Free Cycling

As you know, I am a part of the new Freecycle movement. It is sweeping the nation. The popular phrase, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure” truly applies here.

But here’s an interesting twist on collecting junk. I have recently learned that you only get the good stuff if you have a good story.

For instance…Yesterday, a woman posted a Brother Sewing Machine, still in the box but without a user manual. I immediately fired off an email hoping I would be able to secure this as a Christmas present for my daughter. Within minutes, a post goes on the board saying that it is taken pending pickup.

I didn’t understand. How could someone else snatch this from my grasp? So I Emailed the person. I asked why I had missed out on this great deal. Here is her response:

“I don’t take the first person who responds. I like to know where my item is going. In this case, I would love your daughter to get the machine but it will be going to a retired minister and his wife who sew clothing for the homeless. Their machine broke and they’ve been hand stitching. I really think it is a much more worthy cause.”

So, I’ve learned my lesson. From now on, no matter what the item, like curtain rods, my story is the following:

I am a 90 year old, one-legged vet who served in WWI (the great war) as a chaplain. I lost my leg in a gas attack. As I ran from the trenches, I stepped on a mine and blew it off. Last week, my house burned down and my wooden leg went with it. While I tried to search through the rubble, my dog ran away. I miss my house, but even more, I miss my wife of 68 years who died of blunt force trauma when her electric wheelchair spun out of control into oncoming traffic as she tried to flee the burning home of my childhood. All my worldly belongings have perished in the fire and now I can no longer read Bible passages on tape for the blind children of Calcutta. Yes, I really need those curtain rods to make my life complete. I hope to carve them into a new leg so I can look for my lost dog and visit my wife’s grave. Thank you for taking pity on an old man in his time of need.


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