A memory prompted by a broken garbage disposal

Back in Atlantic City growing up, our apartment was on the second floor above the grocery store. The kitchen window looked out on a little cement alley between the store and the warehouse (shed?) where dad kept his extra cases of canned goods.  Mom had dad move the trash can so that it was right under the kitchen window next to the sink. Every night after dinner, she bagged up the garbage…remembering that back then there wasn’t half as much as we have today…and tossed it out the window. It was a big privilege when we were kids to be considered old enough to drop the bag into the trash can. Of course, whoever missed had to go down and pick everything up…unless it was mom and then the kids did it anyway. But she was a pretty good shot and rarely missed. I grew up thinking that’s how everyone disposed of their garbage. When I got my first apartment in NYC and realized I was going to have to carry the garbage down to the can each night I thought I had taken a step backwards in my family’s climb into the middle class.