I’ve written about freecycle before, but today I’m feeling particularly grateful for all of the new friends I’ve made through the freecycle community and I wanted to share a few of my freecycle experiences from the last two years….
–One of my first (and most memorable) freecycle finds happened when a man from Long Beach offered composting worms. What a weird offer! But to me, an avid gardener, it was a treasure! I’d had a vigorous vermiculture bin on my back porch for several years to compost our table scraps, but the previous winter we’d had some particularly cold days and my worms had all died from frostbite. I missed the ability to compost our waste, and I also missed the “black gold” fertilizer that resulted from the process. I contacted him, got directions to his place and set out w/Caroline to meet the worm guy. When we arrived at his apartment (which happened to be above a flower shop), he then led us out to a homemade ladder that led up to his roof garden. I only made it about halfway up the ladder before my fear of heights kicked in. Caroline, OTOH, coninued fearlessly on up the ladder–her flip-floppy heels clacking on each step. After a few long minutes (where I stood at the bottom of the ladder wondering how things were going up on the roof), Caroline and worm guy emerged with a large bucketful of red worms in compost. She and I laughed about the oddness of the event, and it’s since become a favorite story for me to tell. And the worms are still happily producing fertilizer for our garden! :)
–Another favorite freecycle experience came from an offer that I posted for LDS romance novels. Because I am sent so many LDS novels to review (for Irreantum), I wanted to give a away a few of the older books. I got a response from LC, who turned out to not only be a fan of such novels, but she was also in the middle of writing her master’s thesis on LDS romantic fiction. She and I met for lunch and by the end of the conversation she’d agreed to become a member of my review team. Since then Lisa and I have met several times and she’s written some fantastic articles for me. :)
–Though it’s always a thrill to find something that I want on freecycle, it’s an even bigger thrill to fulfill someone else’s “Wanted” posts. Indeed, as I’ve been on freecycle for such a long time now, the thrill of seeing a post for an “almost new sofa” or a “cherry wood dresser” has long since worn off. So, one day a post for an LDS temple dress caught my eye. I wondered why someone had posted such a request as I thought about the extra temple dress that was hanging (unused) in the back of my closet [for those of you who don’t know what temple dresses are–they are long-sleeved, floor-length white dresses that are rather hard to find anywhere but in speciality shops and they can cost from $35-100]. I replied to this woman’s message and we had a great conversation. It turned out that she was looking for the dress for her neice who would be marrying soon. And it turned out that the dress I had was just the size that she needed for her neice. So this woman and I met and I gave her my dress. She gave me a big hug and I felt a huge endorphin rush–the kind of misty-eyed feeling where you want to sing a sixties folk song about peace, love & happiness.
–Those of you who’ve been to our home know that every piece of furniture has a story. There’s the pioneer table from Rebecca, and the blanket chest from great-grandma, etc. Since joining freecycle I now have many more stories to tell. There’s the dining room table that John picked up from a young couple in North Irvine, the canopy bed from Rita, the beanbag from K that the kids and I hand-carried across UCI campus, etc. And along with those stories are the tales of all of the people that we’ve blessed with our un-needed stuff–like E’s old fancy dresses that are now being enjoyed by another young half- Japanese girl, the spent printer cartridges that Ch used as a funraiser for his pet charity, the roller suitcase that accompanied two young sisters on a trip to their grandma’s house, etc.. Through this gifiting and receiving we’ve created bonds with many people that have lasted beyond the initial transaction.
What a joy! :)