*Most of our IKEA furniture. Say what you will about flat-box furniture, it has served us well. The "Billy" book shelves last forever until they get wet in a hurricane, and then they continue to last as garage/tool closet shelves. Our farmhouse-style kitchen table was a bitch to assemble, but it may be my favorite piece of furniture here.
*Our downstairs porch furniture. This was a high-end set purchased in South Carolina, coated aluminum and heavy plastic straps for the chairs, tempered glass for the table. The coating has chipped, but so far no rust. Amazing!
*The front-yard patio, made from local stone by Willis Taylor (now deceased). Excellent work, and for a fraction of what he charged Donna Karan on Parrot Cay! It pays to be a non-celebrity.
*Our Crock Pot! Rusty, yes, and we've replaced the lid, but still reliable.
*The bread machine. Now and then some moving parts require WD-40, but otherwise it remains a great way to impress island women with my assimilation skills.
*The refrigerators, "Richmond" and "Kennedy." I bullied a salesman at Lakeside Appliances in Virginia to sell us a very basic model that now makes plenty of noise and has acne issues, but damn, it still works. Pilot Mike Kennedy, who lived here for a while, bought what is now our beer fridge. And yes, I am knocking wood and doing whatever juju I can to ensure their continued longevity.
*The ceiling fans, especially the ones downstairs. I happened upon them at Lowe's on sale for $35 each, I guess because they were unfashionable. "I'll take all four," I said. No regrets.
Any lessons here? Well, I guess it's to be willing to pay for quality when there are no moving parts, and to keep things basic when there ARE moving parts. And to appreciate the things that endure while you replace the stuff that doesn't.