Beginning with Halloween, the last few months of the year are filled with the days that I look forward to most out of all the days of the year. Halloween gets bigger, better and scarier for us every year, and we love it. Then comes Thanksgiving and Christmas, and the whole demeanor of our little piece of the world changes. But, these holidays are really just precursors and preparation for my favorite day of the year. Have you guessed it yet? That’s right - it’s the first trash pick-up day after Christmas.
The boys and I spend days getting ready for this special time. And our actions do not go unrewarded. Our house oozes with the fruits of our labor, as you can see:
Finally, the day comes. I watch excitedly as John rolls the containers of trash and recyclables to the curb. Should we leave milk and cookies for our early morning visitors? Nah, the squirrels would get them. I go to bed almost giddy and find it hard to drift to sleep.
As the sun begins to peek through my windows, I hear the sweet roar of the trash truck motor growing louder as it approaches my house. I spring from the bed and press my face to the glass, hoping to get a glimpse of my morning’s hero. The hiss of hydraulics cues the trash can lift, and before I know it the lift has effortlessly hoisted our cans and dumped their contents into the bed of the truck. Our cans are gently returned to the ground, empty of all but the stench, and I am left staring at the vacant containers with the echo of the truck’s motor in my ears as it moves on to the next lucky home.
And just like that, it is over. The days and days of preparation have lead up to another event that seems to have vanished with the blink of an eye. There are other trash pick-up days that attempt to rival my favorite – the first trash pick-up day after the boys’ birthdays, the first trash pick-up day after we clean the garage, the first trash pick-up day after the neighborhood Chili Cook-Off. But none fill me with that sense of joy and good-will as the first trash pick-up day after Christmas. So, I wait. Until the same time next year, which comes faster and faster with every passing year.