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Spring Gillard
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The Three Rs Still Rock

We had a fall clean out in my apartment building today. Throughout the weekend, residents dropped off their old paint cans, car batteries, bike parts, mixed cassette tapes, obsolete computers and electronics, furniture, clothing and well junk. The strata council did a great job organizing the event in the underground parking lot. The first time I went I dropped off some old VHS tapes, compact fluorescent light bulbs and ancient shoe polish. I ran into some of my neighbours, got chatting and spotted a vase I liked. One of my neighbours was trying out a three pound weight. When he didn’t want it, I gave it a try. Meanwhile, he’d picked up a satchel he thought his daughter would like. I left with the weight, but not the vase.

The second time I was parking my bike and spotted some of my neighbours in the drop off zone. Got chatting and poking around again. I found some cross country skis and poles, in primo shape. I had some boots upstairs, if they fit, my renting days were over! Popped by a neighbour’s suite to get her expert opinion on the set – she’s an avid cross countrier. “They’re a perfect fit, in great condition and the kind you never have to wax!” she proclaimed. I took them upstairs, tried my boots, couldn’t quite get them to work, but figured I was doing something wrong. I’d have to get my friend up the next day to have a look.

The next morning, another friend in the building emailed me. “I hear you picked up my skis,” she said. News travels fast here. “Did you get the boots too?” I hadn’t. So she met me downstairs and voila, a brand new pair of boots that would fit perfectly with an extra pair of socks. Sadly my friend couldn’t ski anymore because of some back problems, but it made her very happy to see them going to a good home.

Meanwhile, other neighbours had gathered. Two of them were opening an old movie screen. Another was trying out some of the computer equipment. The neighbour who’d liked the satchel had it over his shoulder now and was modeling it in front of an antique mirror in the corner. He was also coveting an old fashioned lamp and a rattan end table. All the while we were laughing and encouraging each other in our treasure hunt.

Before I left, boots in hand, I grabbed the purple vase I’d been eyeing, and another green one I hadn’t noticed before. This was not only the best garage sale ever, but a very spontaneous and delightful block party. There was so much reducing (for some), reusing and recycling going on through the weekend, I’m not sure there’ll be anything left for the junk guys to pick up on Monday though.

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