A couple of days before Christmas, I was toddling down the road in the family truckster after a trip to the grocery store. Turning on one of the main drags into our subdivision, I couldn’t help but notice the jumbo box television set nestled on the grass near the curb of this one house. Ya gotta admit, it is certainly something you don’t see every day. Plastered across the black television screen was a poster board sign with thick red lettering that read “Free TV and it works.” The television was MIA the very next day. I had to hand it to the owners … it seemed like a creative way to recycle instead of cramming the garage with more used stuff till it finally popped like a firecracker. If you’ve seen an episode of “Hoarders,” you know what I’m talkin’ about. Rick had an aunt, God rest her soul, who we suspect was on the precipice of being a hoarder. “I remember packing up my two elderly aunts for a move to Louisiana,” said Rick. This was about 10 years ago, but still vivid in his mind. “When I got to one of the bedrooms, there were stacks and stacks halfway to the ceiling of old junk mail. There must have been at least 25 years of Publisher’s Clearing House in that one room and she insisted it all be moved with her,” Rick said, who stealthily managed to toss a couple of trash bags full of old mail in the back of his truck without his aunt noticing. It’s probably one of the reasons I try to keep the messiness at the Frantz house to a manageable minimum. Right after New Year’s, I made a trip to Goodwill with the truckster full of reusable stuff. Part of what I brought was a laundry basket full of old VHS tapes from our special child’s room that were just gathering dust. Mimi had gotten a new television for her birthday way back in July. About every three to four years, she literally wears out the buttons on her television. Hubby and I just throw our collective hands into the air and get her a new one. I mean, what do you do with a television that flips through all the channels continuously without stopping except get an Excedrin headache? The new one is a small flat screen with a DVD in the side of the screen. No more buttons to push that she can get her hands on so it should last a very long time. New technology can be a wonderful thing. Mimi doesn’t seem to mind. She just wheels herself to wherever I am in the house. That’s when I know it’s time to change the channel for her. The girl loves games shows and hates soap operas. “How ya doin’?” I asked the Goodwill attendant as I handed over the laundry basket. “Whew … the customers are wearing me out. It has been busy all day,” he said. I remember thinking that was so nice to hear. This was the first of many trips I would be making to Goodwill this year. I also had on my list our local library for old books. Does anyone know if they take old cookbooks? Did I mention that our old box television bit the dust right after Christmas? Yep … without any notice, one day it pretty much just went “poof.” Of course, it was one remarkably like what I’d seen perched near the curb before Christmas I was tellin’ you about. Geez, and “Old Betsy” was so cutting edge when we’d bought her. Hubby and I tried to figure out how old the set was like it would make us feel better that it had finally expired. Did ya ever have something so long you couldn’t figure out how old it was? That was our Betsy. Our son, Ricky, now in his early 20s, couldn’t remember what television we’d had in the family room before Betsy, so yep, it was really old and not curb worthy. We just couldn’t leave it at the curb with a sign that read “Free TV, doesn’t work” and expect it to be gone the next day. Betsy sat in the garage until just the other day. Our son was home for the holidays and a few days before tearful farewells at the airport, he helped his dad load Betsy up for a trip to the local landfill. I mean … it was worth a couple of bucks the landfill charges to open up space for the old family truckster, the next Frantz family possession on the list about to expire, in the garage again. Dixie Frantz is a long-time Kingwood resident and newspaper columnist since 1996. E-mail Dixie with your comments at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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