Cher Yukon,

Comment ca va?

Today’s story from the borough of Verdun is about our amazing “dresser find”. I will preface by saying, “Yukoners, you can be very proud of your garbage pick up and recycling system.”

In Verdun, garbage and compost are not separated. It is still hard for me to throw compost into the trash can. There is a system in place, however, where recyclables are picked up on the curb, which is kind of cool. If you want money for refundables, you can take them to the store, but most people don’t even bother.

Garbage day: Picture streets with rows of residences in the form of duplexes, four plexes, six plexes and/or nine plexes, side by side. The spiral staircase is a character trait of Montréal boroughs, but I digress.

When people move or reno, or just do a big clean-up, everything is put out on the sidewalk as garbage. This includes furniture, TVs, toys and even clothing (in Whitehorse, we call this a garage sale!).

The story begins as Grant and I are walking home with bags full of groceries in hand. It is about 1.5 kilometres to the nearest grocery store and we always walk as we have no car here.

Now, in my last letter, I mentioned that we had sold everything in the Yukon before moving, which means we live in a lovely duplex that still echoes because the rooms are pretty bare.

We are merrily walking home on a day of no classes and we come across an antique oak dresser on the curb. We stop, look, and Grant says, “Are you kidding me?” As the words come out of his mouth, a woman steps onto her poarch and says, “There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s yours if you take it away before the garbage truck comes.”

We feel like two kids in a candy shop. “OK, we need a plan,” says Grant. “Give me the groceries, you take two drawers with you. Hopefully no one else will take the dresser if two of the drawers are missing. Let’s boot it home.”

We literally run the kilometre that is left to our house, groceries and drawers in hand.

Grant runs back to the dresser with a screwdriver to take off the mirror for transport. Groceries put away, I am not far behind. I take two more drawers home, Grant stands guard, I come back to stand guard, Grant takes the mirror home, Grant comes back to stand guard, I take two more drawers, I come back and wouldn’t you know it? My lovely Chinese lady is on the scene this particular day. She walks by, groceries in tow, while I am guarding the dresser. She gives my arm a squeeze, smiles and nods at me. What can I say?

Grant is back now and we haul the bulk of the dresser to our upstairs duplex which, I must remind you, is a kilometre away. We have already done the trip five times each.

Of course, our arms are dying and we are sweaty and tired, but we manage to get the dresser upstairs to our bedroom. It is fantastic and looks like it has always been a part of the room. We each have three drawers – nice and fair.

So, if any of you are planning on moving out here to Verdun or Montréal, you don’t have to bring any furniture. Just keep your eyes on the sidewalks.

That’s all for now, everyone. Until the next letter,

Your friend,

Dale

PHOTO: DALE COOPER