Monday, April 8, 2013

G is for Garbage (by Janine Kovac)

For this year's A-Z Challenge, I am organising my writing group's participation for the first time. So I am posting each entry here as well as on the website, Write On, Mamas! who are a writing group based in the San Francisco North Bay area. We will have 25 Mamas and one Papa writing on a different letter of the alphabet during the A-Z Blog Challenge. Comments are always so appreciated, but would be lovely if you would comment on the Write On, Mamas! blog so the author will read your comment. Thanks and look forward to reading your blogs.

Photography by Mary Allison Tierney

I never thought about garbage trucks before I had boys.

I never stopped to admire how the green trucks really do look like mechanical dinosaurs.

My heart never jumped to hear a double-axle vehicle backing up one block over.

I didn’t put the bins out the night before and think, “Tomorrow is trash day!”

I never woke up at 6 a.m. to draw the blinds and wonder which trash collector I’d see. Would it be the one who makes his baby food from scratch? (“I don’t know how long it’s been on that shelf,” he told me. “And besides, how hard is it to smash a banana?”)

I didn’t rearrange my day to make sure that I’d be home for the recycling truck at noon.

Or drive half a mile out of my way because I knew it was trash day in that neighborhood.

I certainly didn’t have a favorite kind of garbage truck (the ones that lift the garbage overhead and dump it in the back).

Or a second-favorite garbage truck (the ones that have little arms to pick up commercial dumpsters).

Or a third-favorite garbage truck (the ones that churn garbage in the back).

And since I never thought about garbage trucks, it never occurred to me that one day I’d draw the blinds on Wednesday morning and be the lone fan waving to the trash collector who makes apple-sauce from scratch because my sons—at the tender age of three—had moved on to jet airplanes.

Janine Kovac is the program coordinator for the Write On, Mamas and database architect for the literary festival Litquake. If she writes something she likes, she posts it here. And if she doesn't, it goes here.


  1. Can't say I've ever thought about garbage trucks, but sure see them in a new light now.

  2. One morning I looked out the window to see my two boys ambushing the garbage man, finger pistols pointed 'pi-kew!' and watched as he made an Oscar worthy death scene, having been hit with hundreds of invisible bullets. He put up a good fight. I have loved the garbage truck ever since

  3. It's a tough job and, I'll admit, one I don't think of much. I'll now see the garbage truck in a new light, though :)

  4. Thanks for the post and the chuckles! My boys also loved airplanes from day one, so we never had the garbage truck fascination. (They still do, at ages 25 and 29 and the youngest has been in the Air Force for 7 years now.)
    Trisha Faye