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Fairly Odd Mother

Frantically waving my magic wand to make wishes come true.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Trash to treasure

"We're going to do WHAT?!?!" my nine year old groaned as I smiled through gritted teeth and explained that it was Earth Day so we were going to wander our neighborhood and pick up trash.

Her younger siblings quickly followed suit, proclaiming this the most BORING idea ever, and why did we have to do this, and blah, blah, blah, complaint, blah.

It was almost enough to make me stomp up to my room and sulk, but as I've been sulking for, oh about 20 months now, I thought that maybe I should motor forward.

Before we left, I called and invited another neighbor----an upbeat one with two fun boys--- to join us, hoping their enthusiasm would win over my brood.

And so there we were, a crew of seven, trash bags in hand, wearing gardening gloves to keep away the ick, wandering the streets of my neighborhood on a bright sunny April morning.

"Look! A cup!" someone yelled and the others pounced. Finding a glass bottle was like finding treasure. Everyone wanted to say they found a soda can. The kids ran into thickets to retrieve a napkin or piece of newspaper.

We got to the end of one street, and our group grew bigger. A friendly older neighbor, the one who sneaks extra candy into Halloween bags, told us to come back in a few minutes. We did, and he had set up his ice-crushing slush machine for us all. We had cup after cup of icy, sweet slush and the kids danced in the yard, stopping only to pick up a gum wrapper or plastic straw on the side of the road.

We didn't finish the whole neighborhood; in fact, we only did half. But, as the kids and I meandered home for lunch, I know I was not alone in thinking that our neighborhood looked pretty great today.



Anonymous Boston Mamas said...

So funny! I just posted about this topic this morning as one of my NWF ideas! There are a couple of formal cleanups going on this weekend!

10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

aww, thats awesome . .. its always so hard to 'sally forth' when you and your crew are cranky. i'll have to keep that in mind for next year - maybe we could do it at our creek, tho - we love to play there and there is always trash to be found.

11:16 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Q. said...

Ha-- What a great Earth Day celebration! We did a neighborhood cleanup a few weekends ago and the kids loved it. It was like finding easter eggs, although, well, not. I had to stop talking because Lucas kept asking why I hated Dunkin' Donuts. 80% of our trash consisted of plastic and styrofoam DD coffee cups and I kept shaking my fist in rage.

1:38 PM  
Blogger Issa said...

Oh what a great idea. You rock friend. Swears.

2:54 PM  
Anonymous Stacia said...

Excellent! Neighborhood clean-up and slushies, an unbeatable combo. Happy (belated) Earth Day!

12:58 AM  
Blogger Magpie said...

My daughter & I did that yesterday. She was all gung ho and made a sign that said
and then she was bummed that not one single other kid was home to do it with us. Still we did our whole street and half filled a big orange bag and felt great.

1:09 PM  
Blogger Melani said...

What a nice post! I always have told my kids if they litter say out of the car window, they will have to go to the beach with me one day and pick up trash, so far we have never had to do that as a form of punishment!

5:38 PM  

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