I live in the kind of  neighborhood where you can discard your unwanted furniture, and excess, those stressful reminders that you have too much to the street. Magically, those items you no longer need are whisked away, gone. A an amazing magic trick. Sometimes, however, you will encounter people who need your stuff. This is a stark reminder that one man’s trash is another’s treasure. Not everyone has the luxury to just pitch their unwanted items. Fear not, this is article is not about you.

It is the end of the month and someone next door has moved out, leaving a dresser at the street. A family, grandmother, daughter and grand daughter driving a well used SUV survey the dresser. It is nice black Ikea like model from my vantage point from my front yard. The three women stake their claim as they attempt to move the item into the back of their vehicle. It is slightly too long. The disappointment cloud is settling on the little family.

After hearing them discuss swapping out cars with someone, I call out that they could place the dresser in my driveway. That would ensure the dresser not be poached until they got back. The grandmother and I move it to safety. She thanks me and off they go.

Time ticks away, the family return, with the same vehicle. I over hear that the mom had just finished a fourteen hour shift. I decide to lend a hand. Free items have their own hidden costs. This free dresser is costing this mom time. I make my introductions to try to pitch in.

The nuance to helping in a group is to first read the environment. I see that all three women worked very well together. No arguments or fights on who had a better idea. I am the new person in the play and must allow some experiments to be tried. This in the vernacular is called not being a dick. It can happen to men and women.

After a few attempts of trying to place the large item in the middle row. The middle seat will not lay flat (There is always a problem with the middle seat) and it is too narrow. We move on to the back of the SUV. Same problem, the middle seat. We even attempt to think about dismantling only to point out that most of it is glued and has those weird locking screws you need a magic tool fasten it.The last item, through the rear window. I wont go into that solution. But by now, I could make a suggestion. “We anchor the dresser to the middle seat that won’t move. I have rope.”

We move the dresser into place. I start on securing the leviathan with rope to the seat. I solicit an approval from the grandmother by pointing out the extra connection to a seat that does lay flat creating extra tension. Total approval from Grandmother.

A joke from me about landlord Fred Merz’s skill at packing a car heading to California on the “I Love Lucy” winds its way to a discussion of how was it even possible for Granny to ride safely in her rocker on top of the rolling heap of a vehicle on the “Beverly Hillbillies” show.

Secured with no where to go. The dresser is in place. We all pitch in to replace some of the items that were removed from the back to add additional weight into the hull of the dresser.  The dresser only over laps maybe five inches. Lastly, securing the hatch with tightly tensioned bungee cords and it closes.

“Are you a Girl Scout?” the young granddaughter asks as she, her mom and grandmother give me a hug each.  She is happy that this dresser is going home with them. In fact everyone is smiling and happy that this solution will get them home.

“No, I am just a problem solver. It’s my job.”

Stay curious, Rox