Sign posts for the future

We got a new sign in our yard:

This is to let our neighbors know about the second story we are planning to add to our house. The city recently changed the rules so that our neighbors don’t have veto power over our project, but they can talk to the Planning Division or our architect with concerns.

My daughter decided the architectural drawing wasn’t colorful enough:

This week we got another sign about the current project that’s started:[1]

These signs indicate a future state when we will have a 1352 square foot garage conversion and a 778 square foot second story. Of course there are many things that can go wrong:

  • We could run out of money before the projects wrap up.
  • A natural disaster could ruin the existing structures.
  • Our contractor might find problems that make one of these projects untenable.
  • The second story still has a final approval step with the city that it might not clear.
  • We might abandon the project for some reason.

So, you know, the future is unknown.

I recently started following a Twitter account that publishes news from 100 years ago. In 1923, the signs of an imminent conflict between Germany and France seem pretty obvious. For instance, here’s a German professor using Reichsmark notes as wallpaper:

There are other stories of French occupation of the Rhineland and the rise of Hitler. You just want to reach back in time and warn these people they are playing with fire. How could they be so blind? But we are just as blind about our future and 100 years from now well look incredibly ignorant too. We’re ignoring the signs too.

  1. Or rather, will start as soon as the construction company recovers from the rain last week. ↩︎