Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Good Score

Dumpster Diving Diva turns up stove parts.

Last week it was cold, wet and rainy. Puppy dog was sitting here cross legged insisting he did not need to go out and do his thing. But I realized it had been raining all day and he was carefully avoiding going out.

I loaded up the garbage, stuck his old rain coat on (he has outgrown it, but I was never going to get him out the door without it) and took him for a walk to the dumpster. Years back I had found a teeny doggy rain coat for one dollar. It fit him then, but now that he is topping the scales at over 6 pounds, it's real tight.

The garbage could have waited, but my crazy canine normally goes wild when I organize the garbage, because it's typically a daily ritual for us to carry out a small bag of garbage. He loves to walk to the campground dumpsters. On a plus note, he often does his doggy doodling in the dumpster area. I can scoop that up and deposit it at the dumpster too. He wasn't thrilled that I bagged up some garbage, but he dutifully stood by the door, waiting on his rain coat to go out.

He hates the wet grass, so I carried him out to the road. (Not spoiled is he?) We carried the garbage to the dumpster and found an old stove. I just can't resist looking over the garbage when I go to the dumpsters. Sure it's stinky as all get out, but it's amazing the useful stuff I occasionally find.

Funny how life changes. A few short years ago, I was making great money and donating to charity. Now I am struggling to get well and shopping at the dumpsters. I don't mind. When times get tough, it's time to get get creative...

In the pouring down rain, I managed to snatch the two burner grates and five knobs. Both were newer than my 20 year old stove. I wasn't even sure they would fit, but the stove looked so similar to mine. I could always return them to the dumpster. I wanted to get the stove top too, because someone that owned my rig before me, scratched up my stove top with a harsh wire brush.

But in the dark of night, with the pouring rain, holding the leash of a miserable semi-wet dog, 2 stove grates and 5 knobs, I just couldn't come up with a spare arm to get the stove top too. It's attached and I couldn't get it loose without setting everything down in the muck. I figured I would go back drop off my find, then return for the stove top.

Back at the RV, I was pleasantly surprised that the newer grates fit my stove and were much heavier and nicer than my old ones. I also noted that I had 4 knobs instead of 5.  Mine doesn't have the piezo lighter knob. I use a long light to manually light my burners. The newer knobs fit my 3 burners knobs but not my oven knob. A real shame too, because my oven knob is losing its temperature markings.


Above is the 20 year old stove grates. The centers are rusty.
Below are the newer stove grates I found dumpster diving.
Not only are they a bit more stylish, they are thicker and appeared to be either much newer or only lightly used. They fit perfectly. 


Before I could get back out the door, the heavens opened up. I was already cold and soaking wet from the first trip. I had towel dried the dog, who was shaking and shivering, so I wrapped him up in his blanket. I foolishly decided to wait until morning to go back. I hung up my wet clothes in the shower, then dove under the bed covers to warm up.

The next morning, I was up before dawn, drinking coffee waiting for the drizzling to stop and the sun to rise. I woke up the doggy who loves to sleep in, but he yawned and reluctantly agreed to walk with me.

The stove was GONE.

I searched high and low and it was just not there.

It dawned on me, I might have competition. Someone else was dumpster diving too!  Sheesh. Times are tough all over I guess.

A maintenance worker drove up in his little golf cart to take care of the recycling bins. I mentioned to him I was there to salvage stove parts but the stove had vanished. He said oh there's a guy in the campground who probably snatched it up.

A moment later, a beat up old pickup truck drove by towing a small open trailer and the maintenance worker said "That's him now!"

I walked as fast as I could, which isn't fast at all, but I tried to chase the truck. Next thing I knew, the truck was passing me the opposite direction, minus its metal trailer. I waved at the guy to try to stop him, but he didn't see me. He was fast!

Well, I toured the campground and found his metal open trailer. I knocked on his RV door, even though I saw him drive past me. Nobody answered the door. I didn't see the stove in the trailer parked outside. Well if he took the stove inside, maybe he would like my old grates and knobs to make it functional again.

That afternoon, doggy and I found ourselves casually walking past the man's RV. The old truck was back. I knocked on his door, he came outside, I was all smiles, introduced myself and told him I had salvaged some parts off a stove and was wondering...

Well, he turned out to be really nice but he too was thrilled that when he went dumpster diving, he had found the rest of the stove which he had already sold for scrap metal. He went on to explain to me all the wild things that had happened in his life, that lead up to him dumpster diving as of late. We had a few good laughs, about how funny life gets and the amazing things we find in the dumps.

Life is goof...

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