Joy in giving new life to gently used appliances and furniture
Published 01/02/2014 12:00 AM
Updated 12/30/2013 03:04 PM
After the power outages following Hurricane Gloria, an entire summer season of frozen tomato sauce succumbed to nothing more than dozens of bags of red water in that freezer. It stopped working shortly after Bush, the son, took office. We always meant to have it repaired and even moved it to our new home 10 years ago, but sadly it's become a repository of fix-it good intentions.
Next to the dead freezer is a 35-year-old beer-fridge we got when my sister-in-law's mother passed away. It's a side-by-side and the narrow freezer compartment has provided us the space we have occasionally needed after forays to BJ's to stockpile and save money. The fridge part has served us well during numerous family get-togethers, as a place to store platters and drinks. That behemoth still works but because we're down to a household of two, we often give it a rest and only use the brushed stainless trend-setter in our kitchen. Plugging in the old one would be like resuscitating prohibition, it's possible but cruel.
Recently, when my husband's sister purchased matching appliances for her beautiful new home in Waterford, we got her old fridge (which is actually quite new). It's stored at her house until we get rid of the well-insulated metal armoires we have in our basement. Just getting the two huge appliances out will be a chore left to son-in-laws with strong backs and an affinity for cold beer. I'm told it will cost us $20 to drop them off at the transfer station. It will be money well spent considering the space we gain for our new/old fridge which is now taking up a parking space in my sister-in-law's garage.
Not only do I have four fridges, I have four couches, too. Two new ones in our living room and a loveseat and a sleeper in a spare bedroom. The sleeper belonged to my daughter; she got our two old couches and the loveseat was part of a set which belonged to my mother.
I was with my mother, (may she rest in furniture showroom heaven), when she bought that set. The four pieces, together or apart, have resided in various dorm rooms and starter apartments until the chair and ottoman finally made it into a big green refuge bin at a local transfer station. The couch is alive and well somewhere in New Haven and the loveseat, dressed in a deep red Bed Bath and Beyond excuse for a slipcover resides in a spare upstairs bedroom. It will probably last forever since no one sits on it.
My kids have eyed my new couches and have stated that they like the color and style. I think they're waiting for the day my new stuff becomes old, I redecorate or downsize. They'll get to fill their own spare bedrooms.
I used to do that with my brother's living room furniture. He'd buy a new set every few years so when he got a delivery, I got his barely used old furniture with the understanding that a few years down the line, his old would be my new again. It's sort of like borrowing from someone else's past, you get to use and enjoy that which has enhanced the life of another.
The kids already know if their fridges die we'll have a really nice spare in the basement they can use, if we can muster the strong backs to get it here. Die, downsize or decorate I like how our family sheds and shares. Enough said.