Many of us grew up hearing that old adage,

Use it up

Wear it out

Make it do

Or do without

And that is the reason there are so many old homes in Maine that are stuffed to the gills with the belongings of several generations. We who grew up with “practical savers” can tell you stories of the things to be found in parents’ or grandparents’ homes that defy reason.

I can remember my mother helping one of her cousins pack up her home to move. I was a young child, but neither my mother or her cousin thought it strange that her wringer washing machine, in the kitchen corner, was used to store the leftover waxed paper wrappings from her husband’s lunchbox. This had nothing to do with recycling and everything to do with not throwing anything away. Other than that the home was reasonably tidy.

Many decades later my husband and his sisters helped their parents empty a family home and move into a senior community. It took many  visits to accomplish the job because, to his parents, nothing was considered worthy of being thrown out, but should go home with one of us.


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