Disposable items (HLD 87)

18 June 2020

I have in my possession a couple of small wooden boxes that was made for my parents many many many years ago – about the time my oldest brother was born, I believe. Which means the box could be on display in a museum somewhere, much like my brother.

I think the boxes were originally put together as a transport box, and they and a dozen or two just like them were used to transport home wares when Mum and Dad first moved up to Yirrkala in the Northern Territory, with my two brothers in tow. If they were smart they could have got the boys in one of the boxes and saved on the air fare.

They are stamped quite clearly with our family name on the side of the box, and over the last thousand or so years (can’t remember exactly how old my brothers are!) have served many roles in our family. Prior to coming to live in my house they were the storage spot for many of the tools that lived in my dads sheds in Busselton.

I had in mind to sand them down and stain them up and make them look pretty, but I realised by doing that I might lose the printing of the Rankine name on the box, and ….well….that’s part of their story. 

So they have stayed as old wooden boxes – one lives in a cupboard and is home to other rubbish – sorry – heritage pieces – like old fly spray pumps and oil lanterns that I saved from being turfed out of dads shed when we cleaned it out. The other is one of the two boxes that form the step up to my bed. Initially placed so the dog could get up onto our rather high bed, but once the dog could jump directly onto the higher box, it became necessary for my grandson to also be able to climb onto the bed.

The very very very (hi Ron!) old box still serves a purpose. A very useful purpose.

Not so a lot of other stuff in my house, which is deemed to be ultimately…. disposable!

This came to mind as I found a few golf balls that are definitely in the disposable category amongst the golf players in our family. These things are obviously not meant to last forever, or even from one golf game to the next, apparently!

Telephones are another disposable item. And although our family have been through goodness knows how many mobile phones in the past twenty years, I do remember as a child playing with some really old phone sets that dad must have saved from his much younger days. Obviously they got updated and the old phones no longer served a purpose apart from kids playing with them in the shed.

I guess it’s a sign of advancing technology, but once an outdated piece of technology has been replaced, there really is nothing that can be achieved by holding on to the old one. Better off to recycle and say bye bye!

Whether it’s toasters, tv’s, coffee machines (🤞), bread makers or washing machines, things seem to have a limited life span, and there’s a point when even the most hardened d-i-y-er will give up and pronounce death.

Apart from your husband or wife, what’s the oldest still useful thing you have around the house?

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