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Vintage and Current: What Will Last?

June 8th, 2019 at 12:19 pm

Yesterday DH and I decided to take the day and go to some out of town antique shops/flea markets and thrift stores.

As I wandered around, one thing that came to mind is all the stuff that has some age to it -- a lot of it was around when I was a kid and some even older, and the fact that most of it is in good shape. I realize a lot of has to do with the fact people didn't damage it, but I also think it has to do with the quality of how it was made. I commented to DH that I bet a lot of the stuff that is cheaply made won't be around and we had a discussion on how this cheap, disposable stuff is really hurting our economy in the long run -- landfills are filling up and people figure why take care of something -- it's just cheaper to buy new. I have a few pieces of furniture that are older than I am. As long as they are taken care of, they will probably be around after I'm gone. I have some dishes that are the same way. I rejoice in using them, but I also take care of them. We have purchased some furniture made by local Amish. That stuff should last awhile as well.

So, here's a list of some things that might be around for awhile:

Blue Willow dishes
well made furniture -- some old, some new
pens -- I use refills
metal crochet hooks
quality pots and pans
decent flatware
Pyrex
glass pitchers

Do you have some things you think will be around and not disposable?

Our shopping wasn't very extensive. We probably spent less then $20 and that included stopping at an A & W and having two frosty mugs of root beer.

Today we went to the library book sale they have each month. I signed up for the library's summer reading club and was given a certificate for a free book. I suggested that DH look for a kid's book since he reads so many to different classes, but he couldn't find anything he wanted. I couldn't find anything I wanted and so we gave the certificate to a retired pastor we knew who was there -- he and his wife are nice folks, but they struggle on making ends meet. I'm sure he will make good use of the coupon.

We also hit our local thrift stores today. Again, not a lot of shopping. I did buy two American flags, not the tiny ones, to have on hand. Each Memorial Day we put a flag on my husband's father's grave and so I have one for the next two years. It was fun looking and at one of them I got to visit with a friend, so it was more of a social gathering than anything.

8 Responses to “Vintage and Current: What Will Last?”

  1. Wink Says:

    I certainly agree that they don't make things to last like they used to! I have a few cookware pieces that were my mom's that are still in excellent shape. Just have to take good care of them.

  2. disneysteve Says:

    You're certainly right. The problem is it has gotten so incredibly cheap to get decent stuff and super expensive to get top quality stuff. For example, you can get a perfectly good mass produced quilt at Target for $20 but a comparable handmade one might be 10-20 times that much. So most people will just buy a Target one and when it wears out, buy another, then another. Even over the course of 30 years, you'll still spend way less than one really good one.

    We have a mix of old/quality and new/inexpensive. We have really good Calphalon cookware that should last forever but we also have some Ikea furniture that I don't think you'll ever see in an antique store.

  3. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    I was at a thrift store today, where I often take note of how the quality is reflected in the age of the article. I saw a man who, like you, was buying an American flag. It was nylon and see-through. The features were printed on. Made me think how, when my mother died, my sister brought me the American flag that had hung on our carport when we were children. I was blown away by the quality of that flag when I saw it again. It is very, very heavy cotton. Each stripe was individually hemmed before it was sewn to the next stripe. The stars were individually formed and appliqued to the blue field. The side of the flag that tethers to the rope was reinforced with some kind of even heavier belting. That flag is probably 65+ years old and has another 65 years left in it.

  4. CB in the City Says:

    On the same note, I remember when I was a bride and I registered for fine china as a matter of course. The thinking then was that it was an investment and would be a future family heirloom. That set now belongs to my ex (who never uses it) and it will go down to one of the kids, but I wonder if either of them really wants it. At thrift shops, I see whole sets of fine china that just sit there. No one is interested. Everyone is using casual dinnerware, or paper plates, I guess! And I suppose no one is having formal dinner parties. I just find it interesting that something that was so important in my youth has gone by the wayside in my lifetime.

  5. disneysteve Says:

    Joan, I have an old flag like that (though it only has 48 stars). Good luck finding a new one, and if you do, the price would be way more than most people are willing to pay when you can get a perfectly serviceable one for a few dollars.

    CB, same here with both china and crystal. My wife actually decided a couple of years ago to start using ours more often rather than having it packed away in the basement. She uses the crystal wine glasses regularly now and we've used the china a couple of times for holiday dinners. Nobody wants that stuff anymore. Society is much more casual. And honestly, I'd rather use Corelle that is virtually unbreakable and can go in the dishwasher. Who wants to stand there and hand wash all of the crystal and china?

  6. james.hendrickson Says:

    Great point! One thing I would add to this list is good quality family silver. We have several dishes, a milk container and coffeepot. They're all plated silver, which isn't as good as real silver, but if we take care of the items they'll be around in 50 or 60 years.

  7. rob62521 Says:

    It's sad that so few people use lovely dishes. I have some every day blue willow I use that can be put in the dishwasher and then I have some fancier stuff that cannot. I try to use it every so often because I might as well enjoy it.

  8. disneysteve Says:

    James, silver is another good example. Who wants to be polishing silver regularly? We have our family's old silver flatware and we used it for a few years for special occasions after we got married. Then we said the hell with it and bought a set of good quality stainless that doesn't need polishing and goes in the dishwasher. We still have the silver but probably haven't used it in 10+ years. And I'm sure my daughter has no desire to inherit it. We really ought to sell it at some point.

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