ROSE NOLEN: Summer projects spark nostalgia for things that last

Tuesday, July 16, 2013 | 10:03 a.m. CDT

June was a month for celebrations.

First there were the birthdays. In my family, June has been a very popular month for children to be born. It seemed that every day was someone’s birthday.

Then there were the weddings. The bright, sunshiny days, the lush greenery of the trees and the landscape of colorful flowers made a lovely backdrop for many of them.

Graduation, anniversaries and engagements filled the remainder of the calendar with happy events. By the time July came around, it felt good just to put the feet up and settle down.

That’s when it was time to stop and realize that days were speeding past, and all the things you planned to do this summer were not getting done. A major project was cleaning out my storage areas.

The 30 years I spent collecting household items were wonderful years. I collected all kinds of things. I remember in those early days, I had a fondness for kitchen items.

Mostly, I collected graters. There was something about chopping and shredding vegetables for salads that fascinated me. So, ultimately I wound up with dozens of graters.

For a while I collected other kitchen utensils and cookie jars. I collected potato mashers and whips. Later, it was vintage tablecloths and dresser scarves. Over the years, I compiled many things. Soon, my house was filled with them.

I never collected glass, though. I’ve always found people who collect glass to be smitten with it.

My mother had a wonderful collection of carnival glass. When we sold it, the sale was held outside on the front porch. I disallowed anyone to go inside her house.

People rudely asked if they could go inside and look in her cabinets, and I spent the day turning them down. My mother was absolutely amazed by their behavior.

Everything today seems so temporary. Computers, for example, seem made to be used for a year or so. They are built as trade-ins for next year’s model. 

I have a fondness for old things, items made strong enough to last. Many of the things people used were made for a lifetime. You bought one, and it lasted forever.

I think that has a lot to say about the way our values have changed. Many people seem to think everything is here today and gone tomorrow.

What a sad way to live.

You can join the conversation with Rose M. Nolen by calling her at 882-5734 or emailing her at

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