a while back and she said in parting that one of her favorite childhood memories was time she spent with her grandfather and father cleaning out the garage. My parents lived in a very small community in eastern Oregon so everything that was disposed of out of the garage went to the dump.

She and her brothers were allowed to make the trip to the dump to dispose of the collection out of the garage if they helped clean.

The Carwash
The dump was treasure hunt waiting to happen. She described how people would bring old chairs and broken tables to the sight outside of town and sit them lovingly along the hillside. As soon as she and her brother piled out of the pickup they would rush to inspect everything left behind. When the pickup was emptied, Grandpa and Dad would join them to look everything over too.

I am sure that something went back home with them every time. My father was very handy and could fix anything.  I suppose the choices were based on what they might need and not on what could actually be repaired. He was not greedy at all. My children never missed a trip to the dump if they were allowed to come along. My daughter remembers it as part of her charmed childhood.

Cleaning Up
Picking Peaches
Some children remember the vacation or even a trip to the big circus. But, as it turns out, it is the simple things that children love. I took my granddaughters to the carwash a couple of years ago. Our carwash is like a treasure hunt too...free popcorn, windows onto the washing brushes and a place to sit in the sunshine. They loved it. The grandchildren back on Oregon love a walk and an old box of crayons and color books left over from the older cousins now in their twenties.

I learned very long ago that a charmed childhood is all about whims and surprises and just a little work with it's rewards. I am truly hoping that the next generation has their very own dump stories to tell. The thought of it makes me smile.



  1. I absolutely LOVED going to the dump... and to the early morning food market ... and to the drive-in-movie-theatre. Thanks for rekindling these wonderful childhood memories Barbara!

    1. Those are my memories too...well I didn't get to go to the early morning food market but I wish I could have done that. The drive-in-movie was the big date place. Oh my gosh...I don't visit my memories very often but I am loving the visit to the past!

  2. I think finding things left on the curb is a genuine New York City sport. I have two hand-painted pieces of furniture in my apartment - one, a pink and gold hand painted dresser (sounds garish but the colors are muted) was actually left for the garbage men and I just rescued it. I always think somebody must have painted it for their daughter's bedroom, and then she hit the teens and wanted something cooler. I also have a gorgeous coffee table hand-painted with a Syrian tile design inspired motif - that one was funny, the artist was selling a few of her household items that she was tired of, and not for a whole lot of money. I loved the coffee table and ran to get some money. When I came back, her boyfriend was watching the stuff while she'd run up to her apartment to pee. I told him I was there for the beautiful coffee table and he looked sort of wistful as he said, "Yeah, I kind of liked that one too." Got the impression he was sorry to see it go. I felt bad but I took it anyways!

    Never went to a dump as a kid, but there was a brief stay in an apartment building in DC that had trash rooms on each floor where my sister and I liked to scavenge for stuff to make things for our stuffed animals and model horses.

    1. See what I mean...we all have our very own versions of the "dump". We never left furniture by the curb but I am been to the midwest (Bloomington, Ill.) where people clean out the garage, place everything is placed by the curb. Within a few days it is all gone and what isn't is carted off by the garbage man. I found it so fascinating.

  3. No, I can't say as I ever remember going to the dump as a child. It's interesting how different a charmed childhood can look from one person to the next! :-)

    1. Yes, I see what you mean. In fact, I worried that people would think my children were raised by wolves!

      Thank you for stopping by.


  4. My father in law would spend hours walking home from work. He chose a different alley every day. He would always come home with something. When we cleaned out his garages, the grands had a heck of a good time!


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