Everything Old Is New Again

Reader Contribution by Brent And Leanna Alderman Sterste
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We recently have become the proud owners of a 1950s, metal-topped farmhouse table with carved wooden legs and 4 matching wooden chairs. We bought it off of craigslist for $50. The whole experience was made even more endearing by picking it up in a barn at a local maple farm where the owner and all of her kin had gathered to reminisce about their childhoods spent around the table in their mother’s kitchen.

Brent had recently cashed in a savings bond, which had spent 30 years maturing. So he had put a lot of thought into what to buy. It just seemed wrong to spend money that had been around that long on a dvd player that would be out of date in a few months. He was craving something more permanent. So he finally ended up with a soil blocker from Johnny’s and this farmhouse table.

It seems that all around us, there is this stirring to reconnect with something we’ve lost in our plugged-in, technology-saturated generation. NPR was recently playing letters from listeners about their experience living in these hard times. One from an antiques dealer was surprising. He said that since this recession started, his business has been up by 30%. I read a similar story in the local newspaper a few days later. It said that visitors to Old Sturbridge Village, a living history museum in Massachusetts, were also up by over 30%. It seems that people are looking for things that hearken back to simpler times and looking for things that last. I recognize this same urge in myself – this solace in old-fashioned things, in baking bread, and planting seeds. I find myself wanting to reconnect with a time before everything was instant and disposable.

Despite all the dire predictions and our house being “under water,” we are finding a weird pleasure in the recession. Our efforts to simplify and learn some old-fashioned skills have had a strange effect on us. We find we’re turning off the television more and finding we enjoy making and doing more than just consuming. Is anyone else experiencing this during the recession? What kind of old-fashioned things do you find yourself doing? Have you been enjoying it?

– LeAnna

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