Every year there is more and more free stuff at the GGGS. Typically placed in boxes by the sidewalk with "free" written on a flap. Some people with items for sale will have a free box, others who are selling nothing will leave a box out while they go about their day.
It worked out that the first stop we made on Saturday morning was at a driveway on Powell where the owners had put out a box labelled "free". Unlike most others who do this, these owners were right there, sitting in their driveway watching people go by.
"This is all free?" I had to ask because the box was loaded with cool things. I decided I couldn't take it all because I didn't want the owners to think I am greedy, so I took a little device that records up to 30 seconds of audio and then plays it back, a mirror with a pretty star frame, and a shiny inflatable tulip. I didn't know what I would do with the tulip, but felt it would come in handy somehow.
I was just about to open the valve to deflate the tulip when I noticed that a woman on a bicycle had stopped. I held up the tulip. "Can you believe they are giving this away?"
"I know," she said, "I was admiring it myself."
Hmm, I thought, maybe I could sell it to her. "What would you do with it?" I asked.
"It would make a nice souvenir for a visitor to Ottawa," she said. "She's ten years old and going home tomorrow."
I handed her the tulip. "Your need is greater than mine."
The owners got a good laugh out of all this. And to demonstrate to you how open-spirited they were, they brought the woman a plastic bag to put the tulip in.