Saturday, December 17, 2011

Recycling, Freecycling and Hard Times

The most amazing thing about Montana is the overwhelming lack of greed here.  I say that in all sincerity because most people around here are not rich.  More often than not, if someone has something you can use, they'll give it to you rather than bother with putting it up for sale to squeeze every last dime out of it.

Yard sales and garage sales still exist, sure, but often if they can't sell it, they put it in a bin and mark it "free."  Freecycle and Craigslist are very popular areas.  I've been able to get things like an entertainment center, animal cages, scales for making soap, and other useful items there.  At the same time, I've been able to give away stuff, too, like an older refrigerator, and a non-working freezer (they used the freezer for animal food). 

The latest stuff I gave away was a metal chest (not that sturdy, but intact), a coffee table, and some old phones.  The first couple who took the metal chest were from just outside my town and they felt they could do something with it.  The coffee table and the phones went to a family nearby who had moved into the area a couple of years ago and needed more furniture. 

The man was butchering an elk leg when I brought the furniture by.  It seems his buddy got and elk and he didn't (getting elk was rare this year) and his buddy gave him an haunch.   We chatted about the problems with the low elk population and also the problems with pine beetle and another bug that feeds on the spruce needles, stressing the trees (he does aerial observations for the forest service).  Unfortunately, we've had a share of pine beetles.

Today I checked out some animal cages at a store that after being in business for more than 35 years is closing due to the economy.  I will most likely use the cages for the quail once they have babies.  It's sad seeing an independent store close because times are tough.  The owner and I talked awhile and I saw that she had one of the books I wrote, so I signed it.  She wanted to keep it but was honest in the fact that she might have to sell it and so didn't want it inscribed.  Yep, hard times.

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