Sometimes you see motorists toss whole bags of trash out their car window and onto the sidewalk. Sometimes you see the entire contents of an apartment on the sidewalk. We never like to see people evicted from their apartments. The sidewalk is where all their stuff ends up.
We often get rid of our old stuff in a similar fashion. If we have an old lamp, say, or a set of chairs we no longer want, we don't bother with a yard sale. We just display it on the street corner. It's gone within a few minutes. That seems to be one of the ways people communicate in the city. Here, I don't need this any more. You can have it. And then it's gone.
So I wasn't particularly disturbed when I saw this box of vegetables the other day. I was walking my daughter to school and the box was half in the street, half on the curb. This is the kind of vegetable box that would be delivered by a food wholesaler to a restaurant or a grocery store. How did it end up it the street? Who would have tossed it there? Or did it fall off the truck?
We didn't bother ourselves over it. We just kept walking. But there it was again the second day. And the third day it had moved onto the sidewalk. By day four, it had found its way across the sidewalk and was nestled up against the front of an apartment building, half-buried in a pile of fallen leaves. Now I had to investigate.
I opened the box and saw that it was filled with celery, about 40 pounds worth. That would have made a lot of soup, I figured, or maybe one very large Waldorf salad. The celery was getting a little long in the tooth, not very appetizing. But obviously nobody else wanted it. It needed a home. And suddenly I had an idea...
Now the box is sitting in a corner of the garden. My chore for the day? Get out the big cutting board and my sharpest serrated knife. This celery might have been destined for the salad bowl at one point. But now, it's got a date with my compost pile.