|Weather||sunny, windy, and close to record setting high temperature|
|Mood||enjoying summer weather in spring, at least for about 48 hours|
|Restoring nature||1.25 hours|
Hi John and fellow garbage gab readers.
Today in Philadelphia it was windy. I mean, like 40mph(65kph) wind gusts. However, despite my doubts of our weather people, we did hit a nearly record high temperature here today in all of our recorded weather history. Like any extreme weather event, usually wind comes with it. Weather happens in a large part because of our unequal heating of the earth. My litter collecting hat flew off my head five times. One time I caught a plastic bag flying right at me while I waited at a red light on my scooter. I used it for a “lightning round” of litter cleanup. I got about six water bottles in those ten minutes filling that plastic bag. Despite the wind it was like a summer day. Heck, the tree outside my window has young green leaves now. Its buds sprung forth today. Spring just started here 5 days or so ago and our nature is waking up fast. So are my seasonal allergies!
At first I thought I should just give up. High winds and litter collecting do go well together. Nevertheless, I found my groove and discovered that some of the litter was just blowing right at me. It made it easy to scoop up when the gusts calmed down for a bit. Within 15 minutes of my trashabout a guy on a bicycle stopped to thank me. His name is Paul. He appreciated what I was doing, so much so that he wanted to buy me a cold drink. Yes, it was our hottest day of the year and windy and I appreciated his sentiment. You get mixed reception when you’re picking up litter outside. It was nice to have an extreme positive after the minor teen trouble I had my last outing. Paul insisted I take the two dollars he offered. I asked him if I could take a picture of him because I was so touched by his gesture. He kept telling me to go buy a soda, then eventually it popped out of my mouth that I cannot drink soda, then fruit drinks for the most part. It’s hard to explain my messed up condition to strangers because I look like a normal guy. I limp these days, but you usually have to be looking for it. I warm up and usually improve my gait with movement.
I told Paul about my blog and you guys know I usually write about my experiences. It was really nice to have someone offer me a cold drink. I told him I was “well to do,” and I did not need it, but he insisted. He left and I continued my trashabout.
A group arrived nearby where I was cleaning and it was a heavily racially mixed group. It is important to me that our parks are inclusive of everybody. I did my normal thing, cleaning and taking pictures, moving closer to the group gradually, trying to make them feel welcome in the park. Not much in my mind seems more welcoming than a guy cleaning up the grounds you’re using and enjoying himself nearby taking pictures of flowers (and litter too I guess). It made me feel good hearing the group talking and uniting with a couple group chants while I worked. With the heat, wind, and my overall body woes, I got tired quickly today. After about an hour I picked up my litter picker. I went to pick up some piece of free wood nearby for a craft project. Some small business was offering up thin plywood boards on Craig’s List. I was headed home when that plastic bag pretty much flew at me like a frisbee. I took it as I sign to go back to the MLK Drive entrance near our art museum and clean up some water bottles that were sending my “garbidar” into overload annoyance. 6 water bottles were littered in relatively close proximity. Com’on people!
I went to throw away my plastic bag and something unusual annoyed me. A white muscle car was parked illegally on the pedestrian only MLK Drive. I thought to myself, I don’t want to be a Karen-like person. I started to think this could become a trend. Some of these muscle cars are really disruptive in Philadelphia. One muscle car was drifting in circles doing donuts over and over again last fall. Our police helicopters came to shoo the muscle car group out of Fairmount Park. I am sharing an extreme example. Please do not think Philadelphia is always like this.
It is possible a driver of the muscle car with the tinted windows must have been watching me too. I thought it was unoccupied and parked. I decided to call 3-1-1 our information service and see what I could do. 9-1-1 failed me last year when my wife was hit by a cyclist. As I was checking out the license plate on the illegally parked vehicle facing the wrong direction, the muscle car started up and turned on its police lights. I had hundreds of thoughts. Some of my thoughts were like, okay there’s a group of minorities enjoying MLK Drive doing sprints and the police show up. Maybe someone in the neighborhood complained. I also thought that maybe somebody was disturbed by my litter cleaning rod and perceived it incorrectly as a weapon. Who knows for sure. Ultimately, the police muscle car vehicle stopped and talked to the people organizing the event. I decided that the police were there to escort the contractor trucks improving our trails off of MLK Drive. It was 3pm or so and I guess they could be ending their shift. Feel free to look at my visual story in my pictures and make up your own story. Thanks for reading and sharing your time with me today.