Dump, recyclers, thrift… Letting go.

April 16, 2011

The sun was out. That was a bonus. The night before I had gotten absolutely completely soaked on my way from Vancouver to Surrey. Well, my feet did. I curse those pants. Those “Frog Togs” the waist is so high, the waistband stops pretty much at heart level. The pant legs are short, they stop at calf level. I wish they had used a little more fabric on the legs and a little less up the waist… Now, when you stand up they cover the top of your boots. When you sit down on the bike they crawl up so to expose the edge of the boot, which means that as you ride the water can come in freely so as you progress in the rain, you can feel the water gliding down along your ankle and pool in the toe box. That was two days ago, my boots are still damp.

I promised myself I would go to Mountain Equipment Coop to get pants that will do the job. I can vouch for the Alpinestar “waterproof” gloves with gore-tex. Strangely, the outside shell fills right up with water but the inside stays dry and keep your hands warm.

But enough with gear reviews… I had to get to the van and try to get the hood opened. somehow the latch had gotten stuck. I had called a few friends and the consensus seemed to be : hold the latch while someone pounds on the hood. A very manly technique, reminiscent of the fist on the TV set protocol.

One of the people I had called was Russ, Russ has a mobile garage Richmond Mobile Brake and Tune. A truck with all that is needed to fix any car, anywhere, any time. He had fixed the van’s brakes at the house last year just before I left for the trip. I figured that if someone would know what to do, he would. Russ offered to stop by. So I said yes.


I first heard the sound of this truck’s engine turning the corner. A big diesel engine. It was so good to see him. When I first met him I had been struck by how resourceful, capable and how competent he was. I hopped behind the wheel and he started hitting the hood while I pulled the handle.

Russ's truck and mobile garage. If you need help with your car, he's the man!


Up and running!

It opened! Whooo! that was a good start. He then proceeded to connect the battery post and offered to start the truck. It took a bit of “pumping the gas pedal” (old style carburetor.. the van is an 84) and the engine came to life, one more time.

I don’t know what it is about this van but when I hear that engine roar, I always get a feeling that all is right in the world. Yes, it makes zero sense but that is what happens.

Russ had to run, so he left. It was so good to see him. He said he had followed my journey from time to time on the blog. He rides too. He just got himself a new bike. People can be so amazing.

Next on the agenda was to go get insurance for the van. I got on the bike and headed down 152 Avenue looking around for the “Autoplan” sign, which I located about 3 blocks up.

I walked in and was helped immediately. Surrey is quite the melting pot of cultures. East Indian, Asian, and all kinds of ethnicities and religions and cultures. This place was a reflection of that. I quickly got the insurance and rode back out.

Next : the dump. Barbara came with me and we headed down the road to the Surrey Transfer Station. Clean name for a very smelly place. I managed to miss the exit… and found myself heading over the “Golden Ear” bridge. A new construction that was a cooperation between government and the private sector… which means that I will have to pay 11 dollars for having gone the wrong way. It’s a toll bridge that no one wants to use. The government has even started giving “rebates” when you ride on it off peak hours to try to generate some funds and ridership.

I lumbered over and turned around… then we got to the Transfer Station. I’ve been in these kinds of places before and the stench is unbelievable. I backed up the van and we opened the doors and started to throw stuff out.

I do not like to throw away perfectly good stuff. It’s just wrong. Here I was throwing out all my old but still serviceable kitchen pots and pans, my espresso machine, even paintings that I really loved that had molded over and warped in the van. I had to shut down my mind, my heart, just throw the stuff out. I had to. Have to. I have to lighten the load as much as possible. I grabbed boxes and did not even ponder, just fling them out… Soon it’s all part of the pile that is there, not mine anymore but just garbage among garbage. Just stuff that means nothing because you took out the meaning out of it.

Starship 7 at the dump (that is the van's name)

disappearing in a pile of rubble... what was.

We drove out, paid our fee, and now we’re heading to the recyclers. We find the place and there I dropped off my Sony Trinitron graphics monitors, two huge CRTs that cost me a really pretty penny some years back. The had gotten wet in the van, and now one could find those for $15 on Craigslist, so out they went, and out went the printer, a keyboard…

The last stop was at the thrift store. There I left a perfectly good microwave oven, a toaster, clothes iron and my work desk. That was hard too… that desk was perfect… but very heavy and again, you can find desks on Craigslist for $50….

At each stop, the van kept getting lighter and lighter.

There is still quite a few things to do. i will have to box and pack the sculptures.. .that is my biggest headache. The van is insured until Tuesday Midnight. Cinderella has a deadline. I am hoping to have everything at the movers by then. After that I will clean up the van, get it detailed inside and put it for sale. My van… Yep. Let it all go. Let it all go…

Tonight I have a show, not anything big but it should be fun. At the Beaumont. Here is the poster. The next three days will be busy, full of purpose. In my mind the mantra rolls on

” Git ‘er done!”


2 Responses to “Dump, recyclers, thrift… Letting go.”

  1. Erika Koenig Says:

    Wow…. I was hoping you might mention the steering wheel! I forwarded your post to Frankie. See you tonight back on Lulu Island, hope today goes well at Living Stone Studio, I think Alberto’s birthday is coming up….letting go letting go letting go best thing to get used to since the only thing in life that is constant is change, learning how to roll with it and adapt or morph is the way to go

  2. lucy Says:

    it sucks that you had to go over the bridge again, theres a transfer station about 5 minutes away from the first exit on the maple ridge side of the Golden Ears Bridge….

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