When I last showed you finished pictures of the inside of my wagon, there was still something missing. That something was a table. Moved in though I was, I was still doing all my writing from my bed, and what that meant was that I was getting a lot more sleeping done than I was writing.
My original plan had been to mount a folding table on the wall so that I could fold it down and out of my way when I got a hankering for more space, but the trash had not been forthcoming with a piece of wood big enough to play the role of tabletop. I shrugged, figured something would turn up, concentrated on other projects, and in November, something finally did.
On a crisply cold, sunny morning I filled a handcart with old cans of paint and turpentine and wheeled it over to the university’s big trash corral. I stacked up my old paint cans in the designated spot for poisonous chemical crap, and then I took a look around. Seems there’s always something waiting for me there when I bring along junk that even I have declared useless. An offering the dumpster gods apparently appreciate.
There was a big wooden pallet that I took home to turn into kindling. There was a small Styrofoam barrel (with removable lid) that I took home to try out as a summer refrigerator. There was a wooden wine crate that I took home to use for storage or shelving. (You can read about my love of re-using old wooden wine crates here.) And there was a table. Cart full, I wheeled home. If I could whistle, I’m sure I would have.
She isn’t much to look at: a battered wooden tabletop set on top of thin gray metal legs. But it’s just the right size, and there’s no ugly table that a big enough piece of fabric can’t turn into the prom queen.
There you see her: my work space, my kitchen table, and home, most of the time, to piles of lots of little pieces of paper I don’t really know what to do with. (Eventually, I always find a place for them though. You like being organized? Get a wood stove, put it next to your desk, and you’ll never be bothered by too much paper clutter again. Heh.) Best part is, it’s not just the table that I found in the trash.
The picture frames above the table came from the Frankfurt Sperrmuell (German word for big trash that people leave outside their homes to be picked up by a special collection truck). The tablecloth was in the free shop in the house/venue at the front of our Wagenplatz. The teapot was in a Sperrmeull pile that I happened upon on my way home from the grocery store last spring.
The mug, the candle, and that fancy glass holder that the candle is in I found in the student housing trash across the street from where I live, as well as the trash can and what looks like a miniature sheepskin-lined sleeping bag (once the winter lining of a stroller, now the place where I keep my feet warm) that are under the table. Even the notebook where I’ve just jotted down a list of future Click Clack Gorilla posts came to me straight from the dumpster gods.
What have you found in the trash recently?
I’m looking for submissions for dumpster show and tell. Take a look in your local dumpster. Take a look around your place. Then take some pictures of your dumpster booty, and send ‘em to nicolettekyle (at) yahoo (dot) com with some words about where and how you found the stuff in the picture and what you’re going to do with it. And for safety’s sake, better put “dumpster find of the week” in the subject line.
Tell me a little bit about yourself if you’d like (I’ll keep things as anonymous or blatant as you indicate I should). Tell me about your first time diving, your favorite dumpster, or anything else that seems appropriate at the time. I’ll take your emails and your photos and turn them into a blog post that will show up here, one each Wednesday until one of us stops caring.
Submitting your photos and words to me indicates that you have legal rights to said pictures and words, and that you are giving me legal permission to post your pictures and quote your words on Click Clack Gorilla. If you don’t hear back from me within a week, it means the internet ate your mail and you should try again.
So in the words of the esteemed Dolly Freed: “It’s feasible. It’s easy. It can be done. It should be done. Do it.” Go dumpster diving and come home to your favorite gorillas to brag about it.