I had the misfortune of walking through rotting mushrooms and neighbor-dog residue while gardening. They made quite an adhesive for pasting mulch and leaves to my white sneakers. For a moment, I contemplated tossing them into the garbage. Then I got the bucket and the bristle brush. Then, after a spin in the laundry with a bit of whitening agent, they were ready for many more seasons.
That is, if I take care of them.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the saying from the Great Depression: Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.
My quest for clothes that fit has shown me how easy it is to donate and buy, donate and buy, etcétera ad nauseam.
It’s also easier to toss than to mend. Yesterday I discovered a hole in a nearly-new patterned sock. Contrary to rumors spread by Young Humans, I don’t have clawed feet (or eat children), so I wasn’t expecting early-onset sock failure. Luckily, it’s a seam opening, not a tear.
I’m grateful that my mother taught me rudimentary sewing skills, although I’ll never sew clothes like she and my grandmothers. A stitch in time saves nine and a little seam repair or darning saves space in the landfill.
Benjamin Leszcz writes about “The Life-Changing Magic of Making Do”
An oldie-but-goodie post about how to follow the philosophy Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make Do, or Do Without