Being a ‘Baby Boomer’ – well, to be honest, a PRE-Baby Boomer, I was born into a time where commodities of all sorts were scarce. The parents and grandparents of my childhood valued every little thing. They saved string – and so did I. And, so do I still, whenever it appears!
Socks were darned, shoes were mended with something called Kromehide (anyone remember that great smell?). Leather shoes were also polished every day, not only to make them look good, but to preserve them and help them be water proof - and, therefore to last.
Brown paper was saved for parcelling up things. Many goods that had been bought at the hardware store – or even a clothing shop – were wrapped in brown paper and TIED WITH STRING…by a person who served you. Can you believe it?
So, string was saved, brown paper was saved and so were rubber bands. The picture accompanying this post shows the latest rubber band collection that lives and thrives in a bottom drawer in my kitchen. (Incidentally, the container is a recycled hand cream tub).
There are also little saved knots of string in my kitchen drawer and carefully folded sheets of brown paper in the cupboard.
Rubber bands now arrive at our place regularly: around local weekly newspapers, weekend newspapers and bundles of sales catalogues.
But rubber bands seldom leave this house. They just congregate in the container, waiting to be of use. But that doesn’t happen very often.
So, what do we do with theses excess rubber bands? I guess most people throw them out…but I can’t bear to do that. Can’t bear to see the waste of a good thing! (Rubber bands were previously such a necessity, as well as being quite scarce, that sometimes we actually had to buy them!).
Yesterday I mended a bath mat. Does anyone else ever do such a thing?
Does anyone mend or repair anything any more?
Earlier this year I repaired a 50 year-old teddy bear. Once the holes were sewn over and patched I bought it a new outfit in the baby-wear section of the local op shop. Does this make me crazy?
Socks that are too far gone to be darned I cut up in a spiral pattern to make into stretchy ties for growing tomato plants.
I save the end drops of liquid hand wash (watered down) to use for hand-washing of ‘delicates’.
I am frugal in other ways: I collect the seeds from my flowering plants to scatter in the garden the following season.
Frugality is my middle name and I learned the habit from the previous generations who really did value everything.
No, I don’t save the fat off the roast lamb and use it as spread, so I guess I have progressed into the modern age somewhat.
But am I crazy to be saving rubber bands that more than likely will never be re-used?
Is frugality a thing of the past?
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.