Our 70 year old coffee percolator seemed to be on its last legs the other day (still works, though, as long as you jiggle the electric connection just so) and I got to thinking about living with the old things again.
Yeah, we still do. The house is old (c. 1900), and most of the stuff we have inside is old as well. So are we, both Ms. Ché and I now 70 ourselves. The car is ten years old (and supposedly needs a new engine thanks to extreme oil consumption, but that's another issue for another time.) The van is more than 20 years old and is decrepit, but it runs and transports things just fine, so we keep it though there have been many offers to buy it from passers-by who want an Astro van (who wouldn't?)
Most of what's in the house is old, from the Philco radio (c. 1942), to the "Downton Abbey"-ish floor lamp (c. 1930), to the high back chair (c. 1880). We kept our California neighbor Joe Francis's easy chair (c. 1940) after he died, though the Pickles (other neighbors who took care of Joe until they put him in a home) wanted to take it to the dump. Looking around the room, the only things that aren't old are the couch (c. 2015), the TeeVee (c. 2014) and a shelf unit and a small table I picked up for my meds last year. Oh, and some books and magazines. Always books and magazines!
Living with the old stuff is comforting in many ways, but it requires a certain level of constant care to keep the old things decent condition and I couldn't do much of anything those several years I was pretty much incapacitated with RA.
Then you wonder: should we just get rid of it?
Like people, stuff deteriorates over time. Especially in the dry and dusty air of our current home in New Mexico. We don't require utility from things, but I know that some of the older books (and we have many of those) have reached the point of disintegration. They look fine as long as you don't open them. If you do, the pages may crumble away to dust.
Now that the treatment I'm having for RA seems to be working, I can do more things -- yay! -- but I'm still limited, and under the circumstances, it's wise for us to consider eliminating the unnecessary old things we've lived with for so many years.
That won't be easy.