They Really Don’t Make Things Like They Used To, Do They

Yeah, we hear that all the time, don’t we. Or, at my age, we say that all the time. Things don’t last. Everything seems to be the fad of the moment. Planned obsolescence.

My parents used the same telephones for, oh, maybe thirty years. You used things until they wore out or broke down.

Almost everything in our house now is something timeless and durable, from my parents’ or my grandparents’ time.

The desk where I sit to write (and play computer games, and watch videos, and listen to music and read e-mails) was one of the first pieces of furniture that my parents purchased after they married. If there’s a tornado, I should probably sit in the kneehole; it’s pretty solid.

I’ve been working on a writing assignment, and there were just lots of pieces of paper, with plans, and information, and a notebook, but I needed to have stuff more spread out. The small library dictionary table (where the paper cutter usually stays) just wasn’t spacious enough. I kept having to pick up the pile, shuffle through it, put what I needed on top of the pile, then, within minutes, need something else, shuffled through the papers, finding what I needed, and so on. And so on.

“I need a table, or chairs, or something…” I started to walk around the house, and walking by the hall closet, remembered. At the back of the closet, not exactly easy to get to, but not impossible, was the old card table.

Lots of parties, lots of game nights, lots of overflow seating for extra family and friends.

The new card table was round and had matching chairs. Mother got them with Green Stamps.

The new card table was round and had matching chairs. Mother got them with Green Stamps.

Mother and Daddy often had friends over on Friday or Saturday nights, to play cards. Then learned how to play bridge. They got a better card table.

Do I need to explain to you what S&H Green Stamps were?

And that card table saw lots of parties, lots of game nights, lot of overflow seating for extra family and friends. But, of course, Mother and Daddy didn’t get rid of the old, square, cardboard-topped card table.

After Mother was gone, and Daddy moved to a retirement residence, we had a big estate sale. But first, we went through things and decided what to keep and what to sell. JoAnne took the round table with the chairs. And I thought, oh, well, it doesn’t take up much room; I should probably keep the old one.

We get it out every now and then, when we’re working a jigsaw puzzle, or, just need some extra flat space.


It was perfect!

You can see that the little library table was simply not adequate. It was full. The bed was full. And the card table, older than most of the people I know, sat on its stable legs, held up (on its saggy top) all my papers, all the information I needed just a twist away from the computer screen.

Kevin and Peter have arrived, and I’ve sent in almost all of the writing project. The few things left are easily managed. I’ve folded up the card table, and it’s ready to return to the back of the closet until next time. Maybe they don’t make things like they used to. But…they used to.



This is the day that the Lord has made;
    let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118:24 (New Revised Standard Version )

There’s always so much to rejoice about. Having what I need when I need it. Getting important work done. And Peter’s going to be here for a couple of days.


One Response to “They Really Don’t Make Things Like They Used To, Do They”

  1. Deedie

    Oh, my, yes! My parents had that same card table! It’s still at the house in McGregor, and, yes, we use it! On the bottom is a label with a picture of 4 men standing on the table to show how strong it is. We have not (and will not!) test that possibility, although it continues to be very useful!


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