Most people of my generation grew up with parents who survived The Great Depression.Â Many of these people learned the true value of frugality firsthand.Â Being frugal is now in vogue again after a few decades of excessive living and spending.
My mother-in-law is the poster child for living a frugal lifestyle.Â While we have joked about her re-using Christmas wrapping paper year after year; washing and reusing plastic baggies, utensils, and food containers; and still having the original boxes for many of her children’s long gone toys; I have to say that many of her frugal ways have rubbed off on us.Â That has worked out well for us as we raised 5 kids (and recently added a 6th).
She has slowly started to go through many of her “old” things and is working on getting them cleaned out of her house.
1953 International Harvester Refrigerator.
This refrigerator was older than me.Â It still worked.Â She still had the original paperwork with the date purchased noted on it.Â I didn’t even know that International Harvester manufactured refrigerators.
I did a little bit of research and found out that many of these are still around and, other than needing to be defrosted periodically, seem to be able to run forever.Â I also found out that it might have been worth a little more than the $35 she was paid by the utility company who hauled it away.Â I do know that her utility bills should be lower!
Old Man and the Sea clock.
After discussing the merits of getting rid of this old beast of a refrigerator, my mother-in-law mentioned to my husband that the clock he had given her many years ago had stopped working.Â Many people would have just thrown it out.Â But my husband brought it home and fixed it for her.Â After all, it was a gift to her from him, and it holds sentimental value.
I would like to say that he gave it to her because he is an Ernest Hemingway fan or that he has a love for the sea (even though he has lived his entire life smack dab in the middle of the country nowhere near an ocean), but that would be a lie.Â He probably was just a little boy who saw a neat looking clock and thought it would be a nice gift for his mom.Â Not that she has anything nautical in her home whatsoever.Â And I don’t think she’s a Hemingway fan either.
That’s what makes it kind of a cute story, doesn’t it?