By: Mrs. Swarr
Mt. Gretna is our favorite place in the world. Its quiet, serene, family friendly, has the best ice cream parlor for miles around, and all in all is the perfect place to spend one's life. Thanks to Zach's parents, we get to visit Mt. Gretna often and actually feel that we kind of sort of have the right to be there. We're actually beginning to feel a bit like insiders of this cottage clique. Almost.
As wonderful as Mt. Gretna is, there is one particular event that gets us keyed up unlike any other. The event just happens to be big trash night. This is the night that Mt. Gretnians get the opportunity to throw away, you guessed it, big trash items. Couches, commodes, tables, exercise equipment... you get the idea. You may think we get excited by the prospect of ridding ourselves of our own 'big' trash through sneaky drop-offs, but you would be wrong. Oh how you would be wrong.
Here's how these special, once a year evenings progress:
Zach, Declan and I have a nice relaxing dinner at the elder Swarr household. We drink a little wine (or apple juice), and try in vain to distract ourselves from the excitement of the impending adventure. Then, around 7 or 8 o'clock, we all pile into the largest vehicle we can find, and begin our rounds.
What a site we must be! Windows down, greedy gleam in our eyes, phrases such as, "Don't let that car get ahead of us!" and "You're driving too fast past the trash piles!" escaping from our car. Yes, I believe you are getting the idea. This is not just a night of trash, but a night of new found treasures!
Two years ago we picked ourselves up a new dryer. Not that it was top notch, but it was certainly better than the POS left to us by our home's former owners. Last year we hit a dry spell and found only a vase and a broken laptop. I was rather let down. This year more than made up for my disappointment though. This year... this year we hit gold.
I found a bizarre carved candle that I won't even begin to describe, several Psychology text books set out by a retired teacher, an old, black leather chair, and a very snazzy stained glass candle holder. The elder Swarrs found quite a few treasures of their own as well. Zach, however, was the real winner of the night. He won major points by being the gopher of the night. I may be thrilled by the hunt, but that doesn't mean I'm not mortified to be seen digging through someone else's trash. So Zach hopped in and out of the car while the rest of us threw stage whispers out the window: "Hold that up," "Let me see that," "Hey what's that blue thing?" "Does that treadmill look like it works?!".
It was one of these moments when the luck struck. I noticed two boxes of outdoor lamps and asked if that's what was really in the boxes. Zach obligingly went to check. Oh the excitement in his eyes! He held up, not a rusted light fixture, but a bottle of wine! A chilled, unopened bottle of 1997 Nissley wine. Squeals of excitement erupted as the reality of the situation hit us. FREE ALCOHOL!! The Kreider in me knew I should be eager to take the rusted light fixtures and 'spruce them up', but the Swarr in me screamed 'Alcohol!!!!'
Ah the memory warms my heart. We finally gave up when it became too dark to see and Declan started begging us to take him home, but the night ended with a toast to Mt. Gretna and big trash night. A toast with our very own, very special, free alcohol. Thank you Mt. Gretna. Thank you.