You may see her out of the corner of your eye, if you work in a depressing office park turned industrial center next to the freeway, trolling for refuse and wreck, bundles of leftover fir and pine. Usually by a dumpster. Almost always with some hulk of an 18 wheeler bobtail looming nearby. Pallets are good. Jackknifed throwaway granite containers are better. Loose 2 x 4's are considered prime (and not easily attainable).
She may stalk you if you are taking down your roadside Christmas Tree stand. After making an illegal U-Turn to get to it, that is...
She may hail you from a pile of junk marked "free" and ask if you have any scrap wood in the back? Perhaps in an old shed and that you're not using anymore? Maybe something you wouldn't mind her poking around in for treasure?
Because that, ladies and gentleman, is her battle cry. Your trash wood is my treasure! Within reason, of course, and not too full of nails or rotted or so small it's of no use. But treasure! Yay, verily!
She may turn on the charm and accept the gracious offer to break down some pallets from a barrel chested work horse of a man as he busts out his chainsaw. (Asking at that point, with barely concealed quiet unease, if he means to hack her to pieces and store her in his van. And what a smile is had by all. Phew.)*
He's not screwing around. No protective eye ware.
(This guy was THE NICEST dude I have come across. Restores my faith in humanity kind of nice.)
Because, like many in this great recession who went to college and have staggering amounts of student debt and are trying not to work too much lest they miss out on all the good years of their children lives that they intentionally had after graduating said college, marrying the guy, buying the house, and paying off her other debt, hence there is not too much extra cash floating around, this gal doesn't like to BUY what she can get for FREE, so she spends a little sweat equity that pays off in the end.**
This gal makes lemonade out of lemons. She makes treasure out of trash. She makes....
Rabbit hutches out of pallet wood.
Whatever. Don't judge.
I'd rather spend all my hard earned cash on organic feed. Not housing.
As long as it's safe, secure, warm and spacious, any type of wood will work for my hutch creations.
Because The Wood Forager forages on! There is always one more office park, one more Craigslist posting, one more dumpster behind A to B Moving Inc that practically screams to be investigated, picked through and pillaged.
*I find asking if people want to kill me while I'm out collecting wood is a good ice breaker. Plus, by their reaction, you can tell if they actually want to do it. Good hint? Always keep a hammer or whammy bar in your hand and never turn your back on anyone. Ever.
**What. Not you?