Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Things Don't Last

Ever notice how things don’t last anymore? I once had a dryer that lasted twenty years...never even a repair call. That dryer died in the fourth year of my current marriage. Now, in only eight years, we are getting another dryer. Ditto on the washing machines. Twenty years, not a problem. Broke within a week of the old dryer. Washing machines, however, have it even rougher than dryers. We bought the third washing machine of our marriage this past fall.

I lived in a house in Germany that was over five hundred years old. I am getting worn out trying to maintain my current forty year old house. Nothing lasts anymore.

When our kids are gone and we buy our house in Scotland, I’m opting for one that is at least two hundred years old. I have my eye on one that was built in 1698 on the Isle of Islay off the west coast of Scotland. It is currently owned by an English family who use it all of two months each year. The house overlooks my ancestral home of Finlaggan Castle (my MacDonald roots are showing). This is a picture of the castle ruins from the front gate of the house.

Or if I had $7 million laying around today I’d buy Borthwick Castle, which came on the market just last month. Borthwick Castle was completed in 1430. With walls fifteen feet thick, it was virtually impregnable . Mary Queen of Scots visited the castle frequently. Oliver Cromwell laid seige to the castle in 1650. It was the last castle in Scotland to fall to Cromwell. Damage caused by Cromwell's artillery to the tower on the left is still visible. They built ‘em to last back in those days!

Books…I’ve got books that are falling apart and are less than ten years old. Then I have my old books. The ones I like to collect. I’m talking two hundred plus years. My oldest complete book was printed in 1611…ok it was rebound in the 1800’s, but the pages, though yellowed are still supple. They made them to last back then. I have a partial book of the Acts of the Scottish Parliament from 1497, it was damaged in a fire in 1712, but the remaining pages are still supple. Once upon a time things were made to last and/or be repaired. Nowadays it’s, throw it away and buy another.

There is one thing I am glad doesn’t last – teenagers! Mine are driving me crazy. I’m glad I never was one!