Treasures in the Trash

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt…” (Matthew 6:19)

That, my friends, (Matthew 6:19a) is my current motto.  I’ve been working in a damp garage.  In the garage, alongside the riding mower, are three sturdy wooden boxes, each of which once shipped an adult-sized coffin, so, three coffin coffins, if you will….

l was set to learn what had been stored in them and deal with it.  First lesson, damp and mold.  Second lesson, dead mice and their nests; third, insect larvae.  These creatures had lodged themselves in and among numerous cartons of books tucked into the coffin coffins; mostly paperback remnants of three children’s growing reading habits from Little Red Riding Hood through Hardy Boys mysteries, science fiction and required literature for high school.

I moved those filthy musty books out to the rented dumpster, one wheelbarrow load at a time.

Hard thoughts:

I knew many of those books, so the stories echoed in my head.  I remembered packing up my own worn but clean books to hand down to younger children, and I was sad and angry that these had been left to decay.  It is hard work to remove piles upon piles of things that have been stuffed into boxes and cabinets; left behind half forgotten and untended.

It is even harder to realize that my friends had stored them there believing that the coffin coffins would keep them safe, sound, and secure to be enjoyed in future by well-loved grandchildren.

Friends with treasures: please be very careful of how you store your legacy.

But can you believe it?

I think you can.

An Amish family came to ask whether they might take some of those books for their school.  They understood about the smells and the mice and the beetles.  They think they can clean them.

Well yes!  If you really want those smelly books….

And in a twinkling of an eye a small army of Amish boys and their mother were sorting through that dumpster.

“…but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven….”

One person’s trash is another’s treasure…..




Author: American Declutterer

I've had three careers, moved among thirteen states, and cleared four houses after loved ones moved on. Sometimes you just have to look at all the stuff and laugh. Then get back to discarding.

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