Aging, Celebrations, Gratitude

Ditch the Old Model? A Question to Consider

A few months ago, Cliff said, “I have something for you to consider.”

That line always makes me nervous.  And although the question ended up being a generous one, it did reach deep into the OH NO WHAT SHOULD I DO region of my brain.

“Would you like a new stove?”

Normally, I spring at the chance for something new.   The word “new”  suggests small miracles like more heat or a washing machine that doesn’t dance across the floor.

But a new stove.

Our stove is sixty years old.  It came with the house.  It’s roasted turkeys, sent fudge to a rolling boil, baked birthday cakes, simmered spaghetti sauce, heated hot chocolate and winter wine, and melted Shrinky Dinks  (actually not so many Shrinky Dinks lately but I’m hoping those days will come again).

The stove is down to two burners, one of two ovens, and wouldn’t think of self-cleaning itself.  If you look at the picture, you’ll see  a strip of masking tape on the left.  That’s to remind us not to press those switches because if we do, we might recreate the Christmas Eve Stove Fire of 2004.

But still, the answer to the stove question was NO.  Our stove is the Senior Stateswoman of the Kitchen.  For now, she stays.

And here’s another question.  If I could trade ME in for a newer version, would I?

When I look at the age spots on my face, hear the creak of my feet, or feel the tinges that I suspect are the start of arthritic hands, I am tempted to trade this one in.

But then I remember the birthday parties, the Thanksgivings, the spaghetti suppers, and the Shrinky Dink Festivals this  body has helped engineer.  Good times.  Great times!

For now, I’ll keep this model.  I suspect the day may come when I shout, “Yes!  Send something new.”

But not yet.

What about you?

No matter your age, if you could trade your body for someone else’s, would you?

If you could trade your older body for a younger version of you, would you?

Photo:  Laura’s boyfriend Matt flipping Christmas pancakes 2011.  Thanks, Matt and thanks, Stove!   Photo was taken by Laura for her blog, Taking Back My Twenties.  Matt’s flipping Great Harvest Charlottesville pancakes!

33 thoughts on “Ditch the Old Model? A Question to Consider”

  1. I’d say, go for the new one! Isn’t aging about “letting go”, taking risks, trying new, staying forever young! That said.. I have stockpiles of yarn I’ll never use, boxes of recipes I’ll never try, and hate throwing out chipped plates. A new stove, I’d get one quicker than you can crack an egg.


    1. Hard to find one that compliments our old house. And at least one of the two burners and the 2nd oven can be fixed — just like getting knee replacement surgery and a face lift. For feeding the two of us, its present deficiencies are ok, just like our bodies.


      1. Well, if “Tina” from HGTV can do it, so can you, Barbara–big loopy earrings from the Chrome dials, that’s the ticket-HA.


      2. Oh gosh those big earrings would make my menopausal earlobes aches, but I like the creative thought!


  2. I’d keep that old stove, but a new body is much more tempting. I guess my stove has more sentimental value to me than my body. Is there something wrong with that picture? Probably. On the other hand, my life experiences, both joyful and tragic, I would not even consider trading. Those experiences made me who I am. My body just came along for the ride. Perhaps this is the message for me: love your body, you can’t really trade it in for a new one anyway, but you can make it over!


    1. Good thinking! I’m finding the makeover difficult though, esp. since it seems to involve giving up chocolate and all things fattening.


  3. I’ll hove a middle line here. Old stove, yes, keep it! BUT, replace the burned out burners and oven element (if that is what’s wrong). New body, well, no chance of a replacement and I’d look a might strange walking next to my husband if I looked 30 years younger. But I’ll head to the gym, the pool, and my Wii Fit to slow the hands of time from doing its damage. I can’t replace my achy joints but exercise will help them feel better. My almost 50 year old stove can’t compete with a new model, maybe, but it’s dear to my heart, looks perfect in my kitchen, and, with the replacement parts, works okay. Maybe okay is good enough for both of us.


    1. I wonder though, how Dwight would feel about a thirty year younger you walking next to him. Let’s not ask the men. We might not like the answer!


  4. I would get a new stove ASAP. But then I hate old stuff and I get really irritated when something doesn’t work right. I am not a thing person and not sentimental really. When I was much much younger and not married, I would find brand new apartments and move every year so everything would be new (much to the dismay of those who had to help me move). Unfortunately when you buy a home you can’t do that–but I would if I could. I just love new! Now as far as my body, yes I would definitely get a new body as long as I could keep the essence of who I am with all the experiences, memories, etc. I am thankful for this body that has experienced life with me and appreciate all the experiences it has allowed me to have such as carrying my children. But as I age and develop more and more “old age” physical stuff, I sure do miss my younger self and would welcome a new, younger body.


    1. I wish we could at least go back in time and try them out for a little while, but then maybe we’d feel sad coming back to the present again.


  5. Not sure about the stove. If you love it maybe keep it until it dies? As for the body, I would love to go back to the one I had from age 16 (when I lost 20lbs of childhood chubbiness) to maybe 10 years where I gained it back. I wish I had appreciated that body when I had it. I promise I would now!


    1. I wish I’d appreciated everything about youth when I had it! I keep telling this next generation, “Enjoy your youth.” But alas, I suppose youth is filled with its own woes.


      1. For sure! Barbara, I love that you reply to us all! Hope you are having a wonderful weekend. ( If I knew how to post my photo here I would, so you’d know who I am since I am becoming a semi-regular commenter.)


      2. Commenter must not be a word, as there is a red squiggly line under it-so sorry-as a former teacher spelling errors drive me nuts!


      3. I think we’ll allow commenter to be a word. I see the line too, but it sure works as a word. I love to receive and answer comments and would love to see your picture!


  6. such mixed emotions over this one. but keep the stove. if we all got everything new all of the time our planet would be a huge heap of garbage. old furniture, old stoves, old books, sweet old dolls, old letters, all have character….like us!
    body trade in….it might mean the return of pimples, bad cramps, oily hair………..


  7. Well, my GE coil burner stove is just a “baby” at 33 years, and I have no intention of replacing mine either. We should start a “club.” The masking tape is a good idea, “5 Alarm Chili” takes on a whole new meaning. Trade my body? Gee, it took me this long to get used to this one. I’d have to go shopping for a new wardrobe, don’t think my bank account is up for that.


    1. My stove could be your stove’s mother!

      I hadn’t thought of a whole new wardrobe to go with the new body! Hmmm. Tempting but yes, expensive.


      1. My stove said yes, and now she is deep into menopausal zest! She wants to cook for me until her dying day (or mine, whichever comes first.)


  8. I wish I had the Constellation, the old stove I grew up with. Oh, the memories. So, I agree – keep the stove. When my Mom was forced to give up her stove many years ago during a kitchen renovation, she knew it wouldn’t end well. She spent the next 20 years of her life fussing and fuming over that new stove. It irritated her no end! I don’t think she ever really enjoyed cooking again.

    As for the new model body-wise? Tempting. But, if the magic body renovation means I actually have to give it up, as opposed to tightening and lifting what’s here, I guess I’ll keep the old model. I’m used to it now. Besides, I kind of like showing off the scar where my brother shot me with a BB gun (on accident… really) and the chicken pox marks, and the worry wrinkles, and the smiley wrinkles, and the stretch marks, and my Mom’s hands appearing to me right now from the keyboard. Okay. I guess that’s the crux of it. How can a person give that stuff up for a tighter tush?

    Thanks for the fun and engaging read once again. You gave me something to think about. 😀


    1. When my dad died suddenly last year, I took great comfort in the fact that I have his hands!

      And if you got rid of your BB scar, you wouldn’t be able to remind your brother about it from time to time…


  9. My stove is the king of the kitchen. He came with my house. He’s a 1950s Chambers stove. He’s kept me fed for the past 17 of his 61 years. 61 years! Do you think a new stove will last 61 years? My body, we’ve been through too much together, she’s staying too. Through thick and thin (literally and figuratively). She’s strong and forgiving and apparently a lot of fun to be around because my girlish freckles never left, just slipped from the bridge of my nose to the backs of my hands.


  10. Well if you’ve made up your mind to keep it and it gets to the point where there is simply no other option than to replace it, convert to a high end gas stove. If you thought you liked to cook before, you will find a whole new love and respect for it.


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