Mysteriously, a giant pine tree fell in our yard last weekend, crushing sections of a new fence we'd installed only a year ago. We didn't hear or see anything in the night, but the backyard was a mess when we awoke on Easter Sunday.
So after church, instead of our traditional egg hunt, we got to work. Our three boys swung axes. I manned the chain saw. We cut the tree into pieces and hauled it away.
Winters are notoriously tough in New England, but spring with its driving rains and high winds can be just as hard. Mother Nature or some other malevolent force seems to take pleasure in unleashing a legion of gremlins just to test our capacity for misery.
It was a week of woe. After the tree episode, our icemaker went on strike. It was new. Thanks a lot, GE. You've ruined my much-anticipated end-of-week treat: bourbon over ice on a Friday night.
Next, our cable router died, leaving us without Internet - for three days. Ouch! The demons even followed me to work. Our trucks had so many ailments they needed a full-time mechanic.
Things break. That's just the way it goes. But I'm old enough now to realize that new things seem to break more often - and more completely - than the old ones. And most of the new things are made so shoddily they aren't worth repairing.
So beware when you hear about new furniture deals that seem too good to be true. Retailers are offering aggressive promotions this spring on furniture. Samples: "Only $5 a day" or "We'll pay your sales tax" or "If the Red Sox win the pennant, your furniture is free!"
Here's the reality. That furniture might not last any longer than the installment payments you'll be making. You'll get far better quality buying the consignment furniture in our showrooms.
Even the quality pre-owned furniture that you buy from us today could be sold again tomorow. We have a nice Pompanoosuc Mills dining room set scheduled to arrive today that was bought from us five years ago. Quality furniture will have resale value as long as the style stays in play.
Feel free to disregard my advice. But I'll be happy to lend you a couple of axes and my chainsaw in a couple of years when you're hauling the cheap stuff off to the dump.