trash collectors.

A lady at church asked for pill bottles. She said they were for The Malawi Project. In Malawi, medicines are shipped in bulk, leaving the local doctors to distribute pills as necessary. But the clinics and the patients don't have anything to put the pills into, and they're often just wrapped up in a torn-off bit of paper. I have a vague idea of how lucky I am, but I never knew I was lucky to even have a small personal container for my medicine.

Collecting what might otherwise be trash is right up my alley. I often find myself saving things without knowing why. I used to save corks for crafts. Not that I was working on any cork crafts, or had any ideas of possible cork crafts I wanted to do, but I was going to be ready if one ever came up. I somehow got a reputation for collecting corks, and other people began giving them to me. I ended up giving them to my nieces, as they are more active crafters than I am. They hot glue them together to make elaborate villages and dolls. This kept happening, where people would give me corks and I would pass them along to my nieces. I finally told the donors to stop it already and grumpily handed over huge bags of corks to my nieces, saying that this was the last shipment, because I am not some kind of cork conduit. Then I found a whole box of the dang things in a closet, which I also sent along to crafty nieces. No really, this is it.

Yet somehow, when I finish a bottle of wine, I find myself tossing the cork into a bowl on the shelf rather than into the trash. I'm not collecting them, I'm just not throwing them away. The fact that other people collected corks to give to me indicates that I am not alone in this impulse.

It's the same with bottle caps. I have a little dish where the caps go, conveniently located next to the bottle opener. Eventually, the little bowl is full, so I pour the caps into a huge punch bowl on top of the cabinet. Now, the punch bowl is almost full, and I don't know what to do with any of it. My nieces using the corks justified saving them, and I'm just waiting for something to come up where I can shower someone in bottle caps, and say, See I knew they would come in handy someday.

I don't take any prescriptions, but I know people who do. My dad took a lot of them. After hearing about The Malawi Project a couple of weeks before he died, I emailed to ask if I could have his old bottles. When I was visiting last weekend for his funeral, my mom handed over a huge box of little bottles, many many more than would have accumulated in the time since I asked.

"Was he already saving these?"


"For what?"


Guess I come by it honestly. How pleased he must have been when I asked for them one day, out of the blue. He knew they would come in handy someday.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I think Noah has a bottle cap collection!