I spent the last month gathering up junk from around our house. A sweater I haven't worn since grade eleven. A few stuffed animals no one seems to play with (or know of their origin). An Anne Geddes print my gymnastics coach gave me for Christmas ten (or more) years ago. A pair of boots my little sister gave to me when she grew out of them five years ago. A pair of cords that just don't seem to fit my post-pregnant body like they did my pre-pregnant one. That kind of thing.
I even made Andrew help me go through our bookshelves to winnow down our collection. I meant to do this earlier when my sister was collecting books for a group of underprivileged girls in New York (I think) but I never got around to doing it. We found about 25 books that we felt we could part with—though most of them were college-level textbooks we hadn't been able to sell back and I'm not so sure teen girls from New York would appreciate outdated college textbooks for their liesure reading. Just a hunch.
We packaged the books up to donate to the Worldwide Book Drive and bundled up the clothes and other odds and ends to take to DI. At the last minute, though, we decided to drop them by Savers since all our other errands were in Orem and we didn't want to drive all the way into Provo. One secondhand store is as good as the next, right?
So we pulled into the drop-off zone behind Savers. Andrew stopped the car, popped the back-hatch, opened his door, and ran out to meet the worker so he could tell him which bags to take. When he got out the car shifted a bit but he thought it was just the regular bouncing a car does to realign itself after a passenger gets out. It wasn't.
Andrew had forgotten to put the car in park.
The girls and I started gliding toward a dumpster.
I was still debating whether to unbuckle my seatbelt and hop over to the driver's side so I could step on the brake or if I should just pull the emergency break when Andrew, who had only realized the car was still moving when he tried to grab one of the bags out of the back and ended up with a handful of nothing, hopped back into the car and stomped on the break.
My husband, the haphazard hero.
In the privacy of our car we laughed (hard) for a few minutes before he had to get out and face the snickering staffers.
"Tried to leave without you, huh?" one tough-looking guy remarked, "Do you want a tax receipt?"
We said no because we're far too poor to bother with itemizing our taxes but one day I think we'll say yes just to see what the tax receipt says. Exactly how do they turn garbage into gold? How much cast-off stuff equals one dollar? Is it by the pound? Is that where they get the saying 'one man's trash is another man's treasure'?
Today was not the day we answered any of those questions by saying yes because we were too interested in fleeing the scene as quickly as possible. Everyone was still laughing when we left.
Our next stop was the Worldwide Book Drive. It's a rather nondescript building without even so much as a sign. Luckily we had the address. Because if we had been looking for a sign instead of a building number we never would have found it. Andrew ran the books inside, but this time he ceremoniously parked the car first.
They were really quite shocked to see him there. They wanted to know if he was part of some bigger book drive or if he was the person they just got off the phone with. He told them that he just had some books he needed to get rid of. The worker grabbed his hand and pumped it up and down, "Thank you so much!"
I don't think they see many people with individual donations.
Andrew came back outside, got into the car, turned it on, and threw it in reverse.
"Are you going to close the back-hatch?"
I suppose I could have gotten out to close the door while he was inside but you should see how the girls react when I get out of the car. Rachel starts screaming about coming, too, and undoes her seatbelt. Miriam starts pulling against her seatbelt and crying. It's like they have this underlying fear that I just can't wait to abandon them in the car, which is weird because I don't think they've ever been left alone in the car.
At least, not without a grownup...though as we learned today even that isn't safe if the driver doesn't remember to put the car in park!