Let’s rewind a bit. The year is 2005. Marcus and I were newlyweds, recent college grads, and broke. Looking back, I don’t think we were as desperately broke as we felt, but we were so new to functioning as adults and managing a household, we just hadn’t learned the tricks of thrifty living, yet. Everything felt like a struggle.
At the time, Marcus was interning under this guy in Knoxville, TN. I loved listening to them play Greg’s folksy coffee house tunes while I sipped chai lattes by the bucket, but this one spoke to me more than any other:
“Old Radio” talks about the notion of downsizing your lifestyle to make more room for people. I’m not one to romanticize tough financial times by calling them “simpler days”. (Who are we kidding?! Being broke makes things COMPLICATED! Not “simpler”! Only rich people say that! Bleck!) But as we struggled to make our lifestyle match our entry level income, “Old Radio” was a reminder that we really would EVENTUALLY look back at that situation with fondness. Today, whenever we see an old radio, we still point it out to each other and remember our first year of marriage.
Last summer, I found THIS sitting beside a dumpster in our apartment complex, with a lot of other 1970s style furniture. Even though I was alone, pregnant, and already running late for my destination, I dropped everything to waddle this beauty into our car and get it cleaned up before my husband got home! We’d wanted our own old radio for so long, but paying antique mall prices for one would kind of go against the symbolism, don’t you think? I can’t believe I found this at our own dumpster!
There are so many things I love about our old radio. I love that it’s vintage/retro–not antique like the more jukebox 1940’s styles, because it’s a better match for our “hipster wannabe” leanings. I love the open storage in the bottom portion and I make new plans for how to best utilize it every other day. I love the cursive Motorola logo on the turntable drawer handle. I love that the wood finish matches our bedroom furniture. I love that the radio part had already been gutted when I found it. Inside its “speaker” I put our butt ugly clock radio and threaded an auxiliary jack into the turntable drawer for my iPhone.
It sits in our apartment as a reminder to live simply and value what we already have rather than constantly wishing for more.
It stands as pretty convincing evidence that the best things in life really are FREE.