We picked up a partially full bottle of whiskey on Lake Austin on Sunday. Pam LeBlanc photo

Maybe it’s weird, but I pick up trash.

Last Sunday, during my dawn ski run, I noticed an unusually large amount of trash bobbing on the surface of Lake Austin. Maybe it was the previous week’s holiday, or maybe the garbage had been washed into the lake by recent rains.

Either way, Styrofoam plates, beer cans and tennis balls were spoiling my view. And then, as I was pulling my husband Chris behind the boat, I saw something odd floating in the water. After he dropped off his ski, I decided to go back and pick it up.

It turns out it was a huge glass jug of whiskey – cap off, and about 3 inches of booze still in the bottle.

This is what I’d like to be doing. Instead, I’m picking up trash. Chris LeBlanc photo

We poured the contents of the bottle out, then put it, along with the other trash we’d gathered, into the boat to carry to shore.

I hate to think what would have happened if I’d hit that bottle with the boat’s prop, or if Chris or I had skied over the top of it. I also hate to imagine what the bottom of Lake Austin looks like, with tons of bottles, cans and sunglasses sunk there.

One of my 2021 New Year’s resolutions is to pick up at least three pieces of trash a day. It comes from the mantra “three for the sea.” Pick up three pieces of trash every day to keep them from ultimately winding up in our oceans. If everyone did that, the world would be a far cleaner place.

And I’d be a lot less grumpy.

I love skiing on Lake Austin on weekend mornings. Lately, there’s been a lot of trash. Pam LeBlanc photo




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