Friday, August 27, 2004

440 They don't make things like they used to--Thank Goodness!

Our neighbor Jack just stopped by and gave us $20 for our wicker chair we bought in 1989. We had put a price tag of $25 on it and had planned to put it in the yard this morning. He's also a client, so we cut a deal. It was part of a 4 piece set we bought 15 years ago for $200. Last night we bought a very nice resin white rocker for the porch and needed to make some room.

This cottage (actually a house built in 1943 with hvac and plaster walls, but it is customary here to refer to a second home as a "cottage") was my first opportunity to decorate something with a "theme" or unified color scheme. We chose the colors cream, light blue and pink/mauve; blue carpeting, and coordinated wallpaper borders throughout--sandpipers in the kitchen, geese in the master bedroom, light houses in the guest room, and nautical things in the bath. The basics of furniture came with the house--desk, couch, bookcase, kitchen table/4 chairs, 1 bedroom suite, and a nice 1930s cedar chest.

It was fun to go to the hardward store in Marblehead and buy things for the kitchen and bath. I bought blue plastic dishpan and dish drainer and mat, a blue plastic tall wastebasket, a blue plastic laundry basket, some small table lamps in blue and cream ($9 ea.), miscellaneous kitchen utensils like knives, forks, salad tongs, scissors, a canister set in blue, etc. There was no Wal-Mart around (I don't think I'd ever heard of it), so I went to a Kresge's in Sandusky and bought valances and bedspreads, and inexpensive,thin towels (dry faster in damp air). I had the fun part; my husband had the hard stuff like preparing, patching and painting the walls and woodwork, left unattended for 40 years and quite dirty.

This is our 16th summer here. I look around and all the cheapo plastic stuff and bargain basement linens are still being used and have held their color. True, the cottage doesn't get used 365 days of the year, but it all has had heavy use.

One item they truly don't make any more the way they used to is light bulbs. We found some light bulbs in a box when we moved in. One bulb we inserted in a floor lamp in 1988 is still working.

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