New Garbage Can

garbage can and water towers outside of Taos, NM

Winter is approaching, this will stand out in the snow

Everyone else’s is dark brown and ours is green. For that and other reasons, this is kind of a special deal.

For over ten years there’s been a sharing arrangement with the garbage can. When the dead landlord was alive, we had a bigger thing we called “the dumpster” that I burned up one night by putting ashes in it. (Yes, I thought they were cold, and everything was neatly bagged.) It served three households: his, the neighbors’, and ours. After he died, we continued sharing with the neighbors, who opted for the smaller size that you see here. They were more or less in charge of it, apparently, due to the garbage setup having been included in the rent, and when the neighbor lady inherited their adobe, it became “their” garbage can.

I didn’t mind the change so much except that no one asked me. The new can couldn’t hold a broken office chair, dead TVs, old tires, roadkill feral hogs, and yard waste like the old one did. Somehow I adapted, though, and things smoothed out. After a second swivel chair bit the dust, I found an old wrecked minivan nearby to hide it in. There was other broken furniture inside that wasn’t mine.

When the neighbors moved away, they killed the garbage service, and I had the privilege of establishing my own account. I probably hadn’t done this for us ever, anywhere we’ve lived. The strange thing was, it felt so good.

My wife loves the bright green color. I like establishing control.

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John Hamilton Farr lives at 7,000 feet in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, U.S.A. As New York Times best-selling author James C. Moore tells it, John is “a man attuned to the world who sees it differently than you and I and writes about it with a language and a vision of life that is impossible to ignore.” This JHFARR.COM site is the master writing archive. To email John, please see CONTACT INFO on About page. For a complete list of all John’s writing, photography, NFTs, and social media links, please visit JHFARR.ART  

  • terri o November 14, 2013, 11:18 PM

    there is this terrific thing called a dump…that I relish going to, to take the things you’ve described..TV’s, chairs, boxes, cat littler in bags, etc….do ya’ll have any waster ‘transfer’ stations up in them hills? 🙂 I used to go so frequently before I had curbside service the guys here in ABQ knew me, and when I went back recently after not going for about 2 years, they asked where I’d been. Unbelievable. Garbage is a treasure! Plus on the west side of town, the very best view of the valley and east mountains is from the dump.

    • JHF November 14, 2013, 11:30 PM

      Garbage is a treasure if you get to hunt through it. Even better is an auto junkyard, but I haven’t been able to mess around in one of those for years. I’m not even sure where the Taos County landfill is. Just getting to the closest transfer station takes you through the Land of a Thousand Speed Bumps, too, so I demur.

      When we lived in the village of San Cristobal north of Taos, I helped with the annual cemetery cleaning. There were several pickup loads of brush and trash. Someone asked, “What should we do with this?”

      The mayordomo laughed and said, “Just take it to the arroyo!”

  • terri o November 14, 2013, 11:19 PM

    By the way, this is a great alternate view of your area…it seems so much more remote from this viewpoint. Go green garbage!

    • JHF November 14, 2013, 11:34 PM

      Yes, quite remote in that direction. You could walk all the way to Santa Fe on mountain trails. Turn 180 degrees to see the single-wides of Taos and the smoke of burning money.

  • Joe November 14, 2013, 11:23 PM

    It sure looks green, and new. Mine is brown, and old. Maybe I’ll go down tomorrow and get a new green one, I like yours better than mine.
    Isn’t it funny how as we get older stuff like this is important and stuff that used to be important isn’t anymore? I was talking about just that with a n old friend earlier tonight.

    • JHF November 14, 2013, 11:37 PM

      Yeah. There’s a lot of that going around!

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