Monday, May 01, 2006

It ain't country no more

I've been driving around a lot lately. I used to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon driving the backroads, just exploring and enjoying the countryside. Now with gas prices on the rise, I try to plan my errands and spend less time behind the wheel.

Something I've noticed recently is how much further I have to drive to get into the "country". In the short ten years since I've moved back to Virginia there's been a whole lot of other folks moved here too. When we first moved here we were on what the Postal Service calls a "rural route". Now our little backroad is lined with sub-divisions all the way to the fancy new Post Office in town.

We used to hire a good ol' boy with an old trash truck to haul our waste to the dump. A few years ago, he sold his route to a multi-national corporation that last week left a big square trash can at the end of our driveway. Taped to the lid were instructions on how to place it so the robotic arm on their new garbage trucks can snatch it up while the driver never leaves his seat.

I'm not sure what is causing this exodus from the suburbs to the country. Perhaps it's lower real estate costs. Maybe folks are getting tired of their manicured lawns and cookie-cutter houses. Trouble is, the suburbs seem to be following them. That nice stand of mixed hardwoods down the road has been bulldozed and replaced with over-sized, vinyl-clad McMansions.

Don't even get me started on traffic. I drive a little antique two-seater. I used to love the twisting little backroads that I take to work. This morning I got stuck following a mom, on a cell phone, piloting her Porsche SUV on her way to drop the little ones at school. A Porsche SUV? I suppose that's for when you're really, really late for soccer practice! It seems half the students get to school via mom's SUV. The county could save a bunch of money by selling off those school buses. Judging by the line of SUVs turning into the school, no one is riding the bus anymore!

I can understand the city folks wanting to move to the countyside. But if everyone moves out here, it ain't country no more!

Sure could use a couple of good ol' bluegrass tunes just about now...

Jim & Jesse - Ya'll Come.mp3

Don Reno & Red Smiley - Barefoot Nellie.mp3


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boy do I ever know what you mean about the city finding it's way to the country.
When I moved to Helena about 14 years ago I had deer in my back yard and my wife had to drive
About 10 min. to get to the gro. Store now I have a gro. Store about 2 min. from the house and
A neighbor hood full of garden homes in my back yard . And like you say it take longer to find
The country but keep the bus going and we will all find it again.


May 02, 2006 2:26 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

Will do Joey. I'll keep this old bus moving as far off the main roads as I can.

May 02, 2006 4:08 PM  
Blogger Darcy said...

I made a few business trips to the Lawrenceville area in Georgia a couple of years ago. The Google Earth shots of the area must predate my visits by a year or two. It was noticeable how much had been developed (and how much forest had been cleared for it) in just that short space of time.

No consolation I know, but it's the same in the UK.

May 03, 2006 6:10 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

Hi Darcy, I reckon we're running out of green spaces everywhere. Have to make room for the new shopping mall and hundreds of identical houses.

May 04, 2006 9:32 AM  

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