My morning started out pretty much the same today. I did some reading and social media and then it was time to go for our morning walk. Don’t worry; this isn’t another post about Jaimie – he’s just the fellow to the left of me for about 5 000 steps.
Normally, I have an idea about what I’d like to write in this blog and I use the time walking just to consolidate my thoughts. I actually left with no idea what I was going to do. That quickly changed.
My routine was greatly altered (well, a bit altered) a couple of weeks ago. I found a $50 dollar bill lying on the ground while walking. Kudos to Canada for our coloured money; if it had been grass green, I might have missed it.
Normally, an event like this would be time to jump and sing. After all, “finders, keepers”. The problem here is that it was at the foot of a neighbour’s mailbox. We’re rural so it’s one of those mailboxes on a post. With my conscience, I couldn’t stick it in my pocket. Besides, someone might be looking. I returned it. Later at a family vote when I related the story, I would have lost 3-2. I thought we’d raised our kids better than that.
So, now I’m on a mission to find the next $50 in a clearly unidentifiable place.
I think I’m pretty close to $3 picking up change in the parking lot by the tennis courts. I’m a patient person.
As I’m walking down the street, gazing about (keyboarding teachers will get it), I saw all kinds of garbage. I’m not a neat freak by any stretch of the imagination but I do go about picking up any garbage that might get blown on our lawn on garbage day. But this was more than that. Far more.
There were empty cigarette packages and cigarette butts everywhere. Normally, I wouldn’t pay particular attention but for some reason this morning. I thought that we were doing something to reduce the use of these things. After all, advertising is forbidden and the price is really prohibitive.
I can only imagine the decision process if you have to debate between buying cigarettes or buying gasoline.
Now, this all couldn’t have appeared last night. I guess I just never went specifically looking for it. Butts were all over the place; obviously thrown out. There were different colours and lengths of butts so a lot of people have contributed.
I started noticing locations – in front of the elementary school – obviously parents waiting for pickup? In front of the public tennis course – obviously a break after playing tennis? In front of the fire station – was this a dare?
I felt so bizarre by the way we’d turned and walked the stretch home. There was so much. I worry about things catching fire. After all, there are all kinds of really dry grass as we need significant rain in the worse way.
What surprised me, quite frankly was amount that was near the tennis courts. First I thought that the people that would play tennis would be a bit more health aware. Secondly, public areas in Amherstburg leave you little more that 30 metres from a garbage can! There are two at the tennis courts as well as a public washroom.
Now, on a normal day, I do notice the occasional cigarette butt but today when I ended up looking especially for them, there were so many. How long before they go away? It was a surprise to me.
The answer was so surprising to me.
I do recall at my old high school that students under in-school suspension would be given a garbage bag, gloves and a picker with instructions to clean up the front to keep the appearance of our school neat.
Is this the answer here?