I have a stove that is 14 years old. Byron and I got it when our house was completed a year after we were married. Byron's Mom gave us $1,000 as a wedding gift to buy our appliances. With that thousand dollars, I picked out and purchased a washing machine and dryer, a microwave, a dish washer, and a stove. The cheapest and the best quality I could afford. I think the Maytag stove cost around $250.00 at the time.
The washing machine, dryer, microwave and dish washer all died and had to be replaced. The fridge still worked but smelled like a dead dog after Katrina. It was given to the church camp to use until people moved into their homes. Now I believe someone is using it in their home. Maybe the smell doesn't offend them, or maybe they know how to clean a fridge better than me. The stove on the other hand is battered yet still chugging along.
Pride sometimes gets in the way and I get an urge to replace it. The porcelain is scratched, the logos are wearing off, and the clock still works but is lying on its back due to the mounting bracket breaking from constant fingers pushing at the timer. It doesn't have any of the fancy simmering burners or the booster burners for heating things quickly. When I hosted the monthly meeting for our garden club, the lady who brought the large pot of gumbo was fretting due to the long time it took for her gumbo to reheat.
It certainly isn't trendy looking or even nostalgically cute. While helping my mom and the church pick out appliances to replace their flooded ones, I couldn't help but notice all the cool large knobbed and heavy grated stoves out there. They look like they could hold up a cast iron number three tub. I ran my hands across the smooth unscratched undinged surfaces. When I asked the salesman, "How long does a gas stove last? I'm going to buy a new one when mine dies." The salesman replied, "Would you like me to tell you how to kill it?" He explained to me that simple stoves like mine would last well, "practically forever!"
Part of living a sustainable life is not being a slave to pride and fashion. Replacing a working item wouldn't adhere to this principle. There were times when Byron and I couldn't afford to fix our stove, much less buy another. Now we can purchase pretty much any stove I might want. The current dilemma is: Do I really want to buy a new stove when the one I have works perfectly well and provides all my needs? I'm going to keep it. Especially when I remember all the wonderful meals Byron and I have prepared on it, the jars of berries, pears and figs canned on it, and the soy candles made on it. It's sorta like part of the family now.