burning barrels and simpler times

This is a reminder of another era; who did not get a thrill when you chucked the old Barbasol can into the burning barrel? The folks at ListVerse have come up with this list: Top 10 Nearly Extinct Household Items. We admit that we’re starting out with No. 1, because it’s something of which most people just have no recollection.

“Of all the old household items I miss from my childhood, this is #1. The backyard burn barrel. It was a rusty old empty 55-gallon drum dad brought home from work or found at a junkyard, or God knows where he got it. In the autumn, my favorite time of the year, you knew winter was coming because the geese were flying south, you were playing football, school had started, and the smell of burning leaves was in the air (oh yeah, mom had the Halloween decorations up too). Everyone had one of these in their backyards to burn their fallen leaves. There were no curbside pick-ups to recycle the leaves back then. You just raked them up, and burned them. My mom loved it. She would stand there with an old broom stick handle, blackened at one end, and stir the smoldering leaves to get more air to them so they would combust better. We would rake up the leaves and walk over and dump arm fulls [sic] into the burning barrel. Then my mom would stir it like a witch attending her cauldron. There was just nothing like the smell of burning leaves in the autumn, and there still isn’t to this day. Most municipalities and cities banned the burning of leaves decades ago, so it is something you only found in more rural areas. Machines come around and vacuum up your leaves at the curb. Perhaps more environmentally friendly, but we have lost that wonderful seasonal odor as a result.”

OK, click here to look at the other items on the Listverse list.

One comment

  1. I remember everyone burning their trash in the barrels at the end of our yards and Columbia Borough had an incinerator right behind our house where they burned who knows what! Here in Delaware people can still burn leaves if it’s not too dry.

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