How the Crankee Yankee and I love our “free table”! We put it at the end of our driveway, with a sign reading “Free Stuff.” We routinely go through our stuff (especially the storage bins upstairs and down, as well as our storage unit in the next town), and put out what we don’t want or can’t use or don’t need on our free table. It’s a lot of fun to see people drive up, get out of their vehicles and go through it all. We are thrilled when people can use the things that we don’t need or can’t use.
Just yesterday we went to our storage unit to pick over what we could add to the free table and/or our local animal shelter. Sure enough, there was a bag full of well-used (but clean) snuggly blankets and two fluffy pillows that any of the shelter animals could use.
I also went through all my mother’s *Santa collection; I kept four of them and put the rest on the free table. I also put out some of the Christmas ornaments she made years ago, as well as some china angels.
And then there was the picnic basket. That basket has held hundreds of picnic lunches from the time Mom and Dad were dating, up until about five years ago. Mom would make her “**iron sandwiches,” and pack up pickles and chips and a bottle of champagne, and off she and Dad would go to sit on the rocks by the ocean and feast. Sure, it is a bit beat up around the edges, but it deserves to have a new life with other peoples’ picnics.
Yesterday a young couple picked it up (along with two lawn chairs, some Christmas ornaments and a few other things). I hope that they have as much fun and enjoyment from that well-loved picnic basket. Personally, I think that everything put in that basket always tasted better.
An older man on a bike stopped by to take a closer look at Mom’s old vacuum. It still works just fine, but it’s heavy as all get-out. The guy looked it all over, decided to take it, and rode off into the sunset with it tucked under one arm. More power to you, my friend (pun intended).
The whole reason for the free table is this: we have stuff that’s too good to toss, but we can’t use. Why not let other people enjoy those things and create their own traditions with them? I like to think of all those things enjoying new lives with new people.
*Mom and one of her best friends collected Santas to put out every Christmas. Although they never admitted it, they always tried to outdo each other every year. Each time Mom would come home with a new Santa, she would say gloatingly, “there—that should put me over the top this year!”
**”Iron sandwiches” were Mom’s version of the popular panini. She’d open sub rolls, fill them with deli meats, chopped onions and peppers and olives, slather them with mayo and mustard, and roll them up in waxed paper. Then she’d put a tray of them in the refrigerator, and place an iron skillet on top of them. Hence the name, “iron sandwiches.”