Trying to come up with random thoughts while realizing I went to work one day this week without a winter coat. Feels like that’s the first time for that in a couple years.

Would you believe a couple of months? Too long, no matter what it was.

It seems like I’m old enough to remember when the U.S. government and others first felt the need to go on a major anti-littering campaign. But, a quick cruise of the Internet shows I may not remember when it all started, but more likely I’m remembering when it first took off. The “Keep America Beautiful” web site says the first public service campaign against littering was 1956.

Since that’s the year I was born, I don’t really recall that one. However, in 1965, Keep American Beautiful and then first-lady Lady Bird Johnson joined forces to really get things rolling.

Little bags started showing up in cars (often times after being a big giveaway item at county fairs and such), trash cars popped up on more and more city streets and everyone was made a little more mindful of not throwing trash out the car window.

For the most part, I think we’ve done pretty good. Sure, there’s still litter, but most of us are at least aware of avoiding the dreaded “litter bug” tag.

This time of year isn’t real kind to that way of thought, though.

That’s what struck me as my wife and I took advantage of the arrival of spring-like weather with an evening walk. When the roads have been framed with large piles of plowed over snow for as long as they have been lately, the litter piles up.

It’s kind of like the fictional glaciers that eventually yield a perfectly preserved Cro-Magnon man or dinosaur.

Large piles of roadside snow have been hoarding trash, until now.

Now that the snow is gone, the litter remains. One on short stretch of road on our walking path, that included a strangely large number of cigarette butts, bottles, cans — and oddly enough, a windshield wiper.

The edge of other vacant lots had more than normal amounts of drink bottles, fast food wrappers and other papers that hopefully aren’t important documents.

I don’t think the people in those neighborhoods are any sloppier than everyone else, it’s just that a combination of strong winter winds and snow drifts gathers the trash together.

Now that the weather is decent, all of us will start spending more time outside.

During some of that time, in our own yards at least, we will pick up the accumulated trash.

We might even do a little pick up along our walking routes. And it’s no coincidence that groups that you see walking along roadsides on those trash pick up days will be busy between now and Memorial Day (which is closer than you think).

Just like the rest of us who hope to shed a few of those added winter-time pounds, our landscape will soon shed some of the winter-time trash pile up.

Lady Bird would be proud.

Need a warning

To heck with a better mouse trap, I would beat a path to your door is you invent a gauge for the tank on my grill that lets me know the fuel level inside.

I’m guessing for some of those higher price monster grills, they probably exist.

But I want a gauge on my “trade it in when it’s empty” fuel tank for a gas grill.

I was grilling when the weather turned nice this week with a sense of doom that’d I run out.

So far so good, but the scene will repeat until — poof — a mad dash to the hardware store.

One last thought

Just in case there’s a little bit of snow falling this weekend, I will apologize in advance for any role I played in that happening. I did the annual switching of the snow blower to the back of the garage and lawn mower up to the front this week.

It’s just as well. Any snow that falls now is “good Lord” snow.

As in, “The good Lord put it there, He will take it away”.

I don’t really want to use the lawn mower for a while, anyway.


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