Today I experienced more than just several examples of how our current Age of Specialization has created a lack of broad understanding. A generation or two ago people were forced to learn how to do things on their own due to necessity and cost. In our times, some of the simplest tasks are looked at with wide-eyed confusion and fear. What is even more of a by-product of the lack of learning, is that so many who should know better don’t understand cause and effect. For example, people wonder why their utility bills are high yet when I look at their windows, I see storm sashes either up or completely missing. And on top of that, glazing around the windows and frames pealing off.
Air leaks create drafts which create more energy usage and in the end, higher utility bills. I received from an owner today the utility bills on a very well maintained 90+ year old 2 story home. Those bills were less than many of the newer ranches I have recently sold. Heat rises and the larger the basement, the more temperature variance that exists which subsequently makes the furnace work harder to maintain a stable temperature. I do hope that the charming entry level buyers become learners and doers so we can see the resurrection of the manicured Craftsman and late Victorian era homes of which Mason City is blessed. Whenever I have walked into a soulfully cared for turn-of-the century home, my senses are aroused to the smell of the real wood, the light filled rooms with high ceilings and tall windows and the touch of real brass knobs and handles. The sooner our young buyers get over being all thumbs, the faster we will see the return of the “Painted Ladies.”