The "Great Depression" generation (my mother's) have very interesting characteristics. Mike and I keep running into them with her and sometimes they are a little difficult to understand. I know where it comes from, years of making do with very little, making things last, fixing things that are broken, and figuring out how to fix a meal with what you have in the house because you can't go to the store. She was born in Oklahoma in 1935 and her family left their farm there during the Dust Bowl. She is familiar with doing without.
My mother's late husband, who came here from Germany in 1939, could never understand why she insisted on having a second refrigerator and freezer in the basement. He could never understand her need to always have extra food on hand "just in case". She still does.
And we Baby Boomers who have grown up in an "everything is disposable" culture get frustrated with her because she wants to hold on to an old chair that has been re-upholstered several times, or old end tables that are no longer in style and need a lot of work and refinishing. And, quite frankly, it is faster and easier to buy new than it is to refinish or re-upholster.
So we will help her give some things we are replacing at the house to charity. Which is how I got ALL the furniture for my first apartment! And I refinished and upholstered and made that $20 chair look new. So I guess we can call it "passing it forward"!