Out With the Old

I’ll admit that I’m frugal. Some might say cheap. For whatever reason, in spite of my age, I have not become a part of the throwaway generation—those who replace things just for the sake of replacing them, not because they have outlived their usefulness. But even penny-pinchers like me have to break down and spend money on occasion.
Last week, in what arguably could be one of the coldest, messiest weeks ever in Texas, my flannel sheets died. They wore out. Split down the middle. And I mourned. It wasn’t just the thought that I’d have to go out and spend money on a new set of flannel sheets. These beautiful sheets adorned with bouquets of roses (very Victorian!) were given to us one Christmas by my husband’s grandmother. We’ve had them for over 20 years. Granted, we don’t use them all winter here. Most winters it’s two or three weeks, max. But when we’ve needed them, I’ve loved them. And now I must replace them.
We’ll muddle through, find an acceptable substitute for a decent price (even in replacing things my frugality reigns supreme!), but I’ll hate it. It will take years for those new sheets to feel like mine. And I guess that’s the crux of my frugality in terms of replacing things—a sentimental attachment, a sense of belonging. Unfortunately for both my sentiment and my pocketbook, we have many, many everyday items that are reaching the end of their very long lives. I have a feeling I’d better get used to some change.
Besides antiques, do you have anything you use on a regular basis that is over twenty years old? (Like my blender and my pots and pans, both received as wedding gifts almost 24 years ago?) Will you mourn at its end or rejoice? What kinds of items do you hold on to until they die?