Sunday Thoughts (an extra bag)

I read a story the other day that really had me inspired. And it has changed my routines for the better.

Better for me, and better for my community.

I've told you before that I like to get out and walk and run in my neighborhood and beyond.

Whether it's with Karen, with my dog Ellie, or flying solo, there's something about hitting the pavement that not only gets my blood pumping, but also clears my head and wipes away stress.

It takes no equipment besides a decent pair of shoes, and it's great exercise, no matter how fast you're going.

But because of a man I'll likely never meet who lives in Washington, DC, there is an extra piece of "equipment" I'll have with me the next time I venture out the door.

A trash bag.

Now my neighborhood is pretty clean. Occasionally you see a piece of trash that's blown out of someone's garbage can on trash day. But beyond that, litter is rare.

But when I make my way outside onto the main roads... different story.

Seeing this trash used to irk me. I mean, who thinks it's a good idea to just chuck your water bottle, beer can or food wrapper on the ground?

Still, that's as far as it went. I was annoyed but I kept walking. But no more.

You see, I read a feature story on a man named Billy who gets his exercise with some fairly lengthy walks each day. Nothing unusual there.

Except unlike me – and most people, if we're honest – he takes the time to pick up trash along his walking route. Sometimes filling multiple garbage bags as he goes.

Which is both inspiring and a little sad. Two or three bags of garbage in one trip?

Still, he described the satisfaction he gets from making even a small difference in his community. And he has made this such a routine, not only do restaurants and businesses supply him with fresh bags along his route, he's become known around town as "garbage guy."

Not the best nickname, if you didn't know why he was called that. But I do know why, and I have to tell you… as soon as I read his story, I knew Billy was onto something.

So I started doing it myself.

It's admittedly a little thing. But once you get going, it's remarkably addictive to do some good. I've taken to trying new routes, along paths and streets I rarely ventured down before.

Just to see if I could tidy things up.

If you travel the same streets enough times, you'll begin to see a real change.

And speaking of change, if you pay attention, you may find some of that too. In addition to folding money... I found a $20.00 bill the other day.

Enough to keep me in garbage bags for a good long time.

Do some good out there, and enjoy the rest of your weekend.

And be safe.

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Robert E Chatfield - March 9, 2021

Been doing that for years. But with a wrinkle.

Some states charge a little extra for soda and beer bottle drinks with the idea that if the cans/bottles are returned to a redemption center one can get $.05 in return. Doesn’t sound like much, but last year I turned in$250.00 worth of cans and bottles. Then used that money to supply my garden.

Let’s see, if my calculations are correct, 250 divided by .05 means I bent over 5,000 times. I’d say that was a pretty good exercise program, even before the walking was thrown in.

We have one redemption center that will take the cans by the rubbish bag, so we don’t have to waste time putting the cans in a machine, one by one.

Yes, it is great exercise.

And yes, what people throw out their car window is disgusting.

Rose Lugo - March 8, 2021

Shalom…I walk along the same route, my hands are used to help clean up, heal, and colabor to bring restoration into the lives He brings across my path. I often ask that my hands be wrapped in prayer as I lay them to the task —— handmade items to cover those I bring to Him to lay them at His feet. He teaches my hands to bend a bow of bronze!🏹

Caryn Hernandez - March 8, 2021

I am new to Patriot. What an awesome story Jeff. Very inspiring for all of us to do this. Thank you for your emails.

Gary Bertoia - March 8, 2021

Thanks Jeff for doing your part in trying to keep our God given environment neat and clean. I live up here in Canada along a hiway where much trash accumulates in the ditches and hedgerows. I have yet to pick up a folded bill but all the bottles and cans that I recycle are an added benefit to the exercise it takes to do. You would think it would be common sense to have things look nice. Maybe the province I live in needs to adopt my neighboring provinces bylaw, fines for littering. I would add to that if I was policing that. The culprit would have to do 1 mile of hiway cleaning wearing a bright orange sign. I LITTERED.😎

Carole - March 8, 2021

Thank you for the great suggestion. Although it’s really clean where I live, I see more trash at the playgrounds just since a year ago. Though I do pick up a piece here & there, I’ll now bring a bag like you & Billy, & do it together with my grandson who wants to keep things clean too.

Laurie La Bonte - March 8, 2021

Always enjoy you Sunday thoughts. Fortunately we don’t have much to pick up in my neighborhood.
But our Red Hat ladies group picked up downtown once a month and then had lunch. And when I was with the Lions club up in washington state, we did a pick up once a month on a road assigned to us. It was a fun thing to do and a way for us to socialize. A way to get fresh air and exercise.

Lola N. - March 8, 2021

When I was growing up, our family vacations were always some form of camping. The rule was, while our parents set up the campsite, we children had to go around and clean up any trash left by previous campers.. and when it was time to leave, we cleaned again. It instilled in us a respect for our surroundings. See a piece of litter, pick it up. Don’t leave it for someone else to do.

Rocky - March 8, 2021

A great Sunday message! THANKS!!

Linny - March 8, 2021

I too picked up trash on the mile long rural street behind my farm. One other neighbor at the other end did so too. We left the bag in a hollow tree stump until it was full enough to replace. 40+ years

burgundygirl - March 7, 2021

Thank-you for picking up trash! I do the same thing in my neighborhood! I can’t tell you how many bags I have used in 8 years living here….(too many) :-(
Have a Blessed Sunday~

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