Sunday, September 13, 2015

Nature or Nurture?

If you've visited the 100 Acre Wood, you've probably noticed we have a lot of stuff laying around. Dad could never pass on a good deal for something he thought we might need someday. Tim could never refuse something that was offered for free even if we weren't sure what we'd ever do with it, and we all are terrible about throwing things away. We might need it someday. We might fix it. We might use it for parts.

I am not saying that none of those things are true. There have definitely been times where our saved stuff has come in handy. Saved stuff, over ten years, creates lots of full spaces and piles. That, however, is not the subject of this post. Do you think this habit of saving stuff, making due with old things, and repurposing is a learned behavior or in the genes? I present exhibit A.

We had an old couch and loveseat in our "farmhouse." Truth be told, these were never ours. We never used them, but they sat in that house for several years. Basically, they had become shelves for us to store our farm market supplies on. At one time these were nice pieces of furniture, but they came to us needing repair. The fact that they might be repaired is probably what allowed them to find a home at our farm.

Tradition at our school holds that the senior class plays pranks throughout the school year. Their first planned prank was to remove all the desks from Mrs. Monk's room, and replace them with living room furniture. This was the motivation for that couch and loveseat to finally make a move.

Kellen and Nolan stuffed the furniture into the back of the Suburban, and off it went. By all accounts, the prank went off well. Then Kellen brought them back. In the mood to clean up some of these piles, I told Kellen not to put the furniture back where it was, but to burn it.

Nolan begged me to save them. He wanted to replace our living room furniture with that couch and loveseat. While I can not argue that our couch is shot, I hope to replace it with something in good shape, not another piece that is broken down. This is where he came up with a creative, repurposing, can't throw it away, idea.  And I agreed to it.

He took the cushions from the couch and loveseat to use like beanbags. The kids sit on the floor a lot when we are all watching T.V. These make for a more comfortable spot. We even talked about putting all four of them together to make a bed when friends come over. He stores them in his bedroom closet when they aren't in use.

So I ask again, do you think this hoarder, ultra frugal, hillbilly, save everything, behavior is nature or nurture? I'm going to need more storage space if all the kids adopt this behavior.

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