Thursday Thirteen No. 43: There Is No Garbage

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I think it's true that when the student is ready the teacher arrives. One of the best teachers to arrive on my scene an almost daily basis is Ted the Recycling Guy. From a distance early this morning, I watched him hoke recycling bins, give dog biscuits to even the friendly dogs, and talk to anyone who passed by. On his way down the hill, he slowed down long enough to ask me, "How are ya, sweetheart," and he waited for my answer. This one's for Ted.

1. Ted introduced himself to me a few springs ago when I was making my way up our hill early one bright morning. He had stopped his truck in the middle of the road, hopped down, and said, "Sweetheart, you gotta smile. You just gotta smile. Look in the mirror and smile. Whatever it is, it'll get better." Ted stopped my sleepwalking.

2. Shortly thereafter, he stopped the truck and hopped down to hand me some discarded flower pots. Easter had just passed. "Plant these in your garden, kid, and next year you'll have flowers. That's what my wife does." So I did; and I did have flowers.

3. For a few weeks afterward, I'd find discarded plastic flower pots along the way; Ted had left them there for me to collect and plant at home. He gave me a garden full of hyacinths, tulips, hydrangea, and mums. The perennials are still going.

4. Once he jumped out with a purple mum in full bloom. "I was hoping I'd see you; I've been taking care of this one just for you."

5. Another time, he stopped me with a gigantic petunia in a hanging basket. "Give it water; it'll be fine. That's what my wife does." I carried it for a mile and then watered it; it was fine.

6. Other days, he'd stop and talk about his dogs or to tell me about his finds along other routes: brand new dog beds, glass utility shelving, tables and lamps,

7. "And one of the ugliest things I ever saw--you wouldn't believe it--I had to take it home to show my wife. It was a big ceramic hand with the fingers all like that royal wave. 'What the hell you want me to do with that?' she says. 'I don't know, but it was so damned ugly I had to show you.' I said; we had a laugh, and then I threw it out--and then I found out it cost $75. Beauty parlors use them to show off what they can paint on your nails."

8. Ted picked up a stray dog that followed him around, too. Once he asked me to take one, and I wish I had.

9. There is something for everyone on Ted's route it seems--even for Ted. Once, a man was cleaning out his deceased father's liquor cabinet. The son was not a drinker, and he offered the liquor to Ted. "All good stuff--scotch whiskey, gin, them fancy liqueurs, you name it. All good stuff. 'You gonna be OK with that in the front?' the guy asks me. "I'm OK with all this in the front--you bet," Ted replied.

10. There are smaller gifts, too. Like the promotional Post-it pads printed with the name of some medicine or other on the top. Ted leaned out the window last fall to pass these along to me. They work just fine.

11. Last year Ted read The Secret, and he stopped one day to tell me about it: "That book says the universe has everything we need, and all we have to do is ask for what we need. I can tell you that's true. I see it every day on my job. People need stuff, and I find it."

12. I read The Secret because Ted recommended it. Though I didn't much like it, I was quite taken with the idea that our world is alive, and as a living being has its survival as its paramount concern. Finding your place in the world means stepping into time with the give and take of this mystery and opening your arms to everything.

13. I have learned from Ted the Giver of Gifts that there really is no garbage in this world. It's all good and beautiful and rich. Just have to look up!

Thursday Thirteen


Comments

  1. Great idea for TT! Mine's up too hope you can drop by... Happy TT!

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  2. I think I'd like Ted! Just reading your list made me smile. The world needs people like Ted!
    My TT is about Luxembourg.

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  3. That's a marvellous inspirational post. There should be more Teds around.

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  4. Anonymous6:32 PM

    That was gorgeous! Thank you for sharing such a brilliant and giving person. We can only aspire to be like Ted.

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  5. Wow! Awesome post Sandy :) We can ALL learn from Ted :)

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  6. Now this is AMAZING!!! It's so poignant and close to poetic!! Wonderful. A fabulous 13...just fabulous.

    thanks for the visit.

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  7. fun, my friend Caryn is like this guy-she reaches out to everyone all the time. takes an interest in strangers and starts conversations just waiting in line with others and ends up friends....great example

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  8. Ah, Ted seems like such a wonderful person.

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  9. Ted sounds like an interesting person. Happy TT.

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  10. What a beautiful story. It gave me the chills when I read it. It's nice to know that there are still some kindhearted people in the world like Ted. Thanks for making me smile today.

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  11. Anonymous8:18 PM

    He sounds like a really neat guy to know!

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  12. Sandy what a great story to tell us all to stop and smell the flowers. What an amazing man - you're fortunate to know him.

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  13. we are often surprised where we find wisdom in life. To me it it is often the best kind.

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  14. Anonymous11:05 PM

    Wonderful post!
    Say hi to Ted from Karen in Zion, IL, please.
    Thanks, Sandy.

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  15. Fascinating.

    SJR
    The Pink Flamingo
    http://thepinkflamingo.blogharbor.com/blog

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  16. That was so moving. I want a Ted! When you're done with him, pass him my way...that's what my husband's mom does...with everything. It's how I got my husband. LOL!

    Great T13!

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  17. Great list...Happy TT my friend:)

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  18. This is the coolest, bestest, neatest, most wonderfulest T-13 post I've ever read. You write well Sandy. Here's one for Ted!

    Blessings, e-Mom @ Chrysalis

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  19. Angels come in all shapes and sizes. You've been truly blessed. Happy T13!

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  20. wow, what a post! Ted is a special person, and so are you! glad to meet you both today!

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  21. Sandy, this is a very deep and significant post.

    Pietro Brosio Gallery

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  22. interest T13 post...

    Visit my T13 too : 13 things that happened...... Thanks

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  23. Say, "Hi!" to Ted for me; wish I could meet him. I'm so glad you know him, Sandy! What a blessing he is to you. :)

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  24. I love Ted and don't even know him! What a great inspiration...

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  25. I wish I knew him! I love that you appreciate his kindness, warmth & friendship~ Thanks for sharing Ted with us!

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  26. I didn't participate on TT but I enjoyed your post. I think it's wonderful to meet more Teds in this world. He seems very full of life, hope and kindness.

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  27. OMG, what a great post. Ted has become the teacher of many since your words have a way of making me appreciate all the little things in life today, even the garbage.

    Perhaps this lesson was meant for many. Thanks for writing this one Sandy!

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  28. What wonderful sentiments. You are lucky to have Ted. We all need one.

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  29. Sandy

    Ted seems to be "My Unfogettable fellow" in the famous Readers Digest Review!

    Interesting post, Sandy!

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  30. I think I'd like your Ted very much. What a special guy.

    Love the flower too.

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  31. He sounds like an angel in disguise. Everyone should find joy in his/her work like Ted does.

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  32. Everyone needs a Ted in their lives -- and actually, he's one heck of a role model. Loved loved loved this TT.

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  33. Anonymous8:11 AM

    Ted sounds like an awesome person. :)

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  34. What a great post, Sandy. I wasn't nuts about "The Secret" either, but for people who don't necessarily have faith in God, it gives them some clue as to how to get their lives on some kind of positive path.

    Ted sounds like a wonderful guy who knows quality when he sees it (the hand mannequin notwithstanding!). I suspect that's why he befriended you!

    Peace - D

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  35. what a cute idea for a tt!

    Please visit my tt. it's 77 reasons to donate to my blogathon on Sat, July 26!!
    http://www.bloggingforkids.shebecameabutterfly.net

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  36. Nice picture then Ted the gift giver is one of a kind...wish you can visit me...thanks.

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  37. awesome post sandy what a thoughtful man and the secret wasn't my style either but their is good in it too

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  38. i hope that there'll be a ted in the philippines.

    the pictures of flowers are getting more beautiful from time to time.

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  39. Ted sure sounds nice and happy. Isn't wonderful to encounter happy different people. Happy TT

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  40. Anonymous9:23 AM

    What a motivational and learning post... Thanks for that I think we can all take something and and learn something from it...

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  41. Anonymous9:28 AM

    I love this guy! The title and photo were a surprise, but now I see it all fits. Ted knows the secret to life! And see how his love of life is spreading to people like me that he doesn't even know.

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  42. We all need a Ted in our lives! Great list!
    TM

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  43. Well, Sandy, you made a wonderful friend there in Ted! Thank you for sharing that story. :)

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  44. The world is in need of a few more Teds... cherish the one you have. Great TT

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  45. Wow, you totaly sucked me in to the story, and I forgot it was even a TT! Great job!

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  46. I have tears in my eyes. There otta be more Ted's in the world and Sandys 'cause you took heed. My man always said to me when I was headed to the office to touch other's lives. "That's why you're there." Wow. What a difference it has made in my life. You rock, Sandy. Have a blessed day. Oh, and come get this award if you like: Thanks for Play’n *huggies*

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  47. Ted seems like a really smart guy! Happy TT and thanks for stopping by.

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  48. You've posted about Ted before and he seems like such a wonderful person. I know a guy a lot like that.

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  49. I think that we all need a Ted in our life.

    Happy TT!

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  50. Wow. That's a great story and a powerful message. Thanks for sharing.

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  51. Anonymous2:03 PM

    So true!

    This is why I love Freecycle.

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  52. Oh, Ted! He sounds like a great guy! Thanks for sharing, and thanks for visiting my TT.

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  53. I wish that there was a Ted around here. He seems like a unique person - very positive and energetic. I wonder if he realizes the effect that he has on people.

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  54. I wish I had a guy like Ted in my neighborhood he sounds like a great guy. I also read The Secret & didn't like it much either

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  55. What an unusual person. I'm glad you shared about him.

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  56. And we search for years for the answers. This man had them all. He gave them to you, and you passed them to me.

    Thank you.

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  57. Anonymous7:26 PM

    Ted gives new meaning to "one man's trash is another man's treasure." Great Post.

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  58. Sounds like an interesting fellow.

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  59. What a captivating, kind and wise fellow Ted is. The world needs more Teds.

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  60. Oh, we need more Teds in our world, don't we!

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  61. Wisdow is where ever you look and are willing to listen. Great post and a delightful person you have serving your neighborhood above and beyond the duties of his job!

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  62. Anonymous4:09 AM

    Wow, Ted sounds like quite an interesting guy. Great post!

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  63. Ted sounds like a wonderful human being and a blessing on the lives of all he meets.

    thanx for visiting.

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  64. Anonymous9:53 PM

    What a lovely touching story.

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  65. Anonymous10:37 PM

    Ted sounds like a true gift. So much more than what appears on the surface because you gave him the chance to reveal the layers underneath. What an awesome story.

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