...and crafting a purposeful recovery

Old and in the Way*

As I near the home stretch on Sparta’s restoration I do find myself cutting corners. These shortcuts are driven by cost, speed and an almost obsessive desire to reuse old parts. The cost and haste motives are pretty easy to explain, but the determination to bring back to life things that might best be retired is more complex. Take these hinges, for example:

reusing all the old cabinet hinges

Obviously they had to be removed. But why save them? They were dirty, bent and seized with time to the point where buying new, better-looking ones might have been the wiser choice. But no. I soaked them in TSP, scraped off old varnish, bent them back into shape and liberally applied WD-30. Hell, I even saved the old brass screws. One could easily argue that this was not a time-saving step. So why?

I mentioned in a old post my fear of aging (more than dying, really) and it has to do with infirmity, pain (which I feel more of every day) and, most of all, a quiet passing from the scene. A drifting into irrelevance. I am starting to hear those awful verbs applied to older people. I don’t work – I tinker. I don’t apply myself vigorously – I putter around. I don’t walk with determination – I amble. Shit! When did this all start?

So when I salvage old stuff – even something as insignificant as a hinge – I am actually just saying, “older things matter”. They are useful, have stood the test of time and they deserve a new life. Corny right?

In an age where even Walmart has abandon the familiar “greeter” (once considered the last sure thing for an elderly person seeking employment), I feel good about using this old stuff. Here are other examples:

Plastic wood goop
Glob lt on and sand it down
Yeah, OK, not the best looking but filled with character
Just awaiting hinges and knobs
Drawers ready for Senior Corps

*just one of the biggest selling Bluegrass albums of all time

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