We live in a city laid out like most were in the early 1900s: a grid of streets with homes on either side and alleys separating the backyards of the adjacent avenues. Some alleys are nicer than others…the other day, my dad and I drove behind a house for sale (the big historical homes are fun to look at) to see what it’s alley was like. My dad remarked, “Typical Everett alley…but with patches of asphalt!” You see, most are gravel lined and the city comes through occasionally to fill in the potholes with more gravel that will just get worn away through the rainy months.
The cleanliness and nice-ness of an alley varies throughout each neighborhood and ours has started looking a bit mangy recently. Yes, this is where you put your trash out but it still demonstrates the amount of pride you take in what belongs to you, whether the property is yours for a year’s lease or if you’re paying a mortgage.
I’ve found that when you put in some effort to take care of what belongs to you,
you’re more apt to continue to do so because you know it’s potential.
That initial work, however, is what’s hard to do.
The other day, I was chatting with a neighbor of ours and he explained to me that he only drives down the alley from the south end because otherwise he has to drive past a pile of trash that has started spreading it’s way down the alley midway down from the alley’s entrance to the north. He coined it, “The Alley of Broken Dreams.” I agreed that it wasn’t very encouraging to drive past trash every time I pulled the car around back to put it in the garage.
Though I don’t know the source of the trash – a bag fell off the garbage truck, the people who live in the house it’s behind didn’t care to put it in their trash cans, a random person brought their trash to our alley to dump – I do know that nothing had been done about it for the better part of 2 months.
Today, I put on some gloves and bagged it up.
A neighbor 3 houses down was out back having a smoke so I asked him if I could put the bags in his garbage. Since they have two large trash cans for a house of 4 and we have one very small can for a house of 3, he was more than happy to grant my request especially because it meant the trash was out of the alley.
Why tell you about the alley of broken dreams?
To remind and encourage you* that the thing you’ve been putting off for a long time is worth doing.
And doing well. Now.
So get out there and reprezent.
I decided to use the time I would normally spend on Facebook (which usually equates to about 30 minutes** throughout the day – trying to cut back!) to instead do this one thing today. Will I drive by the spot where the trash was and remember how good it felt to do the right thing and do it now? Yes.
Don’t know what that one thing is? Ask God to show you. He kept at me with a pile of trash…hopefully yours is a bit less messy. And if it’s not, use the “contact me” link here to tell me how I can pray for you.e
So Happy Wednesday everyone, from the Alley of Not-So-Broken-Dreams.
*and myself, when I look back on this and read it in the months and years to come
**p.s. thankfully Serafina napped like a rockstar this afternoon – but yes, I was that gal in the alley with her dog, nitrile gloves, a garbage bag, and monitor hooked to my back pocket.