Looking for something to refresh your home environment? Interested in the latest trend of “Grandmillenial” style? What could you do instead of opting for a quick and easy search on the website named for the river and complex ecosystem of its South American watershed? Keeping the living Amazon jungle alive and giving the forest ecosystem a chance to thrive is essential to anyone who breathes. You could choose instead to dive into the vast availability of hand-me-downs and heirlooms at estate sales and attic or basement dives. 

Do you recall the twinkle of candlelight casting rainbow patterns on ceiling and walls that fascinated you as a child sitting with the grownups as pie was served? The ring of silver on good china? The delightful patterns and images you discovered around a cup or even in the bottom of a cereal bowl? These are the sparks of joy that can infuse a more prosaic simplicity of recent style trends.

According to a recent article in Realtor: “Those avocado toast fanatics have been embracing retro cocktails like sidecars and Manhattans—and grandmillennial style adherents love to mix them using ornate cut-glass decanters.” The article suggests choosing from antique finds at an estate sale or “mass market look alike.” They picture some selling for $70 at a local chain known for enticing shoppers with discount coupons.

Dress up your bar with this pretty decanter for liquor

Forget the “mass market look-alikes” for beaucoup bucks. Instead, give the grannies and aunties who care for these treasures a chance to realize their hopes of finding homes where they can be appreciated and enjoyed. The craft of these once precious pieces, used and displayed everyday or brought out for special occasion gatherings, exceeds the replicas produced for corporate sales.

Bridging generations

One of my favorite books growing up was “Blue Willow” by Doris Gates. It tells the story of Janey Larkin’s quest for a home. She longs for a real home for herself and her widowed father who work the California fields after fleeing the Dust Bowl.

What a wonderful way to make bridges between the ones on whose shoulders we stand, as well as to stand for something, as Amanda Gorman speaks of in her TED Student talk.

By finding new uses for items that would otherwise be cast aside or worst, buried in a landfill for some future intelligent being to unearth and marvel at, you can save the energy consumed and the carbon dioxide generated in the manufacture and shipping of items to add to the burden of stuff weighing the world down and generating climate catastrophe. 

Heirlooms are more than vegetables

Think how many lives and livelihoods you could save. Revitalize shopkeepers with exchange of re-purposed items. Make community connections by sharing the history of pieces gracing your living space. Instead of “I got it on a(word)“ you could have a story to share. While your find may be one of a kind, your story could wind through the telling to someone else selling a similarly unique find. What If you discovered the kin connections these pieces shared? The world can become smaller and more closely connected through the sharing of ancestry, not only from the genetic research site, but possessions cherished by relatives and neighbors. 

Another way to find or pass along these treasures that provides connection to unite people in these times of isolation and separation is blossoming like the roses on a tea set. If you don’t already belong to a “Buy Nothing” Facebook group, here’s a way to get to know the people in those houses and buildings of anonymity you pass by on your daily walk. No dog needed to get to know these fellow dwellers of your own town or city, in your pursuit of something pretty.

Like the old Jimmy Durante song opens, “It’s so important to make someone happy, make just one someone happy.”


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