Taking Out the Garbage

I was married to Ed for 50 years, and never once was I asked to take out the garbage. After all, everyone knows it’s a man’s job. So it’s no wonder that it took me time to get into the routine of filling the heavy-duty black garbage bags, tying them up with those little thingamajigs, and then tossing them into the large garbage pails to leave out by the curb. And it was also a challenge to remember which days the garbage pails got picked up and which days the recyclables in their blue and yellow color-coded bins are collected.

One thing I do know for sure, however; that this is definitely not a job for a woman who has lovely manicured nails that she carefully polishes on a weekly basis. But in the scheme of my new life, taking the garbage to the curb is probably one of the easiest new responsibilities of my widowhood. (I said easiest, not nicest!)

It’s taken me time to get it right, but not without using every foul-mouthed curse word I’ve ever learned. I’m not proud to tell you that these words – which I would have washed my children’s mouths out with soap had they said them – have now become an intrinsic part of my vocabulary whenever I have to do something that I’ve never done before.

But I guess part of moving on is to learn how to deal with all the things that I never – in a million years-thought I should, could or would ever need to do.

PS. To help myself be more organized, I tacked a big sign on the garage wall to remind me that the days for garbage pick-up are Wednesdays and Saturdays; recyclables are only collected on Saturdays. I made the sign big enough so that I can read it without putting on my glasses. There is only one glitch in this smart plan of mine – I must remember to read the sign.

Bea Lewis is working on a book about widowhood. “Now That He’s Gone … A Widows Journey.”

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