Recently, we had quite the generational battle in my family. We decided to renovate my Dad’s tiny little cottage house somewhere in Georgia. He used it for his getaways when he needed a break from life, but now, as my sister has children on her own…she wants to take them there, have them live in the wild, learn how nature works and expose them to other beautiful crude facts of life.
And so, the idea of renovating came about. Let’s turn Dad’s old, shabby cottage into a family den! I believe he hasn’t touched the inside for roughly 40 years…. the rugs were used up and damp, the walls have been crying for a layer of paint. The closets, drawers and other furniture was wobbly and almost shivered under the weight of Dad’s fishing/hunting gear and tools. For my youngest niece, walking into the place caused an immediate allergic reaction to dust. We knew it was a big undertaking, but my sister desperately wanted this. Little did we know, the easiest part would be loading up the broken things. For the fight began with things that were still sort of-kind of-just barely useful and looked terrible.
Our Dad started arguing how wasteful we were and that just because something is old and broken, it does not mean it cannot be repaired. Yada yada yada. The whole afternoon became about us, the young and wasteful generation which buys things when they break down instead of fixing them. He fought for every chair, every dresser, every drawer, every table. And I get it, I do. I am “old-school”, if you will, and all about savings things and fixing them up- but only if they still look somewhat presentable. But things that are on the verge of collapsing and possibly hurting someone? Shouldn’t we retire old furniture too? At what point do we acknowledge nothing is meant to be used forever?