Apr 28 2021 [MLK Drive]

Weathermostly, maybe partly cloudy
Temperature88F / 31C degrees
Moodsummer sun and allergens like a pollen gun
Restoring nature2.5 hours
My trashabout experience

Hello garbage gab reading folks. Welcome to the warmest day of the year to date in my hometown of Philadelphia. There’s some complex medical choices I have to make soon (or not, but should) and it is weighing on me. Some great news – the foot doctors injected (more or less) alcohol into my left foot and it is less painful when I am walking. It’s called sclerosing injections and I hope you never have to experience them yourself. I get treated five times, so that’s 175 USD out of my pocket. Hey, walking without feeling like you are walking on seashells on the beach all the time is worth it.It’s hard to write these gabs sometimes.


I know there are people struggling out there like me, trying to workaround chronic pain issues and make some sense of it all. Every time the walls feel like they are closing in me, I keep trying to push them back. Maybe not at first, but I try to be resilient. There’s still tools and techniques I got holding me together. I keep trying. Some foods and drinks that were safe for me seem to be becoming toxic. It makes no sense. It annoys me when companies stop producing foods I was able to tolerate and enjoy. People love fat and fiber – two things I generally have to avoid to be functional. Thank goodness soft pretzels and Ellio’s frozen pizza seem to be my consistent safe food staples. Anyway, this is my garbage gab, not a gastronomic grief gab… Remember folks, litter cleanup means many things for me. It is a holistic way of making me feel better and useful. I love that litter cleanup continues keeping me distracted from pains by being in the present and focused on the now.

Our summer-like weather brought out many park users today. I got some awesome thank you’s and appreciation for my efforts. I would guess I received roughly two hundred words of praise today from thirty of forty active park folks. My favorite appreciation was when I heard a thank you from somewhere I could not decipher. At first I thought it was probably for someone else far away. About a minute later I heard a similar thank you yell again. A kind middle-aged man and a little blonde girl were above me on a bridge shouting a long “thank you” unison. I looked up this time. I pointed and waved in delight. I got out my camera to take a picture of them, but they seemed to scuttle off too fast. My picture did not capture them. Well, you and my image of you two will live in my mind. Thank you kind dad and cute young daughter for waving and appreciating me from the overhead bridge.

I wanted to quit cleaning today for so long. It was hot and I was tired. My grip strength was shot. I stayed my course. Near the end of my trashabout, a woman approached me on a bicycle. She asked me if she could take my picture. I grinned. I replied that I never got that request before. In short, she thought I worked for our Fairmount Park Conservancy. There is a sticker featuring their logo on my trash can lid they donated to me for my efforts. I told her I was just a volunteer and this was my way of getting exercise since I could no longer bike or run. Apparently she is a part of a group called Trash Academy. My picture is going to appear on their Facebook and Instagram page. What can I say? It’s nice to be appreciated. Apparently, she already took the picture while I was working. I was so tired in my last hour of two with the biggest litter messes. I was resolute in finishing the area I wanted trash free. I hope she got a decent candid picture. I must be doing something right. I will share that trash academy picture with you if it looks good and if it actually happens.

Thanks for reading and sharing your time with me on our journey around this complex giant rock. If you care to continue, please check out my visual story below. I snapped a couple nice animal shots today to break up my usual litter pictures.

Let’s start with Canadian Geese… it’s probably the same family from last time. Maybe they live near trash can #1. They definitely pooh there.. my nausea honed right in on it
Find of day: an action figure without a head
Are you sad? no litter pictures so far… yes you were so disappointed… just follow the litter trail by the curb … I already cleaned the other side and I was working my way back towards our downtown.
around the corner the litter just continues all the way back to the entrance of the park
Green compostable trash bags. It is a careful balance of litter weight, how you bag pointy objects, and protecting your bag from the ground and curb. I made it back today as in most cases – no litter lost.
… and here’s a final view of my city for today… notice the dredging barge is gone from our river. We may have finished our 2 million USD, every decade, river dredging project.

Thanks for viewing my visual story this hot Philly day. I am exhausted and I hope I sleep peacefully tonight. I hope you do too!
local_offerevent_note April 29, 2021

account_box Allen

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