Check for Re-use

Mason-Jar-BallI’ve come to a decision on what Mason City and North Iowa is lacking as far as a small business. Our downtown needs a business that specializes in selling items that at one time had a specific use, but now due to many old items becoming fashionable for a different use, the shop I speak of would sell these items for a new and more modern use. Sometimes even the most unlikely items are converted into everyday home use. I know of a person who uses old cracked crocks as soiled laundry bins in their bathrooms. Large steamer trunks are transformed into sofa tables, old treadle sewing machines become lamp tables, old mis-matched linen napkins are sewn into patchwork table clothes, pieces of old, yet solid wood furniture are dis-mantled to create items like wall hung wooden paper towel holders, and lastly, have you ever thought of the infinite uses of old Mason jars? I heard someone say that the rage now with the young fashionables is to paint Mason Jars wild and crazy colors to become holders for bathroom toiletries. I believe the real driving force in re-using existing materials is that our up-and- coming generation of young and aspiring seem to investigate more deeply the quality of content in their purchases. They are as well, becoming more keen on being Earth Friendly with their purchases. The days of quantity over quality will likely be coming to an end. Is it not better to have something that costs more but lasts far longer, than to have something has to be replaced due to its planned obsolescence? I can’t wait until the rage starts for the old metal double beds. I am fully aware of how sensitive people these days are about purchasing something that is either wooden or of fabric due to the return of the problem of bed bugs across America. I’ve heard many a stories from my clever grandmother regarding her conquests with bed bugs. I don’t want any of you to think she was a vagabond moving from farm to farm. Her father who of course was my great-grandfather, owned one of the largest farms in one of our surrounding counties. The problem they had at the time was that they were forced to hire nearly any strong male that came walking up the lane. Unfortunately for his family who had to do laundry, discovered that sometimes the belongings and clothes were infested with bed bugs. She asked me once, “Have you ever imagined boiling clothes in a copper boiler on a wood-fired cookstove just to make sure you’ve killed the bed bugs?” I could see it in my mind’s eye, and I’m sure it must have been quite the job. The photo with this article today is one that I took at a client’s home of yet another use of Mason jars. Let’s all get back to checking if something is up for re-use.

Joe Chodur

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