I tend to keep things well past their expiration date. I’m not talking food, but objects, inanimate objects. Long after most people would consider the item useless and toss it in the trash, I hold on to it. For instance, my boots have major holes in them, as do my work gloves, jeans, and even some of my shirts. My hat is dilapidated and badly deformed. But, all these things still work so I keep them. To some people, I’m a frugal cheapskate. I prefer to think of it as getting my money’s worth. Prices are high, things are expensive, and I can’t justify spending more money until the item in question is completely worn out. This extends to bigger items as well. My last pickup, I had for over 17 years. And tires? I run those until there is no tread. And by no tread, I mean the tires would qualify for racing slicks.
Besides all this, I’m a bit sentimental; I don’t like to part with anything that I’ve decided has any amount of sentimental value, especially when that something has to do with my children. So, it came as a shock, even to me, when I actually threw away a wooden sink/stove - with cabinets play set that my girls had. It had been through a lot, was falling apart, the boards warped and busted. I’d pieced it back together several times but finally, I decided it was too far gone to save.
I disassembled the broken toy and carried it out to the burning barrel. But then, looking out the window, something wouldn’t let me go through with destroying it. Retrieving the pieces and laying them in the garage, I made a quick trip to the lumberyard. After spending a few dollars, I returned home, armed with my new boards. A couple of days later, I’d rebuilt the sink/stove.
My wife thought I’d really lost it. “Just throw it away,” she said. But she didn’t see the look in both of my daughter’s eyes when I presented the refurbished play set!
That was over fifteen years ago and sadly, the play set again fell into disrepair – a casualty of many hours of play. But, this time, in keeping with my personal tradition of keeping things long past their expiration date, I didn’t throw it away. Instead, I stored all the boards in the shed out back. And it just may be time to make another trip to the lumberyard. My grandkids might like to play with it!