drplasticpicker found $8 CASH on the beach
November 5, 2019
I tend to find the most interesting things Sunday or Monday mornings if I go ocean plastic walking early. This last Monday, I left very early as I need to get my walk in and still get home in time to get breakfast ready and get the kids out of the house for school. I am lucky in that my father-in-law does the actual drop off. We are a multi-generational household. We take care of them financially, and they help us with some childcare. Yes, I know I am very lucky. And I have co-existed happily with my mother-in-law for almost 15 years with 1 kitchen. The first two years was really difficult for me, but the last 13 we are two peas in a pod for the most part. I think that tells you a lot about my character.
Anyway, Monday morning I saw several new sights. I saw another dead stingray with a portion of it’s midthorax missing. There must be some particuarly delicious organ there that birds like to eat? I’ll have to look that up. I saw a fishing type vessel very close to the shore. It was periously close to the surfers and I was worried for the surfers. I saw an older gentlemen who looked a bit like he was not quite all there, but well kempt and wearing a newish red LIFEGUARD sweater. I know you can buy those anywhere, but he had a large plastic bag and picking up trash but with an official-looking large clear bag. I wonder if that is what old retired lifeguards do? Anyway, we were close in proximity and I told him, “I saw a dead stingray over there! It’s the second one I’ve seen this week.” He wondered over to the direction I pointed and I yelled back, “Don’t pick it up though!” Then he wandered away in a different direction. I don’t think he was homeless. Dead stingray and possible lifeguard pensioner or well kempt homeless man? Sometimes I think God (I am not particualy religious but plastic picking has pushed me to become more spiritual) is leading me on this path.
As I was leaving the beach to walk up the wooden stairs to the boardwalk, I spied cash on the ground.
Yes dear friends, $8 cash and the owner was not anywhere in sight. There were maybe 2 surfers far off in the distance, and the older gentlemen half way down the beach. I picked up the cash with my gloved hand.
When I got home that morning, in the midst of cleaning up and getting myself and the kids ready for school – I had time to text my own family about the cash and dead stingray. Everyone sent heart emojis at the cash and sad face emojis at the dead stingray. I was intending to donate $8 to the Rainforest Trust, as I think saving the amazon is the biggest bang for one’s environmental buck – but my own mother texted back. “Buy food for the homeless. Probably a homeless person dropped it.” This made me pause to think. The family text messages went silent as everyone went about their day. I was left with that text and my thoughts.
I think because I work with families and children and fractious employees all day, I am somewhat emotionally desensitized to the plights of humans. Medicine and our fellow humans are mentally exhausting. The time on the beach, thinking about the birds and the stingrays and the earth is easier for me. I do care. I care all day, and I’m paid to care at work. But during the morning, I want to care about the dead stingray and not the possible homeless person on the beach. But my mom’s text message and the meditative power of the ocean has helped me to care again.
So this $8 belongs to the homeless population. I discussed with my children as well, and they think it is a good idea. My plan is to go to Food4Less and buy as much as I can with $8 that is not in plastic and match it with my own $8, and donate it to the local Food Bank. So stay tuned, dear readers! I will update this post on how far $8 can go to feed people. Also it is all interrelated because I find plenty of fast food wrappers and containers on the beach. So perhaps helping provide solid real meals with fiber to homeless people will reduce the amount of plastic food containers going into the Pacific Ocean.
Coming soon, drplasticpicker travels to Food4Less and the San Diego Food Bank https://drplasticpicker.com/how-8-cash-found-on-the-beach-became-80-meals-and-a-daughter-mother-outing/. This journey continues to be an incredible one. Drplasticpicker now needs to wander back to real life and work as it is 523 AM!