A Peculiar Treasure

Some people call it dumpster-diving. I prefer to call it treasure hunting. I’ve been known over the years to find some treasures in the trash. And you’ll be happy to know that it is perfectly legal! 🙂

I happen to know that Monday afternoon is an excellent time for treasure hunting because that’s when people put their trash at the curb for the trash truck to pick up early the next morning.

Picture this. You’re driving in your car, singing along to the radio and suddenly, you spot a potential treasure. You slam on your brakes, sending the stuff in the back of your car sliding forward, and careen unto the nearest side street or driveway to turn around and get a better look. Sometimes you score a gem. Sometimes (like just the other day when I saw a “perfectly good chair”, but soon realized that it was irreparable) you don’t. These are a few of the treasures I’ve found this way over the years.
In the dumpster area at our apartment complex in California (it was silver before I spray painted it black):


From our neighborhood in Florida (the tv stand with glass doors intact- it’s amazing what people throw away!):

On the side of the road in Ohio (I painted it green- imagine that!):


Recently, I pulled one of my slam-on-the-brakes-find-the-nearest-turn-around stunts for a pile of junk. There were a couple of small animal cages (always handy around our place), and a wooden box that looked vintage, although I wasn’t sure what it was. After I brought it home and cleaned it up a bit, I sent this picture to my mom and sister for their opinion.


My mom and step-dad’s educated guess was a military shipping crate of some kind. After some deliberation, my sister and I came up with a different conclusion. The place where I found it is just down the hill from an old cemetery. After doing some research, we found that years ago, the caskets were not placed in concrete as they are today and would sometimes migrate. Our guess is that after years of shifting soil and erosion, it made its way to the house at the bottom of the hill. Imagine digging this up in your yard! I had goosebumps when I realized what it was.

After realizing that my treasure was indeed a casket, I deliberated on whether I should keep it or not. After talking to Jonathan, I decided to turn a symbol of death into one of life. After all, the soul is surely departed! Now it’s a flower planter and definitely my most peculiar treasure!