cartoon cow writing at a desk

Just Call Me Mom (7.17.17)

I wrote this story in my heart when it happened and finally got to create the article years later…

I pick up trash on my daily walks. It angers me to see trash lying around on the ground. Trash belongs in its proper place, not strewn about willy-nilly throughout Mother Earth’s beautiful landscape. Today I discovered a mother-load of trash on my pristine beach at Pawleys Island, SC. A picture is worth a thousand words, however I didn’t have my camera with me today. Here’s an inventory list of the trash from my memory banks:

Trash Inventory:

  • 8 pair of sunglasses. Only one pair was missing a piece. All of the other sunglasses were completely intact.
  • 5 sets of goggles
  • Many red and white plastic forks and spoons
  • A woman’s scarf still tied with a knot as if she just slipped it over her head to undress
  • Ponytail holders
  • One lone plastic water shoe – the type that look like thick footie socks
  • Plastic
  • Plastic parts from fireworks debris
  • An unidentified piece of clothing – maybe a woman’s bathing suit top?
  • Scraps of beer cans
  • Broken plastic – maybe from a boat?
  • A metal handle off of something
  • A white seashell with the name “Mom” written on it
  • Part of a plastic food package stating, “Keep frozen until opening”
  • A plastic wrist armband marked 8/28 from Springmaid Beach Resort in Myrtle Beach which I discovered is located 20 miles from here. Today is July 17, 2013, therefore this armband has been floating in the ocean for almost one year or longer.

I untied the woman’s scarf to create a “tarp” to hold all of this trash. I walked around and rummaged through all of the seaweed nearby and retrieved more trash. It was a blistering hot morning and sweat dripped down my face as I worked in the heat. At one point, a man walking with his 3 year old son meandered over and dropped trash that the father had collected onto my pile. He didn’t say a word to me. It was surreal. It was as if he was contributing garbage to an altar. I felt like he should have at least asked permission to dump his loot onto my pile. Apparently, I was the designated trash collector and trash removal person in that moment. One person’s trash is another person’s workload. Just call me “Mom.”