Monday, March 24, 2008

One man's trash is another's treasure

The longtime Middletown Press building is coming down.
Friday morning, T and I took a drive to buy colorful plastic eggs at CVS. He and I had decided to fill them with jellybeans (T's favorite sweet) and hide them around the yard.
He delights in egg hunts. Last year, his hunts lasted well past Easter. He'd urge me to hide them around the house (empty) over and over again, and he'd spend hours trying to find them. Then it was his turn. To give you an idea of how a 3-year-old's mind works, unfailingly, T would hide them in the same dang places every single time, and I would have to "hunt" for them, feigning surprise that an egg would be hidden in the baby wipes box, under the pillow, on the windowsill, ect.
So this day, I was sure he was eager to get home to get the project started.
But then we drove past the Press.
Excavators, Bobcats, dump trucks, workers in hard hats, piles of red bricks all populated the site, milling about. T was fascinated.
Although it was cold with a terrible wind, he stood on the wooden bench just past the sidewalk and ... watched.
For half an hour.
Dad walked around the corner, then went up to one of the workers and spoke for a few minutes.
We couldn't hear because of the machines' noise.
He trudged back against the wind, carrying two large bricks in each hand.
T was in heaven.
We brought the bricks home and T went about re-constructing the site with his own trucks. He used the digger to scoop the dark earth in our flower bed area, next to the pachysandras. I winced, watching the dirt spill onto our slate walkway, and his tan pants, winter coat and fingers get really soiled.
But I let him play.
It kept him busy for hours that day, and again the next day and even Easter Sunday.
We drove past the Press this morning on the way to preschool.
The building, only a concrete frame, rose up from mountains of bricks.
It's a difficult sight for one who worked there for more than 11 years.
But T saw the scene not nostalgically as I, but as inspiring.
I'm sure a whole new construction site will be created this evening when we arrive home.

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