On Cleaning and Connections

Apparently some people like the flavor of steaks grilled over magnolia wood. Who’d have thought?

Backing up a little – part of what we’ve had to clean up to clear the house is an old, very large, stack of cut wood left from a magnolia tree felled by a hurricane back in 1995. At least it’s very well-seasoned?

We’d been trying to get rid of it for months, no dice. Finally we started putting it out with the yard trash, which at the rate they take it we estimated would clear it out in… oh, another month and a half. Oof. But we finally encountered someone who uses a lathe to make candlesticks; he took all the nice round limbs he could get, and a few scraps just for his firepit.

Next day, “can I have the rest of it?” *G* Apparently his wife loved the steaks!

About 2000 pounds of wood, now gone. No, not joking – the guy’s trailer almost couldn’t take the load!

And that’s how a lot of cleanup around here has gone – either by research or lucky chance talking to people, finding places where things can be useful. Wool, tracking down spinners’ guild. Yarn, local hat-knitting for preemies charity. Fishing poles, a fishing clinic for kids. Various odds and ends, a Makerspace at the local library. Sewing machine, an embroidery shop. School supplies, the elementary school. (They brought out a handcart when I pulled up, smart.)

When you don’t have much, you need to get creative. And talk to people, hard as that is for a lot of writers. You never know who might know someone who knows someone who has a partial solution to your problem.

We still have various things to go through and clean up. Some of it we should be able to donate, some furniture might not even be in that good condition. But progress is slowly being made.

11 thoughts on “On Cleaning and Connections

  1. *cheers*

    We got lucky– we’re rather rural, so when my dad was able to chop down the trees that were dead, I just threw up “cut wood, free to a good home” and a local RV parking place came and got them for their 4th of July bonfire.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. When I moved into the duplex I’m now renting, the previous tenant abandoned all their possessions. The landlord apparently carted off 80% of it, but left behind things he thought new tenants might need. Cabinets full of dishes and cookware. Floor and table lamps. Two tables and nearly a dozen chairs in the attic, along with a dresser, a microwave, and a boatload of cleaning supplies. Hell, there were two window air conditioning units. (Dunno if those work yet, I’m really hoping they do!) Some of the stuff was really useful, but we already had our own dishes, so a lot of the stuff in cabinets went back into boxes. I just got rid of the last of it because it turned out one of my coworkers is also moving, and needed dishes. I never would have known if I hadn’t made an offhand comment about what a pain it was to box up other people’s stuff at work.
    If you need help (especially if you need to get rid of something you don’t need anymore) definitely start with people in your social circle. You never know who might be on the lookout for free stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey, Some is better then None! Also, go you getting rid of all of it, especially in one shot. Still, it’s almost a shame more wood crafters didn’t grab that, they are never going to find wood that’s been seasoned that long ever again.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Once upon a time, I read Inhabitat a lot. I remember seeing a lot of artists using recycled materials. Maybe they’d have your furniture pieces which are in bad condition? I searched their website for “Florida” and “recycled materials” and I think this guy might want the bad pieces:


    He built a home that looks like a castle out of recycled materials.


  5. End of every month, I check the side of the dumpster for stuff people throw away as they move out of this crappy apartment complex. Lots of crap, but the occasional treasure worth salvaging.



  6. Talking to people is usually worth it, but… ugh. People. 😉

    (And I say that as someone whose job is talking to people – phone tech support. Structure helps a *lot*.)

    Liked by 1 person

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