Thursday, April 4, 2013

Darn your socks

My childhood was spent growing up in a three generation household. My grandmother, on my mother's side, lived with us. I was named after that grandmother's husband, my grandfather, and he died a few weeks before I was borne. Despite the fact I had never met him, his wisdom was prevalent throughout my upbringing. This particular set of grandparents grew up through their early adulthood during the Great Depression. At one point in time, they sold a cow for ten dollars to pay their property taxes and had no meat to eat for the winter.

We always had a garden. Everyone had to tend to it. Picking potato bugs and burning them to listen to them pop was entertainment in the summer. We, the children, received two pairs of jeans per year. School shopping and Christmas. The worst thing to have happen was to rip a hole in them in the first week of school. That meant you had a patch on your jeans until Christmas. My socks were darned when holes appeared. We probably didn't have to do some of these things as a family, however my family valued everything we had. Nothing was wasted. The value of things was lived throughout our lives. To this day, I have a very difficult problem throwing anything away.

I bought a push lawnmower fifteen years ago. Many things have broken on it. I continue to replace parts and fix it despite my children's objections. They want a new lawnmower. I can afford one. That isn't the point. I can fix it, therefore it doesn't need to be replaced. I have told them that I will put it in my will to the one that is least able to fix things. It has become a badge of honor to keep that piece of crap working.

How do we be thankful for what God has given us? I can think of no better way than valuing the things we do have and taking care of them. Not everything is worth repairing or darning. However, you can learn a lot about value while fixing the things God has given you and not just throwing out what you think is broke.


  1. I like to give things away when time comes for a new one. Did that with a car, it was fun.

  2. You are blessed to have the ability and knowledge on how to fix things like that. That's a skill that needs desperately to be passed down generationally.

  3. I was gratified recently when I saw my 19 year old son taping iphone headphones,....a simple thing really. I asked, why since headphones are cheap (well, cheap ones are and his were not anything special) are you taping those? he said "my friends asked me the same thing, I told them my dad always fixes everything, that we should not toss and buy so quickly"

    A good parenting moment.

  4. That's an awesome moment. I've taught RLB Jr. enough about fixing things that I challenge him on things now.

    The kid's sink plunger wasn't working. I told him to fix it by looking at the plunger on a sink that was working and compare them. He did and fixed it in five minutes. The pride on his face was great to see.

    1. We've been trying to teach our kids this as well, although not having as much knowledge ourselves, it makes it... interesting :) My oldest is very mechanical though, and thankfully does well with most things.

  5. The girls and I have gotten a project underway of turning our old clothes into dog beds. The three of us are beginners at sewing. This should give us plenty of practice making stuffed patchwork quilts that I'm sure the dogs will love.

    The girls have convinced me that RLB's nasty cat needs one too.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.