I am glad that Wednesday night was not the middle of the winter.
As much as I love winter, there is usually little fun to be found in running the streets, involuntarily, at 1:30 a.m. In the winter, at 1:30 a.m., the only plausible reason to run the streets is because one is in a ski town. That is not involuntary.
Wednesday night here was very pleasant to be running the streets, if one found it necessary to do so. The threatened storm had not materialized, the air was cool and the sky somewhat clear, with lightning flashing to the north of town.
It was an optimal night to go dumpster diving.
How, you say, can dumpster diving be involuntary? The story begins, as do most middle of the night accounts, around midnight. My beloved spouse, in attempting to take her heart medicine, realized it may have gotten mixed in with some wrapping paper and flip flop boxes.
The boxes and paper relate back to Monday, when my beloved spouse had celebrated her birthday and received, among her presents, a number of pairs of flip flops. It is often so on her natal celebration. My mid winter birthday, and the fact that I am somewhat larger than she and require more arch support, means that I have never gotten flip flops for my birthday.
But I digress. The fruitless search through the medicine cabinet confirms the likelihood that the medicine is in a discarded flip flop box. An errand to return an oversized pair of flip flops had been combined with fetching the heart medicine from Roden Smith pharmacy.
Those of you who are married, or have a close roommate, can now understand why we were rooting through our dumpster at 12:45 a.m., lighting our endeavors with the flashlight app on a cell phone.
The fruitless search sent us back to bed, resigned to the necessity of calling Roden Smith in the morning and ordering a refill on the meds. It was there that I remembered another key fact in the narrative.
Since I had taken that bag of trash, not to our usual dumpster, but had dropped it in another receptacle on my way out towards town, we grabbed a real flashlight and headed down the block. Since that dumpster is behind the home of two large dogs, and it was a nice evening for dogs to sleep outside, I was confident that we would wake the whole neighborhood.
It was, fortunately, not so. Said dogs were either sound asleep, or indoors for the night. At 1:30 a.m., the incident came to a fortuitous conclusion and the desired meds were retrieved from a flip flop box.
In closing, let me gratefully acknowledge my mother’s influence in the two phrases which were ingrained in my head, “running the streets” and “wake the whole neighborhood.” I am usually careful to do neither.
Clyde Davis is a Presbyterian pastor and teacher at Clovis High School. He can be contacted at: