Tuesday, June 21, 2011

#27... Repair things

Last week, my youngest daughter dropped one of my large cooking pots, a Lagostina Dutch oven that's been with us for a long time, and the handle broke off. I was quite disappointed, as it's a good pot and I wasn't sure that it could be fixed. Looking more closely at it, however, I discovered that the same pot had the same accident befall it so many years ago that I had forgotten about it. My husband had glued the handle back together once before! Being a handy kind of a guy, he bought my pot many more years of faithful service... and on the weekend, he reglued the handle so that I can use it for a long time yet.

So often, when things break or begin to fall apart, it's easy to assume that the only place for them is the landfill. Our society has become such a throw-away entity -- but if we can repair things, we're saving resources that future generations will need. My biggest victory in this regard is our sofa. It was a hand-me-down to start with, and the fabric was frayed and shredded with the wear and tear from three little girls, so when I took a cushion to see if I could get it reupholstered, the fellow at the upholstery place insisted that the foam in the cushions wasn't worth saving because it was yellowing. He suggested that it would cost more to recover the chesterfield (how many words for sofa do you know?) than to get a new one, so I might as well take it to the dump.


I didn't think much of that idea... so I called a seamstress friend of mine. Cristina was delighted to help, and I was delighted with the results. We spent a grand total of $45 on recovering the couch, my husband and I took Cristina and her husband Santo out for a delicious fancy dinner at a classy restaurant (because she wouldn't let me pay her for her work!), and we were still a lot richer than if we had bought a new sofa. Plus we didn't waste a perfectly good one.


If more of us looked at repair and reuse as a challenge, as an art to be cultivated, we'd have the satisfaction of being more self-reliant and less wasteful. I still do a little victory dance about that chesterfield now and then. Self-reliance is worth a lot in my books.

P.S. Enjoy this longest day of the northern year! (Sunrise here 5:04 a.m., sunset 10:07 p.m.!)

P.S. again... Looking for more Simple Suggestions? Try here.

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