After a particularly windy day at the beach (Huntington State Park in Murrels Inlet, South Carolina) I noticed the garbage was full of broken beach umbrellas. Recently I bought an umbrella from Dollar General (in part with my $5 coupon) that turned out to be a wee bit short. It's a beach umbrella but when I use it around my camp, it came to eye ball height. Nobody wants to think about punching their eye out with an umbrella rib but there it was at the perfect height for losing my eyeball.
I was thinking about my mother. God rest her soul. She knew the most unfortunate people, especially children. As a young child one day I whimsically stuck my head out the car window as we drove down the highway. I wanted to feel the wind on my face with my long hair trailing behind me.
However, my mother knew a little girl who lost her head this way and the poor thing had to spend the rest of her life holding up a Halloween mask where her head should of been cause she had no head at all. So I reluctantly stuck my head back inside the car.
Another time I wanted to hang my arm out the window, feel the rushing air go through my fingers. (Our cars never had air conditioning!) But my mother told me about a sad little girl she knew who lost her arm this way. Little arms don't just grow back on their own you know. So I pulled my arm back inside the car.
My mother was a smoker. Matches and cigarettes were often laying around. We were warned to never ever touch these. My mother knew a little girl who played with matches and burned the entire family home down. That poor family had to spend the rest of their lives living outside in the rain and snow and heat and cold because they had no home.
So the umbrella kind of made me nervous because I was sure my mother knew a sad little girl who poked her eye out.
So I pawed through the garbage and found a longer umbrella bottom (they typically come in 2 pieces). It was in great shape. Can you believe someone threw out the bottom just because the top was destroyed?
How serendipitous! (For me!)
Is there something wrong with me that I can't walk past a campground dump without at least looking? I could probably be here all day describing all the things I have used or are currently using that *ahem* originated from a dump.
Ironically, last year I salvaged an entire beach umbrella from the exact same state park. I put it back together with a bit of wire and used it for almost a solid year before a stormy day took it away before I could rescue it. At that point, it was hardly worth cobbling together again. I'd had it "free" for a year with just a wire, now it needed serious repairs so one day I returned it to the dump.
Speed forward to this year...
Well, I got back to the rig with my scavenged umbrella part. It fit the cheap DG umbrella beautifully. Now it is much taller and not at eyeball height. My mother would be proud! I won't be losing an eyeball after all.
Next I have been cobbling together a homemade bicycle rack. Amazingly I found the rest of the "missing pieces" in someone else's discarded junk.
More later, I have to run. Oops! I mean walk. Don't want to break anything...