Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mr. Pickles, Squirrels & Hoarding

At my writing desk, I watch multi-colored leaves flutter into the wooded area behind our cottage. And Black Squirrels are frantically collecting & hoarding walnuts from our trees. It's for a good reason. Fall is sneaking upon us and winter will soon be here.

It's amazing that some people are hard-wired to collect & hoard like squirrels. And I'm not talking about money. They collect everything and anything...all year long!

When we moved into our Michigan cottage this summer, we didn’t know that a human hoarder lived two blocks away. His nickname is Mr. Pickles and can be seen in his old, red pickup pulling a utility trailer, barreling past our abode many times a day. 

And when Pickles isn't rushing by in his truck, he’s riding a bicycle, scoping out new treasures to collect later on.
Mr Pickles has a loud, hacking cough that everyone recognizes. We can hear it long before he rides/drives past our house. I was concerned it could be the symptoms of  Hanovirus, but I’ve been told that it’s a nervous condition, becoming worse when he thinks someone is critical of his actions. Hack! Hack! Hack!

Mondays is trash pickup day in our little village. Mr. Pickle is frantic all day Sunday and into the next day, scrounging through trash and throw-away items left nearby. Often, we awake to bottles/cans crashing into his pickup that we have diligently placed into the recycle bin. It’s disheartening, as Pickles doesn't recycle or redeem them. Nope. He just bags them and places them inside his house.

Many times, throughout the years, officials have cleaned up his property. This year alone, they have hauled away over 121 cubic yards of junk.

Last month, when city workers arrived to clean up Mr. Pickle’s property, we heard a commotion in the small canyon behind our house. Pickles was frantically hiding things in the bushes next to the creek below.

Another neighbor reported his actions and soon Pickles was in a police car for safekeeping.

I understand that hoarding is an illness, often a result of depression and an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Hoarders often cannot separate what's meaningful or not meaningful.

We've been told that Mr. Pickles situation has recently been turned over to County Health officials. I hope he can receive help for his illness. It's the best thing for him and the rest of the village.

Visions of Evil is now available in paperback! Click this link to order your copy. I won't be bored.  

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