It seems like I have been writing about a lot of heavy subjects lately and I personally find it gets a little depressing. There are a lot of problems in the world around us – heck, there are problems in my own world (so I hope I can garner a little sympathy and perhaps a hug or two). The emotional weight of unresolved issues can literally weigh us down if we do not routinely cast it off. Problems do not have to be in our personal lives to take a toll on our emotional and physical health. That is how I see it and my reaction to a constant diet of negativity tends to confirm that.
For that reason I cannot select a news channel on the television or radio and let it broadcast into my mind all day long. Some people seem to have the ability to tune out such stuff, but not me. My brain acts like a sponge and a constant diet of bad news makes my thoughts and attitude negative. With such an attribute, I may be a prime great candidate for brainwashing or mind control. Come to think of it, that may have already occurred and I am simply not aware of it. After all, I have been married for 34 years. “Married happily” is the phrase my wife keeps telling me, so it must be true. She even has photographs to prove it.
Marriage . . . that’s a subject for another day and after I consult my spouse I will know exactly how I feel about it. It might seem odd, but I can almost sense the hot breath of a predator – perhaps a cougar – on the back of my neck at this very moment. It’s probably my wife reading over my shoulder. It’s an annoying habit she hates, unless she is the one doing it.
Sticking with the subject of cougars, they are definitely a hot topic these days around Maple Creek or any creek close to the Cypress Hills. I was told cougars follow creeks and therefore tend to frequent ranches that are in close proximity to the water. They have been spotted in downtown Maple Creek, so the only logical conclusion is they also frequent urban watering holes. Therefore, do not be alarmed if you see me with my camera in hand, quietly waiting in a dim-lit area in hopes of catching a predator on the prowl.
Speaking of prowling, my travels around town sometimes take me down back alleys and I am amazed at what I see on a fairly regular basis. Residents now have large (actually massive) garbage bins and yet I often see them stacked to the point of overflowing. I have to admit there have been a couple of times when ours reached that point. It’s usually when our children and their families return home. Garbage is also generated a lot faster if I am working on a renovation or construction project.
However, as a household of only two people, it typically takes two to three weeks to fill our garbage bin. My wife does not like it, but in the winter I often do not put out our garbage for collection until the bin is totally full. I am not sure if she is bothered by the idea of paying for a service that is not used to its fullest or the thought that the mind control she exerts over her husband wanes from time to time.
What irritates me is the sight of a garbage can that is overflowing and debris is strewn around or blowing in the wind. Strong winds can flip open the lid on a garbage bin allowing any loose debris to become airborne. For that reason alone, any light-weight waste should be bagged when it goes into a bin.
A second bone of contention is people who set bagged household garbage beside a back alley bin thinking it will be picked up. I am guessing they fail to realize that our garbage collection is mechanized (bins are picked up by a mechanical arm activated by a driver inside the waste disposal truck). Therefore, waste that is not in the bin does not get picked up. It remains on the ground where cats and dogs (which are on leashes of course) tear open bags in search of food scraps. Then the garbage does what it does best – spreads out and blows around town. The solution to this problem can be rectified by allowing the town and its regulations to take control of our thoughts and actions.
Independent and free-thinking individuals should have enough sense to keep their excess garbage in their own backyard until pick-up day. Another option is to use a garbage can that belongs to someone else. I received a surprise like that one week when I forgot to bring our bin into our backyard. When I went to move it, I discovered the bin was stuffed to the top with garbage from an unknown source. I simply waited until it was our garbage pick-up day and the situation was rectified.
My plan of avoiding heavy subjects obviously failed this week, so now I will relay the message of a poster my wife spotted on facebook. The poster, which features a photo of a teenage boy on a beach surrounded by four beautiful girls, states: “Teenagers – tired of being harassed by your stupid parents? Act now! Move out, get a job, pay your own bills . . . do it while you still know everything.” Speaking of knowing everything, my wife and I have actually been married for 33 years and I mention it to determine if she really pays attention to my every word as she repeatedly tells me.