As our neighbors of 11 years, Tom and Lee, left their old house this morning to return to Ohio, Nebra overheard a spat. Lee had thrown away Tom’s favorite ash tray.
“It was filthy,” Lee was quoted by Nebra as saying. Tom was sore but left the incident where it stood. I think both of them were tense over the sadness of having to leave this place.
Later, Nebra told me, she returned to the alley and rescued the ash tray from the garbage bin. The intention is to eventually mail it to Tom in Toledo.
The ash tray now rests on a folding table by our garage, ashes and all. One lonely cigarette butt, burnt on the tip, languishes in the middle.
I intend to tell Nebra to hold off on cleaning it. I think she should send it to Tom as is, with the evidence of hundreds of Arizona-smoked cigarettes scorched on the bottom, a memento to a stage of his life now gone. But, whatever. The rescue was successful.
“It’s the best thing I did today,” Nebra said, beaming.