Saturday, February 11, 2012

Abandoned on the street, No. 3

Found on the sidewalk beside the Produce Row Development parking lot, most of an upholstered couch. I took this photo on my walk to work on November 9, 2011, in Southeast Portland.

Is it unique to Portland to set items out on the sidewalk with a sign that reads, "Free!"? Or with no sign at all, just there? Seems like trash when it's as large as a couch, doesn't it? Sometimes, though, I believe it has to do with the ease of disposing of unwanted items which are still viable and may be of use to others.

Here's a little story about "Free!" items and my Mama. Way back in the summer of 2006 right after we had moved into our first Portland apartment, Mama brought home our first "Free!" items--a decorative ceramic olive oil bottle with four tiny dishes, you know, so you could put olive oil in the dishes and dip your bread in the oil. Somewhat sheepishly, she pulled handed me the bottle and pulled the dishes from her pockets after she and Duncan returned from a walk around the block. She cracked me up!

Here's why. When we had visited my sons in Portland prior to our move, naturally we noticed the "Free!" stuff here and there in their neighborhood (we hadn't seen anything on the sidewalks in our home town of Jackson, Mississippi, except on trash day), The guys explained what was going on. Later on as we packed to move to Portland, I heard quite a bit about how we had plenty of stuff, didn't need any more stuff, no need to pay attention to "Free!" stuff. So it cracked me up that my little ol' Mama succumbed first to the urge to bring something home which she had found on the sidewalk with a hand-lettered sign! The last thing I can remember bringing home which I found free in the lobby of our old building is the square, unfinished but well-sanded square wooden table upon which I now type. Hooray for viable, useful "Free!" stuff. The last things I put out for free on the sidewalk near the dumpster and recycling bins beside my new building--four good condition dinette chairs for which I had no room when I moved last January after Mama had died. They were gone in less than an hour.

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