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July 13, 2009


I'm a moderator for our local Freecycle group. It's amazing the things people give away. Yesterday someone posted an old bass boat in perfectly good condition. I've been surprised at thing things people come to my house to pick up, as well: old water hoses that need repair, bushes I've pulled out of the yard when landscaping, and empty boxes.

Good for you on your freecycling! It feels so much better than paying $20 at the dump, doesn't it?

Not just better, it feels great!

"Curbside freecycling" is hugely popular here in Newton, where someone WILL pick up virtually anything you put outside, even if it doesn't work. New England frugality lives on, it seems, with folks loving to tinker with someone else's old vacuum cleaner, lawn mower, or whatever.

I only wish I needed furniture, because some of the discards are really nice. I've never seen anyone haul furniture away, but it always vanishes. (I'd like to think that some of the Latino work-crews that tend so many of our neighbors' lawns help themselves to the "gringo goods.")

I'll see whether I can introduce the concept in England when I go to help my daughter move. The tip (dump) there now has a part where reusable items can be had for free. That's a recent innovation. There used to be a sign saying something like, "Under penalty of law, do not remove anything." Crazy.

How much is that guy near the window?

I am envious. We're a mile and a half from a public road, so yard sales or freecycle potlatches have never really been an option. We did let a friend come and clean out a lot of old metal junk from the barn last year, before the bottom fell out of the international metals market. He needed the cash and we were grateful for the free cleaning.

Anne, Freecycle *does* exist in the UK (you can look it up on Google).Almost every neighbourhood in London has a branch. I recently joined two of my local branches and gave away a lot of stuff that was cluttering up my space, including a broken-down printer/scanner which was gratefully collected by a charity who repairs things to be used by youth groups. I also met two delightful people this way who I'm keeping in touch with. All notices about what's wanted and what is being given away are posted on the internet and you get access to your local site when you sign up (it's free, of course). Brilliant scheme.

Beth, I love the photo! What a lovely house you have (had!).

The most wonderfully weird stuff I ever gave away were two humongous, ugly, down river racing kayaks, that could be of no possible use to anyone but a very few people with specialized skills. I gave them to some neighborhood kids. They are absurd in any setting but one, and very close to art.

love the many uses of "duck" tape!

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.