With the number of people in need these days and the winter coming on, I've been especially on the lookout lately for warm clothes, blankets and the like--and so I'm pleased by the haul from my last three scrounge rides (Saturday, Sunday, and today--Tuesday). Today I found in a dumpster four trash bags stuffed with men's clothes, and managed to haul home wool sweaters, lined jackets, dress shirts, hoodies, jeans, and more. Saturday and Sunday I likewise scrounged a clean blanket and a fleece-lined windbreaker. Sunday's ride also turned up a package of permanent markers, a little wicker basket, balls of yarn, an Umbra fireplace set, a little wooden flute, Christmas ornaments--and a beautiful old Afghan throw, rows of multi-color flowers on a black background, carefully sealed in a plastic container and tossed into a dumpster. Also in the plastic container was a little note, written in what looks to be an old hand. Parts of it I can't make out, but here's what I can:
Handle this [ ] Afghan gently. It was my Grandmother Petershon's handiwork. It needs to be aired and probably patched. I have no idea how long it took for her to put it together. Everyone [ ] how to knit and crochet so there was probably lots of leftover "wool" to use!
Riding home with the Afghan and the other scrounged items strapped to my bike, I got to thinking that there was a police car following me. Probably some mix of street sense and parnoia, since I've recently had a number of run-ins with the police while out scrounging. Worse, a friend told me that last week, after stopping his car to chat with me when he saw me out scrounging on my bike, a police officer pulled him over and asked if I'd been giving him any trouble, adding that "we've been having some problems with that guy."
As it turned out, my coordinates of paranoia and street sense were accurately attuned--a couple of minutes later a police officer tapped his siren and pulled me over. After some questioning he let me go--no criminal trespass warning like the one I was given a while back for looking in a dumpster on a medical campus.
But I swear, I'm not looking for problems--just warm clothes and the occasional Afghan.