Superbloom, Kondo-ing and Recycling: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

The past week was an interesting mix of The Good (Superbloom), The Bad (Kondo-ing  by clearing out more accumulated STUFF) and The Ugly (learning that China is no longer taking any U.S. trash).

THE GOOD California’s unusual weather has yielded a cheering benefit just when we all needed it.  After the devastating fire season of last Fall, hundreds of thousands of wildflowers are putting on a stunning show, beginning at the south end of the state and heading northward.  Last week we drove 350 miles southeast to the Carrizo Plain, and here’s what we saw:

Carizzo Plain, California – March 26, 2019

and for good measure we checked out the elephant seals on the coast.

Baby elephant seals keeping in touch.

THE BAD The Kondo-ing of American homes (named after Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and host of  Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix) is spreading, at least among millennials. You can read about it in a previous blog here, or you can just remember that anything you keep around should “spark joy.”  I like the idea of keeping belongings to a minimum but the idea of their sparking joy is a tough one.  Toenail clippers?  Pretty much a necessity but certainly not a joy-sparker!  A secondary effect of Kondo-ing is that charities such as Goodwill are being inundated with clothing, furniture and knick-knacks to the point that they are turning donations away.

Photo by Julien Pier Belanger via Unsplash

THE UGLY Apparently the Chinese have enough trash of their own and no longer find it useful or profitable to take ours.  Until recently I recycled diligently, believing that someone somewhere would sort and repurpose our separated plastic, glass and paper.  It turns out that, according this article in the New York Times, I may have been naïve.  

Photo by Ignat Kushanrev via Unsplash

Nevertheless, I believe it’s important to recycle and will continue to do so.  Surely we have the ingenuity in this country (if not the priority) to turn trash into treasure.

Photo by Bernard Hermant via Unsplash

But maybe more useful treasures.

Have a good week!

Unattributed photos by moi.



About Alexis

Alexis Rankin Popik, author of Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate, is an award-winning short story writer whose work has appeared in The Berkshire Review and Potpourri Magazine. She has penned numerous articles about local history that have been published in Connecticut Explored and the University of Connecticut School of Law and The Hartford Seminary publications. A former union organizer, Popik traveled the country educating shipyard workers about health and safety and founded a labor-management health plan before turning to writing fiction full-time. She lives with her husband in New England.
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