As I was writing The Hope Chest Mystery yesterday, it struck me that another similarity between the time of the Civil War and now is that both time periods are points at which we realize that we need to change the way we live. Not only do we need to change how we live, we know that the changes that we are going to have to make are going to cause us hardships, but we cannot avoid the change forever. In the south in the 1860s, I believe that many people realized that the “institution” of slavery was going to end, that it could not and should not continue. But people resisted the change because they knew that it would have drastic effects on their lifestyles. Today, we know we need to change the source of our energy. We know that we cannot continue on the way we are going. The use of oil is harming us all and we must find alternative ways to propel our economy forward. But we also know that it will take a sacrifice on the part of all of us to change. We know that it will effect the cost of living. We know that there are wealthy people who have money tied up in oil as there were in the 1860s who had their money tied up in slavery . . . and money often equals political power. I can only hope that this time, it does not take a war for us to make these changes.