Behind my backyard fence is open space, owned by the city of Colorado Springs. The same site has been the dumping grounds of all manner of things; box springs, sofas, beer cans and booze bottles, tube televisions, broken snow boards, you name it. Not all of it has appeared at once. Gradually, a piece or two. Since spring the city posted numerous NO DUMPING signs along the road above the hillside the stuff is cast down into. Unless you live on my block with backyard access to the area, you would never notice the castoffs.
The signs and the city’s maintenance of the grassy area along the road seems to have deterred the alcoholics from ditching their shiny Coors Light bottles and Miller High Life cans as they drive home from work or back to the garage in county or company vehicles. Dollar size voda bottles have also vanished. I can look out my back windows or from my deck without grinding my teeth at the litterbugs taking target practice at a public place.
Night before last my husband was woken by the sound of large objects falling down the same hill, He heard a loud clunk and the sound of some things tumbling. The driver of the truck who chucked them did a U-turn and vanished down the road. Over the stream of coffee I was pouring into my first cup of the day, he pointed out the colorful eye-catching rubble on the side of the hill where most illegally dumped things land. “Sounded like they were pissed off,” Rand said, “and does that look like a toddler’s walker or what?”. To me it appeared similar to a commode found next to a hospital bed, not unlike the one my own mother used at the end of her life.
Today I donned my hiking shoes, long pants and took a pair of leather gloves to put the discards up along the roadside to come back for and do whatever with. It is a steep little hillside, and I am glad the summer months of running at twelve thousand feet to throw a hundred pound plus railroad switch have strengthened me to scale it without much effort. My main concern was snakes.
I was happy to discover the possible toilet to be what Rand had surmised, a child’s walking seat complete with a padded roll bar, a stuffed critter of some type and some rattles, unattached to snakes. The object above the ‘walker’ was an orange and green play wheelbarrow and below it a very small plastic blue adirondack chair. Not far flung from the playthings, a satellite tv dish.
Rand and I had speculated what kind of anger had precipitated the dumping of children’s belongings well into the wee hours of the morning. Had the mother finally had enough abuse, grabbed the kids and vanished for safety? Was the father a drunkard and stumbled over the toys one time too many? Did he have a heart of steel? What kind of a man….I wondered and grumbled, but not for the dish.
My husband saw me rolling the toddler walker up the hill. He figured I was struggling; I was keeping an ear and eye out for snakes and my footing. Just as I got the walker to the top of the hill, my Rand drove around the bend in the road with the SUV to rescue me. We loaded up the car with all the kid stuff to donate to Goodwill. We dumped the satellite dish in our trash can.
Once again we can look out upon the open space behind our house in peace. The wonder is over, the day is still new. Out of sight out of mind. Thank goodness for that.