Out With the Old

I’ll admit that I’m frugal. Some might say cheap. For whatever reason, in spite of my age, I have not become a part of the throwaway generation—those who replace things just for the sake of replacing them, not because they have outlived their usefulness. But even penny-pinchers like me have to break down and spend money on occasion.

Last week, in what arguably could be one of the coldest, messiest weeks ever in Texas, my flannel sheets died. They wore out. Split down the middle. And I mourned. It wasn’t just the thought that I’d have to go out and spend money on a new set of flannel sheets. These beautiful sheets adorned with bouquets of roses (very Victorian!) were given to us one Christmas by my husband’s grandmother. We’ve had them for over 20 years. Granted, we don’t use them all winter here. Most winters it’s two or three weeks, max. But when we’ve needed them, I’ve loved them. And now I must replace them.

We’ll muddle through, find an acceptable substitute for a decent price (even in replacing things my frugality reigns supreme!), but I’ll hate it. It will take years for those new sheets to feel like mine. And I guess that’s the crux of my frugality in terms of replacing things—a sentimental attachment, a sense of belonging. Unfortunately for both my sentiment and my pocketbook, we have many, many everyday items that are reaching the end of their very long lives. I have a feeling I’d better get used to some change.

Besides antiques, do you have anything you use on a regular basis that is over twenty years old? (Like my blender and my pots and pans, both received as wedding gifts almost 24 years ago?) Will you mourn at its end or rejoice? What kinds of items do you hold on to until they die?


C. Alvarez said...

I have a few items that were my grandmother's. Her sewing machine for one. My grandmother made every bit of her clothing, and though I'm fair at sewing myself. Part of me is afraid to touch her machine because I just KNOW it will decide to die when I do. On the other hand, NOT using it may kill it, so it's a bit of a quandary.

I also have an oil lamp that is very old from her. It only gets used when the power is out.

Niki Turner said...

My daughter was over the other night and it occurred to me just how long we have had many of our household things. She'll be 20 in March, and from her perspective some of the things we inherited from our parents and grandparents are older than dirt! I have my mother's sewing box, and my husband's grandmother's ironing board. To me they are things I use and would miss, but to my kids, they represent home and family.

Anne Mateer said...

I love stuff the stuff I have that belonged to my grandparents, too, C. and Niki. I have one grandmother's sewing cabinet (but not her machine), one grandmother's dining room set, and a cedar chest from each. I wonder what of mine will still be around through my kids and grandkids! (Obviously not my flowery flannel sheets.)