My wife and I have an ongoing disagreement about saving things. She forms deep emotional attachments to things, and is inclined to to save anything that could conceivably be useful in the future. I’m more selective about my obsessiveness. I admit to having a soft spot for books, photos and big coffee mugs, but I can give old clothing, seldom-used toys (sorry Woody) and redundant kitchen utensils to charity without even the slightest hesitation. I am inclined to get rid of things that I haven’t used in a while, whereas my wife likes to anticipate what she might need someday and be prepared.
If I had to be stranded in a car in the snow I would want to be in my wife’s car.
Of course, some things are just obviously worth saving. Take a house for example. I found this one on a side-street photo-hunting excursion this morning. The owner was not around, but the workers told me that they had moved this house several blocks to its new location, saving it from destruction.
That takes saving things to a new level. It is a beautiful example of a classic craftsman home. I can’t imagine how much it costs to move a whole house, much less restore it from the ground up. But at the end of the day, this will be where someone spends their life and it will hold all of the little things that they feel are important to save. Soon it will be filled with photos, furniture, clothing, toys, books, music and the hundreds of things that make up a life.
This pile of wood and bricks still has something of value to offer the world, and now it will survive another century or more because someone felt that it was worth saving.