Soup Cans

Based on a Series of True Events

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It’s not that I’m a snob or think I’m too good to eat canned food. Here’s an interesting fact about me; I grew up in poverty and starving. Most days the meal I ate at school was the only meal I ate. It’s most likely something psychological. I mean, food is food, right?

I have this impression set in my stubborn head that canned food is intended for a nuclear war or apocalypse, or perhaps with Trump in office a not too distant Greater Depression.

#singlelifefood, maybe?

Or it may just be because I feel canned food tastes like shit. It’s slimy and has a curious aftertaste.

Regardless of my reasoning I found myself in a dilemma. I wanted to make a bird feeder but I needed empty soup cans.

I asked a family member who is more prepared for the Greater Depression than I’ll ever be. I said, Hey family member! Would it be possible for you to save four empty soup cans for me? I need them to make a bird feeder.

Then I took out my phone and showed her a picture of the feeder.

Ooh-ah, she said.

A few weeks went by. I was getting antsy. I’m not familiar with the amount of time it takes the average canned food eating person to eat four cans of food but it was starting to feel as if time had stopped.

Then something happened.

I was in the Post Office and the woman that works there handed me a bag of empty soup cans.

Did she drop them off here for me? I asked.

No, these are from me.


She wasn’t the only one. An elderly gentlemen stopped me on my way into the coffee shop. He too had a bag filled with empty soup cans for me.

Then another someone at the hardware store, two of my neighbors and three more relatives.

There’s shopping bags filled. A giant ass box overwhelmed. There’s more cans than I could ever possibly use. They clink and crash when the cats run full force into them.

I make fun of my husband because since we’ve moved to Iowa it seems he’s related to someone everywhere we go. There’s that and small town talk. I never thought these were things I’d some day become grateful for although it’s human nature that I’m still somewhat creeped out.

As the cans keep rolling in it’s time to get my ass moving.

I did some research and found some fabulous ideas. I Googled images of DIY can projects and narrowed it down to five I’m making a go at.

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Why have I not been walking around like this everywhere I go!?

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Does it count as ‘canned food’ if you bake it yourself?

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Apocalyptic ready, here I come.

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Now, if I could just get everyone in the house to organize their stuff (including me).

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My neighbors would probably prefer looking at these opposed to the holiday lights still blinking in my front yard since last year.

My goal is to make something out of each and every can. Maybe I’ll try to profit from my craftiness. Maybe they’ll be great gift ideas. Maybe I’ll go running down the road wearing my can clogs screaming the bread I baked on the burning stove is ready while I swing my bumble bee can through the air.

Whatever it is, I’ll do something creative and if it weren’t for the community, it wouldn’t be possible.

Disclaimer* Names were not included in the story to protect the privacy of those who shared kindness and cans with me.

Disclaimer* Other than the headline photo, photos were retrieved from Google Images. I have no idea where they originated from.

Newspaper reporter in Eastern Iowa. The views expressed are mine alone.

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