Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Lesson from Vera

Vera. Even the name conjures up thoughts of a Vera-type girlie you may have known. The Vera books are written by Vera Rosenberry and it's my guess her life inspired the life of this little girl we've grown to love. Vera's become a favorite around here.

Today we read how Vera lost her tricycle and then her dad refurbished her sister's broken down bike and Vera learned to ride. Rebuilding bikes must be a theme for us this week. Our middle son just finished reading a story in his reading book about a boy whose dad refurbished a broken down bike because they couldn't afford a new one, so they worked hard together and created "Lightning" the speedy slick "new" bike.

These days, it's hard to imagine someone working on a broken down bike, sanding it down, repainting it, reassembling it and then gifting it as a new bike. But not too many years ago that's how we did things.

I remember my dad rebuilding a bike for my brother. He took it apart, sanded it down and painted it a beautiful candy-apple red color. It was super shiny and a lot of love and care went in to giving it a new life.

In our current consumer society we've lost some of these fun aspects of making due, or reusing what we already have.

In our family we laugh about how we used to wear our jeans until the were so faded they'd just about lost all the denim look. So, because times were tight, my mom would go buy a package of RIT dye and we'd wash our jeans in blue dye and lo' and behold...we had blue jeans again.

Or darning socks. I recently had a friend chastise me for darning the holes in my boys' socks because my time darning was wasted considering how cheap we could purchase new socks at Target. Maybe so, but sewing up the holes just seemed like the right thing to do at the time. Hmm...

With the recent economic changes, maybe it would be prudent to reuse or repair some old items. I'm not ready to go buy the RIT dye, but cut-backs are probably in order.

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