I have a passion for picking up things off the side of the road that people have put out for the garbage. Maybe it’s not so much a passion but more of a sense of duty to rescue poor, unwanted furniture or objects that just need a little TLC.
This hobby started when I was a teenager, 20 years ago. My mom used to be my partner in crime but once I moved out on my own and had children this seriously cut into our scavenging outings.
When I met my husband, I didn’t tell him immediately about my love for finding outcast furniture on the side of the street. I waited until the fifth or sixth date to reveal this little tidbit about myself. By then he was enamored enough that he found this pastime endearing.
During our newlywed phase he was sweet enough to slow down so I could get a good glimpse at the piles of rubbish. If I deemed something worthy of my cause he would gladly find a way to load it into the car.
Present time…my husband no longer slows down. In fact, he speeds up when we start approaching anything that is set out to the curb.
So now I am a solo flyer on my hunting expeditions.
Most of my finds have good stories behind them. My mom and I often rehash the tales about the hilarious things that have happened to us while getting our “treasures.”
My most recent find was a Springy Horse.
I had one of these Springy Horses when I was a kid and I’m pretty sure I have the scars to prove it. I was constantly falling off that thing and getting hurt. I don’t know what happened to that horse but there’s a great likelihood that my mom set it out to the street for the garbage man after one too many injuries occurred with it.
My kids have been asking for one of these for years. I have politely declined their request after reminiscing about my own experience with the evil Springy Horse. Also, the fact that they cost $150 was a slight factor in my refusal as well.
This past June was my 5 year old son, Bency’s birthday. I had to run to the store quick to get something and wouldn’t you know…..there was a Springy Horse on the side of the road!!
I quickly stopped, got out of my van and approached the horse. I checked the springs on it and they were all stable and it looked in pretty good shape. Without a second thought, I scooped it up and jammed it into the van.
When I got back to the house, the kids came running out and I told them I had a surprise for them. I opened the van and the kids SCREAMED like they had just won the lottery. They were jumping up and down, hugging and high-fiving. They finally had the horse they always dreamed of! With it being Bency’s birthday, it made it even more special!
I unloaded it from the van and the kids began to examine it.
The first question came from Bency, “Mom, where is the horse’s hoof?”
Holy Cow!!! I did not notice that…one of the back hoofs was completely missing.
The second question came from my daughter, “Mom, why is there a big hole in the mane?”
How did I miss this HUGE hole on the back of its mane???
The third question came from my husband, “Melissa, where are the handles for the horse? How are the kids supposed to ride this thing??”
Hmmm… I clearly missed that important requirement for the Springy Horse.
Bency then asked, “Mom, when you got this at the store, did you happen to notice any of these things falling off as you pulled it off the shelf?”
Stifling my laughter and disbelief I simply replied, “No Bency, I didn’t notice any of these things falling off. Sorry about that. I don’t think the store I got this at takes returns either.”
He said it was okay and that he still liked it and it was the best birthday present ever (we gave him other birthday presents that were new, unbroken and in boxes)!
I told them they could just sit on it and pretend it was a Springy Horse. They were happy with this and I was glad…those Springy Horses are really dangerous anyway!
Guess what? I have one of those horses and I wrote a post about it. I am saving it for a nonexistent grandchild. (It doesn’t look too promising either.) My husband redid it. Too bad you don’t live in Columbus, Ohio. For a small fee, he could fix your horse up. Probably he would’ve done it for free! Oh well!
I went back and took a look at your post! I had forgot about that!! Isn’t it something how kids just love those horses!! I wish I lived closer too so your husband could fix it up for me! I’m sure my kids would be very grateful!
Your husband sounds like a handy Man… However, this thing would take a miricle worker to get back to shape… Lol
What a lovely story. My husband is very much like you and I’m very much like your husband, but your husband is far more accommodating.than me as I certainly didn’t slow down, far less stopped the car at the curb for him to browse. Good hunting!
I learned very quickly to avoid driving around on rubbish collection days 🙂
Thank you! I thought for sure my husband was jumping on my band wagon but alas my hopes were dashed as he pushed down on the accelerator!!! LOL!! Tell your husband I sympathize!!! haha!!
Your intentions were good and that’s what counts! He’s a beautiful horse, missing foot or handles 🙂
Thank you!!! Someday we’ll fix him up or perhaps I’ll find a better one on the side of the street!! LOL!
lol! Love it!
Hahaha – awesome!! I love that you feel the need to rescue these poor castaway items from the evil clutches of the garbage truck. I had a springy horse when I was little and you are very right about them being a danger to the user – not that I cared back then. I loved my springy horse.
I know!!! You’d flip off that thing and get right back up and do it again!!! LOL!!! And yes, I think it’s a slight problem I have thinking that the poor castaway items have feelings!!! haha!!!
Hi Melissa, I thought I was the only one carting home stuff from sidewalks! Before we joined the YMCA we walked around the neighborhood for exercise. Among the things I found were a three drawer dresser, 2 perfectly good bar stools, a Samsonite card table, and a great shelf with cubicles for shoes. There’s something about RECYCLING, REUSING, and REDUCING. Add to that RESTORING. My husband says I am the last of the big spenders!
I’m so happy to hear I’m not the only one going around giving unwanted things a new home!! I guess I get a little carried away sometimes but for the most part I have found some great treasures!!
So he’s lived a little! He now has a second life. You’re kids could make him a cast for that missing hoof, complete with signatures 😉
Oh, I love the idea of a cast!!! Great thinking!!