Many years ago I lived in a wonderful apartment in Portland, Oregon adjacent to a wooded area. The second floor of the apartment had a balcony so it was like living in the trees. I loved it.
As usual my family descended upon me for Thanksgiving and I served turkey dinner for something like 20 people. I think the bird was near on 40 pounds; I needed four strong men just to shove it in the oven.
But it was delicious and the family was very happy and all was well.
Until the clean up.
I should mention here that my dear mum was a Scot through and through. Her life mantra was to save, re-use, and never waste a thing. She came by that honestly; her dad, my gramps was from the Old Country and he bought a lemon-yellow Pinto once because he got a big discount cause of the color. The only members of the family who were happy to drive around in that car with him were the dogs.
But I digress.
Thanksgiving dinner was now reduced to scraps and leftovers.
All were carefully popped into storage containers and lodged in the fridge.
But what to do with the turkey carcass? It was big enough to be a stand-in on the set of Jurassic Park.
Mum began to fill up a soup kettle with the idea of boiling the bones and making broth. Now that is a good idea, particularly if you do not like to waste anything.
But I'd had enough of this damn bird. I'd hauled it home from the grocery store, worked around it as it thawed on the sideboard for three days, and I had enough turkey in the fridge to send everyone home with leftovers plus make turkey sandwiches for a week.
The idea of five gallons of broth staring at me reproachfully from the fridge for the next two months was more than I could bear.
Mum, said I. Enough.
I'm not waiting for this to boil down to broth. I am not going to use five gallons of broth this month, or even this year.
Well, of course, we had to fetch the smelling salts and carry her to the fainting couch, but she revived tout suite once she heard me pouring the water from the kettle down the sink.
But she was supine once again when she watched what happened next.
I put the carcass on a baking sheet. I opened the sliding glass doors to the balcony. I stepped out into the brisk evening air.
And I heaved that carcass off the baking sheet, arced it over the backyard and into the woods behind our house.
There, I said. All taken care of.
Now it came to pass that night that word went out among the wildlife who inhabited the wood, and they arrived in full fang and cry.
The noises that came out of that woods were unhinged.
It was awesome!
The next morning my younger sisters scouted around and reported back: no sign of the turkey carcass. Not a one. Not a sage leaf, not an onion shred, not a leftover stuffing crumb. There was, however, a note that said "where's the pie?"
To this day, I attribute my love of throwing things out of windows to this seminal event.
Throwing things in dumpsters is a close second.
For years, I was the one to call if you wanted to clear out a garage or a house, or even just a room. I didn't do the sorting or the boxing, no no no. I did the heaving.
A dear friend of mine bought a house that did require some items be discarded. I quickly offered my services but was gently persuaded to stay home. I think she was afraid of terrifying the new neighbors.
My love of throwing things out the window ended when I dropped an air conditioner out of my third floor walkup here in Brooklyn. The noise it made when it hit the ground was not awesome. It was chilling. The fact that I didn't kill or maim anyone was a miracle, and I think god for it every time I look out the window and see that forlorn broken hull of an AC resting on my super's back patio. (He lives in the basement and has installed a tarp over his front patio.)
What are you throwing out the window this year?