Thursday, May 17, 2012


Our land-line phones -- great phones we bought in Malibu 15 years ago -- they've got all kinds of buttons, with names and numbers of important friends and services.

BUT -- the names and numbers aren't current. The phone instructions tells us how to erase and insert new data, but the buttons are sticky. I've sprayed them with blow dust-remover stuff (for fixing keyboard keys) but our six Malibu phones continue to have seriously sticky keys.

Our super pots -- great pots that don't need scrubbing.-- didn't for the first 10 years, but now, well, I am a sloppy pot scrubber. My husband, JC, who is a super-thorough pot scrubber, suggests that we need new pots.

Golly, ours are a perfect size, and they've got covers . Bed & Bath pots like ours will cost at least $400 -- ours cost $200 about 20 years ago. Sure, we could use new ones, but gee, we're managing okay with what we've got.

Rugs -- a 24 x 40 braided rug is in our 5th floor bedroom.

When I was pregnant, I bought the rug it to cover my dance studio floor, and converted the 5th floor studio into marvelous living room. A year later, when I went back to dancing, we took over the 4th floor, the one below ours, and turned it into offices and our studio theater. We renovated our upstairs home, so that our son would have his own room -- desk and shelves and all that stuff a boy child needs. That's how the huge braided rug landed in our bedroom.

Well, the rug is in its forties. Whenever it's vacuumed, the braid has to be pushed or stomped down , sometimes sewn, sometimes glued. We need to roll it up and dispose of it but ... . Gee, I love that rug. I'm attached to its memories.

Brown couch -- the velvet sectional couch in the red, orange, and brown room, where we film our videos -- the four pieces look great -- they're fine for short-legged, small folks, but uncomfortable for average-size folks with average-length legs. The couches don't need repairs, however we just don't sit on them.

But gee -- I don't want to shop for new couches. What a chore, getting something that fits and looks as great as the old ones do. It makes more sense to live with what we have.

Other things -- I need new glasses -- eyes are weaker -- I'm making errors even when I enlarge the text my computer screen. And the rest of me -- hair, teeth, skin, hands, knees, and innards. -- I'm okay but I ought to be, watching -- noting any changes in breathing, coughing, itching, and ... oh dear, bathroom habits... oh dear...

No point in listing specifics. I see that fixing what is wearing out has more to do with aspects of me that are wearing out then pots, phones, rugs, couches and ... Oh dear, I forgot -- books!

Our bookshelves are jammed with half-read, boring books, and favorite dear old ones with broken-backs and torn pages. What do you do with old books?

What do you do with your aging, oldering, wearing out self?


Peggy Bechko said...

Love life! Cherish the things that are dear to you - pass along things that are usable & you don't want to keep to others who can use them and dispose of what no longer works! A plan, and one I've tried always to stick to. As to the 'oldering' me, it'll pretty much take care of itself; my mother and grandmother were in their 90's, my great-great-grandmother over 100 - I'm with them! Avoid worrying, it adds years and focus to one's life. -- Great post Em, may it cause people to think...

Anonymous said...

How can one throw away old precious memories? We have kept some things that are of no use now but mean alot to us. I have kept stamps that my father started years ago and I took over the saving of them. Someday, I will spend hours and days again going over and cataloging them. As far as my body is concerned-I am worn out but not done yet! Lol! kam

Ameer S. Washington said...

I say as long as they are of use, don't spell, or look horrible, keep it around.

But even in my youth, I still keep things that are 5 and even 10 years old that I never use. I decide once a year that I'm going to clean up and get rid of things and I do, but there are always those things that I keep. I think, I might need that, I know what I can use that for if, or I just love that think. Like you said it's the memories attached to the item that make you stick it in a closet or a box. Even when you should put it up for sale in a yard or on ebay.

About aging, well, I just pray I can do that gracefully.

Awesome post.

MikesFilmTalk said...

My second wife and I got some glass cookware when we got married. Oddly enough, when the cookware got so worn out we could not use it any longer, our marriage died. Amazingly the cookware worked great for over twenty-seven years. The same could not be said for our relationship.

I guess what I am trying to convey with my flippant tone is that when some things get worn to such an extent that they no longer work they need to be thrown away. *on a side note, I just noticed that was the longest sentence I have ever written*

But...But...I have a lot of things that were bought years ago. I have that "pack-rat" mentality that says,"DON'T throw that away! The minute you do, you'll discover you really needed it!" This excuse enables me to hold on to a lot of worn out things that no longer work. Luckily I have a big attic and a garden shed to keep these things in.

Nice blog as usual Ms Em!

Carola said...

Good luck finding a new land-line phone that is as high quality as the old one. Our new land-line phones have the same sound quality as cell-phones--bad. But we're glad to have a land-line. In a 6 day power outage, we were the only ones with dependable phone service.
As for the books, I am slowly downsizing. I am giving books little by little to the Library for their book-sale.

Linda Phillips said...

When my phones break, I buy new ones. After all I have to use them all of the time. My furniture is another story. Its old, but it still looks good. Yes there are a few things that are showing wear, but at this point in my life, I don't mind.

I am a hoarder of books. I guess most people are. Even if I never look at them again, it is still a part of a time in my life.

I guess everyone has their priorities as well as budgets. I replace things that I absolutely need to replace in order to function.

My body is aging of course. All of our bodies are. I am very good at seeing my doctors and dentist. I need to keep this body going and neglecting it could lead to trouble.

Anonymous said...

Interesting topic, Em. Your home sounds like a fascinating place.

Like Linda Phillips, I have no problem replacing and discarding phones, computers, etc.―things that are disposable in nature. But then there are things of substance…

I can't ever bring myself to sell a car or truck that was good to me―I just take them out to the farm and park them in a barn. There's Hazel―an 86 BMW 635―and then there's Gladys, an old Chevy pickup, both of whom served me well for a long time.

And then there's the hassock from Montgomery Ward―one of the first pieces of furniture I ever bought. The cheap vinyl covering was gone in just a few years, but I eventually found a veal calfskin that fit and sewed a new cover for it. Still rest my feet on it most every day.

You opened a can of worms with that one Em.

Keep up the good work.

Maureen Jacobs said...

My cookware was purchased by my mother 40 years ago. The Farberware looks as good as new and I dare not purchase another set.

My stuff that gets old and perhaps unusable is recycled and/ or donated. Someone can surely use something until they can buy something else or save the money up for a better new thing.

Many of our items are repurposed for other things. I don't have much clutter, but the items we have are usable, beautiful, and cherished. My boys fight over my 20 year old quilt, it has flowers on it!!!!!! They like it because it is well worn and so very soft.

I have my mother's sewing machine from the 70s that works, but haven't quite got the hang of it.

Furniture would be a treat for us as ours is 10 years old. I do have to say that my 40 year old pots and pans have fared better though.

Refinishing wood furniture is one of my favourite pastimes. I could actually do it for a living. It is so relaxing and I sure wished more people would save their items instead of disposing them so nonchalantly. Things are no longer made like they used to be and things fall apart and break so much faster. I just squeeze the life out of everything for practical reasons and just a bit of sentiment.

Maureen Jacobs said...

Ooooooppppps. Books.

I have books from the late 1800s, early 1900 that I will not part with. One of them happens to be second edition Huck Finn. Books are irreplaceable. Hold on to them. Otherwise, donate them to folks in the military, nursing homes, senior centers, and/or churches. Make someone smile

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