Finding God in the Garbage - 7QT


My what a clever title I came up that sounds so spiritually profound but is really just a ruse for me to regale you with tales about our garbage.  Or more aptly, other people's garbage and my rifling through it.  

Folks, I'm a garbage picker.  I know.  As if my family needed more reasons to be embarrassed of me.  There is nothing to me like the thrill of driving by and seeing something by the side of the road that I know I can use.  And it's free!!!  And not going to the landfill and all!!!  I have totally been that person stopping the car to examine someone else's pile of stuff and it has been SO worth the pride-swallowing and weird looks.  I love that we live in an area where you can often put something by the side of the road and sometimes within minutes someone comes along and takes it.  Is that weird?  I don't know.  We don't even live in the sticks.  People just do that.  I love when I can give new life to someone else's garbage and we've often returned the favor by leaving out other gems that we know longer need but someone else can.  And I love when it's picked up by someone and I may or may not peek out of the window when people stop and watch them load it up and get genuinely excited that someone else could use it. 

Honestly, there are things that I've gotten that genuinely feel like they were a little token from God to remind me that He sorta kinda likes me.  And it probably sounds ridiculous but I see God then.  It's like this cool little love-gift that He's put right in my path just to say, "See?  I heard you and you know what?  Sometimes I just like to make you happy" and it almost ALWAYS happens right after I've said I needed something or just sort of would like it.  I know.  I'm ridiculous and God still likes me anyway and I think He gets a kick out of humoring me. 

So today's seven (not that quick) takes will honor my favoritest garbage finds.  Ready?

1.

{This "Mantel"}

So it's always kinda bummed me out that we don't have a real fireplace because I'm that person that would totally be using it every day in the winter and I just love me a cozy fireplace.  But, alas, despite the fact that this house is like a thousand years old or something like that, there is no fireplace.  Then one morning I'm on the way home from grocery shopping and BAM.  This wooden faux mantel fireplace surround thing sitting by the side of the road on garbage day.  I couldn't get it myself but I totally made Brian go back on his way to work to grab it.  And even though I sort of feel like I'm trying too hard sometimes to be a fancy decorator with it, I love it.  That's how I had it decorated at Thanksgiving.

2.

{This Huge Ikea Shelf} 

In Mint condition.  I KNOW, right!?!  Someone down the street from us had it out all folded up, labelled free and waiting for us one lovely Sunday morning on the way home from Mass.  Seriously, I was pulling my hair out trying to figure out a solution for our crazy u-shaped mud room and all. the. shoes.  And then this is laying there by the side of the road.  The shelves are all adjustable so I was able to make special shoe size shelves and work around the window there.  I have seriously thought about leaving a thank you note for them (and should have that day) but now I can't remember which house it was.  So I prayed for them instead.  True story.

3.


{This Clock}

It works and it was exactly what I was thinking would be good for that spot right there on the garage.

4.

{This Screen Door}

So excited about this one and even though you don't care I have to tell you that I got it minutes before the garbage truck was lumbering down towards us (also on the way home from church).  AND AND AND I stopped to get it and the people were pulling in the driveway and were sweet older people and were all like, "do you want the screen and storm window that go with it?  We have them inside, hold on!"  And the man was happy that we really were going to use it and not just try to sell it or something and that we lived just a few streets away.  I got it back in November and this month I hope to get it painted and hanging right in that doorway there.  On that drafty doorway where there is no screen door and I had been thinking a screen door would be really handy but had decided it was something that wasn't priority enough to spend money on.  (Seriously, doors like this are EXPENSIVE!)  See?  God likes me.

5.

{This Hammock}

I'm only sort of cheating on this one.  It was at a garage sale and the man said he was getting rid of it.  He sold it to John Paul for ONE dollar and the boys gave it to Brian for Father's Day a few years ago.  I soaked it in the tub with a tiny bit of bleach and dried it in the sun and we've been enjoying it every summer.

6.

{That Bench}

We used to live right next to a town park.  And right by our driveway was the dumpster the parks department used.  One day they were throwing out TWO of these benches.  We snagged them and the only thing wrong with them was that they needed the screws tightened and one piece needed to be glued or something.  Perfect for sitting next to the bonfire.

7.


And here's the sneak peek of our latest find from last week that I have big plans for...
Oh my goodness, I am way too excited about it and I really hope it works and if it does, I, of course, plan to make you listen to me yammer on about it.

And now is your chance to come out of hiding.  Have you ever found a treasure in someone else's garbage?  It's okay.  I understand and I won't judge.  And I totally want to hear all about it.  


Linking up with Jen who would probably never ever ever be caught dead rifling through someone else's garbage.  

20 comments

  1. Those are so cool!! I love free things from people's garbage!!!! Love the mantel and the shelving.

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    1. Thanks! Should've gotten a better pic of the mantel but I was too lazy :)

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  2. That IKEA shelf is mind-blowing! So happy for you!

    When I "only" had three children, I needed something other than the sidecar crib (take one side off the crib and push it up to the bed) because Jeremy (not yet 2) still needed to sleep with us, as well as his baby sister. A neighbor was throwing out a headboard and frame for a twin bed and I snagged it. It fit perfectly right next to our bed, and Jeremy could sleep on the far side while his baby sister slept on the near side so I could nurse her. It worked out perfectly, and sometimes (think stormy nights), Abigail (3.5 at the time) could join us as well.

    Haven't gotten any good finds lately, mostly because we're usually the ones getting rid of stuff!

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    1. Yep...time to give back! Love how God provides like that...sometimes in the humblest of ways.

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  3. My name is Melissa and I am a trash picker.....I got my start from a book read to me as a child called "Junk Day on Juniper Street" I have been grabbing curbside jewels for 40 plus years. I can be driving to work, to church wherever and I will be picking treasures on my journey. I even pick when we are on vacation. I have fund so many amazing things...a boston rocker, a dog bed, wing back chair, picnic tables, lamps etc. It is never ending. Yes sometimes I get creepy looks from people but I do what they wish inside they wish they could do but don't have the will. I am constantly on the lookout and find myself looking down side streets "just in case" Thank you for your blog. I am blessed to have found it

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    1. "I do what they wish inside they could do..." Hahaha! I'll have to take that approach from now on!

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  4. Wow - what great blessings! All I seem to see around here are broken toilets and old plastic lawn chairs.

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    1. You don't want someone's used toilet?? Come on! You could put in the yard and put flowers in it! :) (I have actually seen that done...decorating line definitely crossed there...)

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  5. I haven't, but my mom totally did when I was little! We found this perfect tricycle that just needed new paint. It was my tricycle as a kid :)

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    1. So sweet! Most of our bikes are from garage sales but now that you wrote that I forgot that John Paul's current bike was a curbside find!! Forgot about that!!

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  6. Stopping by from 7 Quick Takes...oh my, those are all awesome finds! We weekly trips to the dump to take our trash (live in the country and don't have house to house pick-up) and we have found some of the best stuff there...power wheels for the kids, train tables, batteries for my husband's electric tools, etc. I find it sort of funny when our 4 year old looks forward to going to the dump to see if they find anything good.

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    1. I think I would be just as excited as him! I would definitely have to have firm rules for my kids (um...and myself) or they'd want to come home with a whole lot of things that wouldn't be coming in my house :)

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  7. Our living room chair was a dumpster find. :)

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  8. I admit, I didn't grow up a garbage picker but my husband did and quickly converted me. He has found some of the best stuff, twice we've gotten really nice chairs for our computer desk (I guess the neighbors were getting new ones and just set the old ones out). I picked up a baby gate from someone down the street, that was years ago and we still use it. We also got a glass patio table, it just needs some touch up paint on one leg (which I haven't gotten around to yet...it's on the list).

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    1. ooh...we need a new baby gate! Chairs and tables seem to be the things we see most!

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  9. Grumpy's hauling and wrecking business when Brian was growing up, brought us many great finds. And to top it off people would call Bill and pay him to take their things away. He made it a practice to come by the house and drop off the "good things" before he went to the dump with what we couldn't use. Finds included. A big rattan chair. ping pong table, picnic tables, shelves, dressers, utensils, serving pieces and trays, just to name a few. It was like getting a bonus for a days work.
    Our town has a big garbage pickup day once a year. You can put anything at the curb on Friday night and the garbage trucks come early Sat morning. But over night the little trucks go up and down the streets claiming so many finds. By morning very little of what was put out is left for the garbage trucks.

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    1. I may have heard a few of these stories before ;)

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  10. I don't know if this counts, but we found a house to "housesit" back when we were so poor with one baby. The owner said all we had to do was take care of the lawn and send her the mail. It was a godsend for the year and a half we lived there!

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    1. No rules, sure it counts! That is amazing!!

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