The Dump

I grew up outside of town, and we didn’t have garbage pick-up. I think we probably could have arranged for it if we really wanted it, but my dad secretly loved going to the dump.

Every few weeks, when the garbage barrels behind the garage filled up, we’d head to the Brady Road Landfill. It was kind of a father-daughter bonding experience – we were weird.

My dad even had a dump song that we’d sing on the way there. The lyrics consisted of two and a half words repeated over and over again to the melody of Rossini: William Tell Overture.

“To da dump, to da dump, to da dump dump dump! To da dump, to da dump, to da dump dump dump! To da dump, to da dump, to da dump dump dump! To da duuuuuump, to da dump dump dump!”

Like I mentioned, we were weird.

After dumping our garbage in the stinky landfill, we’d sneak over into the scrap metal pile. This pile was the reason I enjoyed going to the dump – it was always full of hidden treasures.

Brady Road Landfill

We picked up all kinds of things from that metal pile over the years – bikes, basketball hoops, weed wackers, a Super Nintendo with controllers, and other stuff that you wouldn’t believe someone would just throw out. We’d come out empty-handed pretty often, but it was still fun to scavenge. Sometimes our dump finds would need some work, like fixing the chain on a bike, but my dad was good at that stuff.

Now-a-days, they don’t really let you scavenge anymore.

This post makes my family sound like a bunch of hillbillies, and maybe we were, but I like to think of us more as conservationists, reusing usable dump stuff.

Dump scavenging isn’t necessarily limited to small town folk, but I’d imagine it’s not a common activity for city dwellers with regular garbage pick-up. Now that I think about it, it’s likely not a common activity for anyone, just good-hearted, dump-scavenging conservationists (who also happen to dump garbage in the landfill).

– Janet

Sports

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A few nights ago, I was over at my friend Nancy’s place. I was flipping through the winter recreation guide for our area, and I discovered that La Salle is starting up an adult mixed dodgeball league.

Nancy and I got really excited. This is new for La Salle. We’ve always had curling, and of course, yoga has grown over the past few years, but we’ve never had a dodgeball league. Our excitement got a little out of control, and after about ten minutes, we decided on our team name, thought of ideas for team jerseys and sweatbands, and planned a possible synchronized dance routine to perform before each game (or match?). We also rounded up 17 players. Our team, the Dodgefathers, would be the team to beat! At least, this is how we envisioned it.

Our dodgeball dream died about is fast as it started. The deadline to sign up for the league was last week, and we’re still the only team registered. I suppose La Salle just isn’t ready for a dodgeball league right now. Hopefully one day the Dodgefathers will get to rule the La Salle dodgeball league, but until that day comes, curling it is!

Single-team dodgeball leagues… just another one of those small town things!

–Janet

The Farm Auction

Farm auctions are pretty neat. Yes, it’s possible that you may have to stand around for hours in the sticky summer heat waiting for the item you want to bid on to come up for auction. It’s also possible that the guy who’s farm is being auctioned off was a crazy collector, and the auctioneer has 167 different tractor seats to auction off individually. That can take a while. But those collector auctions are the ones that also have the hidden gems – things you’d never think of picking up at a farm auction.

auction

My dad enjoys auction sales – so much so that I’ve started to verbify the term auction sale – like this, “Are you going auction-saling?”

He has come home with all kinds of crazy auction sale finds over the years, some practical and some just ridiculous.

Last summer I was over at my parents’ place for supper one night.

“Hey Jan, come outside,” my dad says. “I picked something up this morning that you’re going to like.”

Outside, there’s a trailer hooked up to his truck with an extremely weathered clawfoot bathtub sitting on top of it. I’m happy to learn this isn’t the item he’s excited to show me.

Next, he goes into the truck and pulls out an antique fiddle. OK, neat. He plays it for a bit (failing at pretending he knows how). Rufus, the dog, stands by his side howling away. It’s all very funny and cute, and then he puts the fiddle down.

“And that’s fiddle number one!” He says loud enough for the neighbours to hear.

He goes back into the truck and pulls out another rickety old fiddle.

Two fiddles and a clawfoot bathtub – maybe not your average finds from a farm auction. But like I said, you can end up coming home with something boring and practical, like five rolls of snow fence, or you can end up with some hidden gems.

I’d like to write about the kind of crowd you might find at a farm auction, but that’s a whole new post by itself. As you can probably imagine, farm auctions usually attract an array of quirky characters. I’ll save that one for another time.

– Janet

On the Road

Road

I’ve found that my friends from small towns don’t consider a commute a commute. They’re used to being on the road, and many of them wouldn’t think twice about driving to Winnipeg from La Salle three separate times in one day. I’m not one of those people. I hate the commute.

Aside: When I was in high school I only had to drive for ten minutes down a gravel road to get to class and my work was a 30-second bike ride away. It was fabulous. When I started at the University of Winnipeg in 2009, this all changed. I was living with my parents in La Salle, and my commute to school involved a 20-minute drive, a five-minute walk, a 25-minute bus ride, and another 5-minute walk. I soon realized that I was taking my high school commutes for granted.

Back to the story here – my small town friends don’t know the meaning of a commute, or at least it doesn’t bother them much. They’ll drive two hours to play a hockey game, because the league has teams all over the Interlake. They knock off a four-hour drive (driving alone) like it’s nothing. I just can’t do it. A long drive is always an ordeal for me.

A few days a ago I was driving to a New Years Eve party. On the way, my friend Darcy was complaining because our friend who was having the party just bought a new house and it’s not anywhere close to our usual stomping grounds. Darcy is originally from St. Claude, Manitoba. He mentioned that in his St. Claude days, his crew wouldn’t think twice about driving two hours to go to a party, but now that he’s been living in Winnipeg for the past few years, driving to the other side of the city is an ordeal.

Driving two hours to go to hockey games, parties, or just about anything like it’s no big deal – just another one of those small town things!