February 14, 2017
Hey ya'll, it's me!
In the past, many homemakers made a little extra money by selling whatever they had excess of, such as extra eggs from the hens, butter churned from cream skimmed from the milk the family cow gave, knitted or hand stitched items, etc. Sometimes the items were taken to the general store and sold for cash, but often store credit was given. This money was often used to help meet basic household expenses, or maybe to purchase something special.
Even though I don't have hens for eggs or cows for butter, I have my own little ways to earn extra cash to do projects that I don't want to take funds from the family budget for. I call it my 'scrap and can' money.
Every weekday morning, after the Redneck goes to work and my son and I have done all the chores, we grab a couple of trash bags and a small rake and head out to walk the roads near our home. As we walk, I keep a sharp eye out for any aluminum cans or scrap metal lying in the grass by the side of the road. I use the rake to reach cans that are down in ditches or just inside a fence, and I have been known to climb down a hill to fetch a few.
I also pick up cans from soup or vegetables, that will need to go into a different bin at home to keep them separate from the aluminum. I have brought home sections of wire fencing, along with the occasional metal cook pot. It all adds up!
Oh, I can't forget all the helpful folks we meet on our 'treasure hunts'. There have been many older folks who will stop their vehicles and ask if we need a ride (I sometimes wonder if the bulging trash bag and rake are invisible, cause I thought they'd would be a clue that we were just walking.). I tell them thanks, but we're fine. It's sweet that they want to help out a stranger, especially these days.
Then there are the good ol' boys in pick ups who pull to a screeching halt and ask if they can empty the beer cans out of the truck. That usually happens on Monday mornings, after they've spent a weekend cruising the back roads and emptying out a cooler full of whatever 'beverage' they happen to enjoy.
Speaking of whatever beverage, many of these forays into the collection of cans will sometimes turn into a cultural study of consumerism.
While I typically see the usual Bud, Coors, Natural Light, and even Coke and Monster cans, I have recently found a plethora of beer, soda and energy drinks with brands I have never hear of. I mean, who came up with an energy drink with a cute little rainbow unicorn on the can?
And seriously, I would love to meet the guy who drinks the Bud/Clamato stuff. Red Bull may give you wings, but apparently it also makes you litter, cause I find a LOT of those along the road.
In about a week, I'll take all the metal we have collected and sell it to the local recycled metal place. I'll make a little cash, and the roads will be a little cleaner. And let's not forget the physical benefits! All that walking, climbing, reaching, bending, stooping and stomping cans flat makes for a pretty decent little workout.
The point of this post is, just look at what you have, what talents you possess, what folks need. I have always found ways to make a buck, and you can too. I scrubbed a lot of toilets and mopped a lot of floors to make ends meet when my son was little. I never felt I was too good to do menial labor. I have thrown hay bales, weeded gardens and mucked out stalls.
Today we won't be going out. since the weather is wet and cold. So instead I will rest, putter around my house, and perhaps get the new wheels on my son's garden wagon. I have been planning on using it to carry our finds so we can cover even more ground on our walks.
There's GOLD in them thar ditches!
© Evelyn Edgett 2017