If It Ain't Broke


If I had known I was going to use something for the rest of my life, I would have bought better stuff. I think about that every time I use the bread knife that I bought in 1971 from Bonanza 88. Bonanza was a version of a dollar store in the days of 'dime stores.' When I was a waitress, I bought a lot of stuff there.

I also have a set of cheap plastic bowls that I've used for everything all the time for the last thirty years. Those were the days when plastic was sneered at, so of course I thought of them as temporary. I never upgraded. I use them every day.

Sometimes cheap stuff works better than expensive stuff. Like my hundred dollar lawn mower. When we bought the house, I bought the cheapest lawn mower available and didn't feel bad about running it over rocks and tree roots. After five years, I figured I got my money's worth out of it. Besides the blade needed sharpening.

I replaced it with another hundred dollar lawn mower. If it only lasted five years, great. No need to change the oil. I gave the old one to Nate, who was just eighteen years old at the time.

He was thirty six the year the second mower rusted through so badly that I decided to give it away. I left it on the road with a 'free' sign on it. It was gone within hours in spite of the hole in the housing that spewed more grass out than was caught in the bag. I never did change the oil, just topped it off from year to year.

In 1979, I got Mom and Dad's old dining room table and chairs when they were done with the second hand set. I stripped the old varnish and gave them a beautiful new finish. But again, I'm sitting on a chair that just never gives me an excuse to buy a new set. Now we have added Jerry's parents old table. I don't like it, but it has sentimental value for him. Maybe I'll give it to Ryanne when she starts out on her own.

She'll have to get her own knife and bowls though.

Nancy Sherer



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