Words from a Reader

The “Writing Life Stories” e-mails I receive are such treasures. As soon as I see there is one in my inbox, I read it immediately. I look forward to them and never know how they will touch me. They can be interesting, informative, humorous, and/or touching.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Our digital world and me

When my azaleas bloom I know it is spring

I grabbed the handle of my microwave oven to open it last week and it came off in my hand.
That was unexpected. I doubt it can be replaced, and I will likely have to purchase a new appliance and have the present one removed.

Recently the upper element of my toaster oven burned out. I will need to replace that, also.

I miss the days when we had things repaired instead of replaced. 
My brother, Rex, could repair almost anything. He was ingenious at creating new ways to accomplish tasks that dumbfounded others. It seemed he was born with that ability. On the farm, when I was growing up, repairs were made on farm machinery and household appliances, well water systems, and so many things. No one could afford to replace everything that broke.

Today, farmers are using digital tractors and when something goes wrong, a special technician must come out to the farm to work on the computer in the tractor and try to make it run again. It is very frustrating for the farmer who used to be able to pick up a part and replace it himself. I understand that frustration because it happens with all the digital things in my house. My TV, computer, Ipad, printer, copier, devices to play music and so much more. The sensors in my car tell me that my right rear door is open. The first and second time I checked the door. Then I told my mechanic about the false message I keep receiving. He said he could not repair it but I could go to the dealership and they could probably shut off all the sensors. Duh!!  I will just continue to ignore the "right rear door is open" message.

Is the new technology weighing us down, slowing us, and irritating us instead of being the miracle we are told to believe? I know it is more costly to replace than it was to repair a few decades ago.

Years ago we were told that we were going to run out of room for all the landfills needed for our use and throw out society. Computers and electronics must be filling up the landfills now because no one repairs them. The last three wireless all-in-one printers I bought for around $200 each. They barely last until the warranty is over. When I tried to get them repaired, I was told to toss them. "They are so cheap it costs less to buy a new one."

Two hundred dollars is not all that cheap to me. I now use an older model printer/copier that is not wireless and works better than the fancy one. 

I have no idea what I would have to pay for a new microwave over my stove, but I intend to see how long I can go without one and how much I will miss it. I do intend to call around and see if anyone can put the door handle back on this one. The oven works great. Just can't open it now.

I had a friend who bought so much and so many things she had to rent a storage space to hold most of it. Material things can't fill the needs of people who are compulsive shoppers. They often have a deep-seated issue that needs to be addressed. This friend said she had not spoken to her own daughter in ten years. I wonder if the shopping had to do with family problems.

I understand retail therapy and have found myself in need of going to Target to browse for an hour or more. But, if I purchase anything there, it is something I can use or something I want to give someone.

Still, here I am with a cluttered house I work on every day. The problem is I still use the things in my house, well most of them, and only end up ridding myself of paper. I feel I am being invaded by paper that grows overnight when I am asleep. Once it became so cheap to make copies on paper, we have been inundated with junk mail. I tried throwing out envelopes without opening them until I opened one and found a check inside. 

Well, enough of my complaining. We had a beautiful day today with lots of sunshine but it was in the sixties this morning. Later I sat on the deck in the warm weather and watched my dear neighbors as they pack to move away. I am saddened because they have been wonderful friends for years now, keeping a check on me since Barry died. Everything continues to change and I believe if we don't bend we will break. 

Hope your week will be all you want it to be. I will have a visit this week from family members and I look forward to that. Let me hear from you, my friends.


Elephant's Child said...

I mourn the replace mentality which has been forced on us. It seems to even apply to some quite big and in my eyes expensive items as well.
Sometimes progress simply isn't.
Enjoy your spring.

Marie Smith said...

I remember when we moved away from our dear neighbours. It was so had to leave.

We bought a two oven stove which was all the bells and whistles and which breaks down regularly. It is not cheap to have repaired but it is cheaper than a new stove. Things aren’t meant to last these days.

Here we have a strict policy for garbage, recycling and composting. When something has reached its demise, untimely or not, the procedure to get rid of it is time consuming. People resell anything they can, for parts etc.

DJan said...

It is definitely a throw-away culture, but things are beginning to change, I think. I do hope you can find someone to fix that handle so you don't have to buy yet another one. We take old appliances to a local recycle shop. What they do with it then I have no idea, but at least I don't need to throw it away myself. Thank you for this thoughtful post.

Abbie Taylor said...

Well, before reading this post, I was depressed because I'd just ordered a tote bag, but when it came, it was too small. Now, after reading your post, I'm thankful I don't have the problems you do at the moment. Hey, maybe your friend with all the stuff in storage has an extra microwave she could loan, sell, or give you. I don't know how I would manage without my microwave. Good luck. And don't worry about the tote bag. I'm sure it can be exchanged.