And the subject was: acorns. "Mighty oaks from little acorns grow," as the saying goes, meaning that everything has to start somewhere. It might not seem like a big deal to many, but I made my first trip to the dump alone yesterday. I had loaned out my cargo net, that big web thing that covers a pickup load to keep things from flying out, and so had to use one tie-down strap and a ridiculous substitute of twine strung across Bess's wading pool, a big, broken trash can, lots of insulation, and a ton of acorns, scared that stuff would scatter on the road. I'll admit it. I'm a wuss. Driving slow across Bucks Bar, I lost count of the times I pulled over to let other vehicles pass and/or check that the load was intact. For the first time, I found the turn to the dump (reclamation center) without passing that road three times. My writing on the check was nearly illegible, my hands were shaking so. The nice man directed me to a space and I backed in. That was my biggest hang-up about going alone. There is a five-foot drop off to the pit and I was terrified that, in addition to the load of trash, I'd end up dumping the truck over the edge, as well. I can't have been the only one worried about this possible disaster because a low barrier had been installed. Somewhat reassured, I still had to sit in the cab for a minute after I'd turned off the engine to settle my nerves. (I said I was a wuss.)
And so I began unloading. Pulling out the bigger pieces and flinging with abandon, I got down to the layer of acorns. I'm not exaggerating when I say the guy with the big tractor blade/scooper machine had to make three passes to clear away all those acorns. Mothers of my mother's era used to coerce their kids who would not finish their dinner by saying, "Think of the starving children in China." Why some kid anywhere in the world who would want my uneaten broccoli was beyond me. However, yesterday I could hear my mother's voice asking, "What about the starving squirrels in China," as I raked all those acorns out of the truck. I had nightmares last night about thin, raggedy Chinese squirrels.
The truck and my heart were much lighter on the way home. I had survived a solo trip to the dump, and am encouraged to face the next scary event. It was a good day.