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Friday - 07/23/2021 — This morning my thoughts are whirling around a bit around the idea of tidiness. Why? Because I just replaced the bag in my trash can. Now, keep in mind that I haven’t bought plastic garbage bags for the past dozen years. Instead, I use the big 20-lb birdseed bags I get from Wild Birds Unlimited. I figure if I’m going to throw them out anyway, they might as well serve a purpose.

Before I put the empty bag into my plastic trash can, though, I always fold the top down, the way you can see in this picture. Why?

I’m glad you asked.

When I was growing up, we had a trash can in every single room of the house. Each one contained a paper bag—yes, those were the days when every purchase was packed in a paper bag (without built-in handles). My sister and I were the ones who emptied the trash cans every few days and renewed the paper bags—but we had to be sure to fold the top edge of the bag down so that everyone would know that bag was to be used for trash. Also, the trash cans looked tidier that way. Most importantly, though, was that when we moved the filled trash bags to the garbage cans out back, there was always enough room left so we could fold the top over and keep the trash from falling out.

One summer day in Colorado Springs in the 50s, there was a knock on our back door. One of our garbagemen had stopped to thank my mother for having the tidiest garbage on his route. “We never have to pick messy stuff out from the bottom of your garbage cans, Ma’am, and we sure do appreciate it.”

Next Friday I’ll tell you about another brand of tidiness. I’m sure you can hardly wait, right?

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