Saturday, September 6, 2008

Swap Shed

I live in a rockin' good town. I love this damn town with all of my heart. It is HOME. It's on the ocean and is lined with beaches rocky and sandy. There are two great locally owned ice cream joints, an art studio for the kids, lobster fishermen, great schools, decent bars, a Revolutionary War Fort where they hold reenactments, and a bike path which runs right down the middle of the whole town. The town is safe and friendly.

Most people in this town will give you that distinctive New England nod when you pass them on the sidewalk. It's not quite a wave, but it's definitely contact in a sort of "I'm reaching out but I don't want to crowd you" sort of way. I love that familiar greeting.

This great town has architectural brilliance from centuries ago, it has people with deep souls and a passion for community, and it has a (sadly unique) lack of big box stores. It is imperfect because it is real, which adds to its perfection for me. I love this damn town.

This, my ideal town, has one other thing that I love secretly. It's our swap shed, located at the town dump. That's right. I said the dump, as in diapers, rotten food, old tires, and crap galore, but stay with me.

I have to preface this with the truthful statement that I am not a hoarder of any kind. I have no problem throwing away my old crap and I see other people's crap for what it is. Yard sales give me a rash.

But, there's this really quirky, tarp covered corner of our dump where you can hand a nice older lady all of the still decent things from your garage or your attic that you're not using anymore, and she'll TAKE them from you so that you can purge without the accompanying guilt that usually attaches itself to you when you throw away something that "someone might be able to use." No matter what. The bike pump you replaced? The slip 'n slide that kills your lawn? The ginormous bin of Lego's that held no fun for the children even though it held several thousand dollars worth of you trying to promote a hobby that didn't involve a screen? Bring them all here and just drop them off.

When I bring my kids to the swap shed, they get all confused and think they've died and gone to heaven. Roller blades, rescue heroes, beanie babies, chalk boards, Simon, and bean bags live here, just waiting to be taken home. My kids actually drool at the swap shed.

I think I may be creating hoarders by allowing my kids to partake in this modern version of dumpster diving, but I'm not sure I care. The stuff is free. Free I say! And we sometimes bring it back for a second (or third or fourth) generation of swap shed living. It's kind of like the animal shelter for toys.

I do love this town. I even love the dump. Is that weird?


Ms Picket To You said...

It is the one unspoken of (at least in real estate materials) gem of our town. My daughter tucks her clothes in a dresser found there. Painted by me. It's better than Pottery Barn, less for the handmade polka dots but more for its roots.

Its roots being the dump.

If you've got a handpainted dresser from the dump, you ARE the bestcoastaltown.

DCD said...

Dibs on the giant Lego box! Not that we really need any more of those in my house...but DIBS!

For a minute there I thought you were talking about my town, sounds so New England-y familiar.

Carolyn...Online said...

I am lovin' the charming town dump! I think it might be worth the 16 hour drive to get there.