Green Box Site Sign, Columbia Falls, Montana

Life Stinks

Life stinks. It’s smelly. It’s filled with odoriferous scents that make us gag, hold our nose, and turn our heads!

Open your olfactory senses and inhale. What do you smell? Animal poop, human poop, vomit, rotten eggs, sour milk, decaying corpses, warm blood, garlic breath, stagnant water, body odor, dirty dumpsters, garbage, sour onions…the list is practically endless!


It must have been the hottest day of the summer when I brought our weekly garbage to the green box site. The air was still, hot, and hazy.

I turned into the site and decided I would put the garbage in dumpster number 10 (My family and I play a dumpster number game where we call out the number of the can we’re going to put the trash in). I put the truck in park, all the while watching the garbage truck empty cans as it puffed fumes and rank odors into the thick air.

As you can imagine, the temperature brought out the stench that day. Chicken bones, empty cat food cans, styrofoam ground meat packaging –  all rotting and reeking in the 95 degree heat.

Can’t you just smell it?


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The green box site was a lonely place that day, perhaps because many Montanans had taken to the lakes and rivers for a cool respite from the sweltering heat.


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With no department stores in town, this site used to be called the Columbia Falls Mall. Residents couldn’t resist poking around and recycling someone else’s trash. That’s all changed now, as salvaging is strictly prohibited.

I thought about those bikes. I didn’t know what condition they were in and had no need for them, but someone might. It’s a shame that people are so wasteful, especially when they throw out something that still works.


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Take for example, my crock-pot. I received it as a wedding gift, it is now decades old, and still cooks like a charm. I didn’t throw it out for a newer model because it doesn’t match our kitchen decor (it’s avocado green). In fact, I feel pretty special having held on to it. I’ve heard that modern crock-pots are awful because they don’t “slow-cook” as good as my old one. Hopefully it will be awhile before it dies and has to be dumped into a green box.


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Going to the green box that day was a hot and smelly experience and as I said, life stinks.

And thank goodness for that because our nose knows when we’re burning dinner, about to track doggy-doo onto the carpet, the baby needs changing, we’re about to eat rotten ham…


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