Every time I leave the ranch, I drive by the junk yard. That junk is out there, rain or shine and when I glance at it, sitting in the rain, slowly rusting away into the soil it sits on, I wish it wasn’t there. I have thought of it as an eyesore, a poor attempt at recycling stuff that no one wants. I felt resentment that the junk yard was what our guests and friends see as they make the turn onto our county road. I was thinking I was better than that. I was thinking like a snob.
Today, I decided to stop thinking that way. I pulled up onto the packed dirt outside the front door and tried to determine if they were open. I secretly hoped not. Then I would have a great excuse to abandon this attempt at changing my perspective. However, I could see a light bulb hanging through the window and despite the rain…slowly opened the car door and dashed inside.
What greeted me was like a giant, filled to the brim, toy box. All shapes of drinking glasses, mirrors, lace tablecloths, old enameled signs, spoons, costume jewelry…you get the idea. I was surrounded by shiny nostalgia. I stood there for a minute, thinking it was all quite beautiful in a jumbled sort of way, until an impatient voice snapped me out of the moment by asking,”Can I help you find something”?
Across the counter was a woman in a gray sweat shirt, strands of her white hair escaping the multicolored hair band that barely held the hair on her head. She was holding a cell phone, obviously in mid conversation with the person on the other end. Her eyebrows raised, she waited for my answer.
“Uh…yes!, I blurted, “Do you have a wood burning stove”? I had always wanted one to put in my barn as well as in my cabin I will build one day.
“A box or pot-bellied”, I answered, trying to sound like I knew what the hell I was talking about.
She looked down, disappointed, and shook her head. “Not here”, she answered. ” I think I have one or two in storage though, and I’ll be going there in about a week. Why don’t you check back”?
As I opened the door to leave, I smiled to myself.
Now I’m looking forward to coming back to the junkyard next week. Funny…