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Picking Up After Ourselves

March 27, 2014
by Jane Whitmore , Emmetsburg News

On those occasional days of Spring (the ones without cold North winds and the other ones with no snow) people are out and about enjoying the sunshine.

When the sunshine finally melted all the snow, I went out to pick up the trash that accumulated over the winter. A can or two, a couple of paper cups, a receipt for some merchandise. Someone dumped an ashtray of cigarette butts onto my yard, but those will have to stay until it's time to rake.

It seems that every day there is some other piece of trash to pick up out of my yard. Where does this originate? And, why?

Then I removed the spruce tips from one of the containers in front of my house (the other is still frozen solid) and pulled the spruce tips from our container in front of the newspaper office. These were taken to the tree dump north of town. When I got there, I was dismayed to see at least a dozen plastic bags that were probably filled with leaves.

Note to people who use the tree dump and want to continue that privilege: this site is for the raw product (leaves, tree limbs, etc.) and not for plastic bags. Yank open those bags and dump the contents, folks. If you can lift the bag into and out of your vehicle or off a trailer, you can empty the bags. And, if we want to continue to have the privilege of using that site, we have to obey the rules.

Driving through town, I see winter's debris everywhere. It ranges from plastic grocery bags to last season's produce, and everything in between: plastic bottles, cans, food wrappers, cardboard boxes. No property is left unlittered.

It's up to each and every one of us to clean up our own yards.

It's hard to contain our enthusiasm about warmer weather, but I have learned that we should not do yard work until the frost is out of the ground. When will that be? Hard to tell, but we could ask our farmer friends.

Sally Brennan was in last week with a couple of photos. One was a group of young men working on her driveway. She said, "Who ever thought chivalry was dead, think again!"

Sally was out cleaning the ice and water from the front of her home. Ten college boys, that live next door to Sally, came over with shovels and ice picks. They cleaned the rest of the driveway for her. As a "Thank You," Sally gave each a jar of homemade jelly. How nice!

The warmer weather makes everyone so much happier. You can see it in peoples faces and hear it in their voices. It seems cold encourages crabby.

So when we have that occasional Spring day, with balmy breezes from the South, let's get outdoors. Whole families go out for a walk, pushing strollers, jogging or biking. The dog often goes along with the family. So while we are thinking about picking up, here's a reminder to dog owners to carry litter bag to pick up after their pets. That's not being crabby, that's part of being a responsible pet owner.



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