Skip to main content

Learning The Value Of Trash To Treasure

Feb 13, 2015 05:22PM, Published by Joani Taylor, Categories: Business, Arts+Entertainment



Pet rocks, handmade leather headbands, patchwork bell bottoms and lava lights: do those memories stir fondness in you? Musical playlists made by setting a cassette recorder as close to the radio as possible in hopes of catching your favorite songs, that included Donny Osmond, Bobby Sherman and David Cassidy. Riding your super cool banana seat bike everywhere, congregating at Murray Pool and roller skating to Tony Orlando’s “Knock 3 Times”. 

It’s 1975. There are no video games, we have to use a neighbor’s phone to call home, and during our girly girl backyard sleepovers we are known to sneak away, wandering the neighborhood at night, toilet papering our ‘boyfriends’ houses, and our only fear is of being caught.

While I would not say we were poor, like most families, my parents saved and scrimped pennies out of necessity. Cheap was good, free was better and expensive was out of the question. Coupons did not have bar codes, and you could save up milk bottle caps for the entire year and use them to ride the rides at Lagoon for free.

Dumpster diving was our weekend activity. I’m not really sure if it was legal or not to harvest their treasures, but they were out in the open, ready to give whatever one might be on the hunt for. Unsellable items from craft, auto and home improvement stores beckoned anyone willing to take the plunge.

The treasure chest we sought lay tucked behind the old Shag-Rug-La carpet store in West Valley. It seemed the short 10-minute drive took hours as a kid. My job was to pick up the scraps as they were tossed over the edge, and, if I was lucky, we got to go to Baskin-Robbins for ice cream afterwards. Kicking the gravel up with my toe as I waited, I was slightly embarrassed as Mom’s head peeked out from inside the dumpster, eyes delighted, shouting joyously that she had found a big piece that was just the right color.

Now, Dad is a bit of an artist. In fact, some of his paintings are adorning the walls of my home today. Looking back on it, I imagine that the floor of our basement was, to him, a giant blank canvas. Dad would crawl around on the floor, painstakingly piecing together our ill-gotten scraps in blocks of color and depth. Like colors on the color wheel, blending texture and color from one to the next. Finally, after months of work he stretched out his wall-to-wall masterpiece and tacked it down, with a borrowed knee kicker, as secure and neat as any professional carpet layer would have.

This crazy, pieced together concoction taught me so many lessons about money, art, creativity and love. In my mind, it’s still the most beautiful carpet I have ever seen in a home. I remember hours of play on that carpet and using the sections as a divider for various rooms for Barbie.

In my adult life, I do not carry this dumpster diving fetish with me, not even for a coupon. The thought, however, makes me crave a pralines n’ cream waffle cone.


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    07/21/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    07/24/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    07/26/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    07/21/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • theBRIDGE Church Grand Opening!

    07/23/2017
    10:00AM — 11:30AM

    Join us this Sunday at 10am @ the Daybreak Community Center in South Jordan, UT!


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    07/24/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    07/26/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    07/28/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • Guest Author Liv Bartlet

    07/29/2017
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    Twenty-nine-year-old artistic prodigy Kat Porter has golden statues on her career horizon until s...


  • theBRIDGE Church Grand Opening!

    07/30/2017
    10:00AM — 11:30AM

    Join us this Sunday at 10am @ the Daybreak Community Center in South Jordan, UT!


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    07/31/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • Monday Family Night

    07/31/2017
    06:30PM — 08:30PM

    Pack a picnic and spend a summer evening exploring the diversity in our community. Traditional Af...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    08/02/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • VIP event - Free Treatments & $30 Gift Card

    08/03/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    join us for our VIP event on thursday, august 3rd from 6-9pm. all attendees receive a complime...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    08/04/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • Dash for Donation Race

    08/05/2017
    08:00AM — 10:00AM

    Join us for a 5K fun run and 2K walk at beautiful Sugar House Park on Saturday, August 5th. Regi...


  • theBRIDGE Church Grand Opening!

    08/06/2017
    10:00AM — 11:30AM

    Join us this Sunday at 10am @ the Daybreak Community Center in South Jordan, UT!


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    08/07/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • Monday Family Night

    08/07/2017
    06:30PM — 08:30PM

    Pack a picnic and spend a summer evening exploring the diversity in our community. Music and danc...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    08/09/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


 

 

Online Edition
Follow My City Journals on Facebook
Advertise with us

 

City Journals 9500 South 500 West, Suite 205, Sandy, Utah 84070 801.254.5974