"Well, let me see . . . the freezer bowl, yup, it's obsolete, ma'am."
I asked if the operator knew where else to look for a replacement bowl for my ten year old ice cream maker but held little hope. I'd spent the past two days combing the Internet for a new life for my neglected friend. She did not, though, and this appeared to be the end of the road.
Days before, the zipper on my son's Spiderman hoodie broke. "You'd need to replace the entire zipper," my mom reported, examining the damage. She was right. What does a new zipper cost - even assuming I owned a sewing machine and knew how to use it? I'm not Burbanmom after all. The sweatshirt was only $2.00 at a local thrift shop and I am trying to move away from media characters. It seemed that the sweatshirt's useful life had expired as well.
When visiting a friend, I noticed that her 1970's bathroom had a window to the outdoors with slats that cranked open. I noted, with some amazement, that folks used to rely on design rather than electricity to dissipate shower steam. "Yeah, the bathroom is really outdated," my friend responded.
Were these things really obsolete? Beyond repair? Outmoded?
Decades ago, people utilized shade trees and ice cold drinks on a wrap around porch to cool them in the summer. They cozied around a wood burning stove for dinner and companionship in the winter. Is that life bygone? I'm not so sure. As the adage goes, everything old is new again. "Green building" has seen a resurgence in the use of design to forego energy usage for home temperature management. "Natural conditioning" and "passive cooling and heating" are the sustainable architect's commandments. Those words sound a lot like a tall glass of fresh squeezed lemonade and a porch swing to me.
A broken zipper? That too is easily remedied. It turns out there's something called a tailor and even an independent one located in my down town. Sure, it would cost less, in terms of dollars, to throw out a sweatshirt with a busted zipper. The thrift store would even offer up an inexpensive, guilt free replacement.
Ultimately, I just cannot do that. You see, I am not leading an obsolete life. I have given up the twentieth century mores that regard such items as garbage, that consider my trash can, the garage collector's truck, the landfill the logical resting place for anything broken, out of fashion, antiquated, or obsolete.
Even planned obsolescence cannot get the better of me. My ice cream maker would not become landfill fodder merely because some manufacturer deemed it so. No. For every problem, there is a solution and, many times, that solution is Ebay. I located an identical ice cream maker, missing a few pieces but including the freezer bowl and, for a small fee plus shipping, I'll be eating homemade ice cream this spring. Not so bygone, after all.