One day in the late 80’s, my friend Ann, her son Stephen, and I went on an outing to Gulf City Mall (south Trinidad). As we took a shortcut through a village to get to the main highway, we spotted a lone basket, obviously discarded, at the side of the road. It lay in the sun on top of a heap of dried grass. Poor basket!
As we drove past, Ann and I agreed that it was unfortunate that someone would throw such a beauty away. We spoke about the basket for a while, sharing the different ways we could use it in our own homes.
A couple hours later, as we made our way back home, we passed through the same village with the shared intent that if the basket was still there, we’d stop and retrieve it, and there it was – still sitting and aaahhmmm, waiting. Steven was used to our shameless penchant for retrieving other people’s trash and making it our treasure. He simply shook his head and stared out the backseat window as she stopped and I hopped it to retrieve it.
Ann offered to take home the found treasure, clean it and give it to me, as I was still in the process of decorating and creating storage for my new home. And, basket lover that I am, I could not refuse.
Over the years, I’ve used this basket in multiple decorative and functional situations. It’s sturdy base makes it the perfect candidate for miscellaneous stuff I throw in there – orphan bottle caps and container covers, coffee measuring spoons from instant coffee tins, knife sharpeners, funnels, vegetable brush, strainers, etc. etc. etc.).
It sits on a shelf in one of my lower kitchen cabinets, where initially I planned to install drawers for cutlery and baking tools. Instead, I found two baskets at a sale and they made me change my plans. At the time,I was disappointed that the seller did not have a set of three. Nevertheless, I bought the two baskets and they have been serving me faithfully. The basket Ann and I found filled the space intended for the third drawer.
Now, how’s that for a trash-to-treasure story?
The moral of this trash-to-treasure story – Often something can become a sentimental treasure even when it enters our lives as an old, discarded, found object. Additionally, it can be even more significant when its acquisition is linked to the experience of sharing the discovery with a cherished old friend.