I went to an estate sale today.
It had started yesterday, so I’d missed all the good stuff—but I bought a quartersawn (you know, tiger-striped beautiful old wood, it’s cut in a way that makes it stronger and more beautiful) coat rack and a beautifully-old-framed poster of Christian advice to Children, which though a century-old holds up pretty well. And I bought some old Holiday bells, so heavy, don’t make things like they used to.
But in seeing this old lady’s house–she’d just passed away, I talked with her daughter and family–I was reminded of times past. Lace curtains. Wallpaper (folk rarely do wallpaper anymore, though it’s so fun and creative, and making a comeback). Crystal, and truly silver silverware. Quality. Middle-class–the home was so small, so easy to heat, small rooms. Now, we just burn energy and heat 5,500-square-foot homes. This home was, at most, 1,500 square feet. Probably less. And it’ll get bought for, now, 2 million bucks and half torn down and turned into–you guessed it–5,500 square feet of modern glass and cheap materials with toxic insulation.
Don’t get me wrong—I love glass—I love light, and have put reused windows all over my house, where appropriate. And I love being cozy, and warm.
But we listen to Greta Thunberg, and nod our heads and curse Trump, then idle while surfing our phones in our cars or shop on Amazon and leave the heat blasting and buy plastic and drink coffee to-go, even when we’re for-here.
Climate change isn’t Trump’s problem. He’ll be dead in 20 years. It’s our problem. And weeee can make the changes we need in this world. Star Wars, say, is only still a thing because We the People pay for it. Same with climate change, or plastic oceans, say. We can drive this market. Get a healthy sense of ego going, and remember: it’s only hopeless if we take no action, and continue on our current trajectory.
Watch the part about “tomorrow.”