Posts Tagged With: Old

Built to last

We’ve all said, or at least heard that, “they don’t build ’em like they used to.” In many cases, that is completely true. Products today often have a ‘planned obsolescence,’ meaning they things are meant to breakdown so that they must be replaced.

In days gone by, things were build to last. Today people are too poor to buy high quality items, people used to be too poor to waste money on cheap items.

This house pictured is called Grassmere, it was built in the early 1800’s. It has survived droughts, storms, the Civil War, financial problems, and recently… The Nashville Floods. It is around 90% original, a very impressive feat.

One thing that we need to remember, is that we are built to last. We’re not built to be replaced. Grow, improve, become more than we are… Yes, but not replaced.

Like any well built item, we have a purpose; Something we are designed to do. We are also not easily broken. We can last. We can succeed, we can persevere.

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Patina

Old F2The last post talked about old things being cool again. They are. A while back, a picture of this truck accompanied an entry on being out of place. Today we talk about patina.

Just in case you aren’t aware, the patina is defined as: “a surface appearance of something grown beautiful especially with age or use” -Merriam-Webster

In my opinion, the patina on this old Ford is both beautiful and tragic. Beautiful in an old timey, remember your past sort of way, but tragic in the fact that it was left to rot. That such a beautiful old truck could be left to its own devices.

Don’t worry, I’m not just writing about a truck. Because you and I both have a patina, too. We have bumps and scrapes, dents and ding, even a few rust spots. Yet, we keep can keep going. We can still be useful and serve a purpose, even with our problems.

You see, I know more about this old truck than you probably do (unless you’re family reading this). It’s a 1951 Ford F-2, and it’s nearly complete. The engine is there, all the interior parts are in tact. If you look closely, you can even see there are still bulbs in the tail-lights. The point is, everything that made it work is still there. It needs some work, but it’s there.

You and I are the same way. We may have problems. We may have even broken down, but our parts are still there. The things that we need to keep moving forward are still in place, we just need to do some restoration. It can be hard work to bring a rusty classic back up to showroom quality, but it can be done. If you’re willing to put forth the effort, you can do the implausible.

Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re too old, too young, too broken, too hurt, too impossibly optimistic. Because, we can all be restored.

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Everything old is cool again.

There’s been a style trend lately of making new things look old. Giving a patina to a new lamp so it looks like your grandfather owned it, or beating up a perfectly good piece of furniture so that it no longer looks like a perfectly good piece of furniture.

While that does happen here in the South, we also have our share of actual old things, not just re-creations.
Sometimes, however, even those need a little help.

I find the lamp in this picture to be beautiful. From what I understand it was left in a barn for the past thirty-something years. Then a kid in one of my classes gave it to me (we were trying to film at the time and needed some lighting). Because of it’s age and condition we promptly shorted out the socket and left it sitting in my room.

I got a wild notion the other day that this lamp would look really cool hanging over my desk, but I refused to put an Compact Florescent Bulb or a Light Emitting Diode in it. Even a regular light bulb wouldn’t look right. So, I invested in a new ceramic socket, wired it up using the original plug wire, and got it working again. The bulb, though, was the main event. It could make or break this lamp, either create an ugly combination of modern and vintage or truly shine out in all its glory.

An Edison bulb was obviously the only way to go. They have a really bright coil, but don’t put out much light. Basically, looking like the bulbs first invented by Thomas Edison (go figure).

I couldn’t be happier with the hanging lamp. Lots of dents, dings, blemishes, stains and filled with outdated technology. Kind of reminds me of myself.

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Out of Place

Have you ever seen something that didn’t look like it belonged, something that just seemed out of place in the situation it was in?

Like an old truck in the middle of the woods or an airplane that has crashed under the water. When we first look at these things, they seem odd, as if they shouldn’t even exist. However, if we look a bit closer, we start to see a beauty in the oddity. Something in the juxtaposition that makes us think.

Our lives are like that sometimes. We end up in places we don’t plan to be or with people we never expected to meet. Yet, this is often exactly where we are needed.

Take a look at where you are (not literally, in your life). Is it what you expected? What you planned? Or is it something so much more wonderful because it is what you needed rather than what you wanted?

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