Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Reason # 27

There are so many reasons I enjoy living here in Central Massachusetts. Many of those reasons I have written about here. Some of the reasons I really like it here half way between Worcester and Springfield is the culture. Small towns have a different way of viewing the everyday things compared to towns inside of the I-290/I-395 Belt to Boston.

Property, and the way it is cared for, or not cared for is something I appreciate out here. Caring for something is a subjective thing. My idea of caring for something is totally different than anothers. Property is to be used as the owner sees fit. What ones idea of good use is, will vary from mine in some cases.

When we go for rides in town, and out and beyond Sturbridge, we find houses that are like little estates. Small, places that should grace the cover of Better Homes and Gardens to be sure. Then we find other places that have several old tractors, a washing machine or two, a log splitter, a car port filled with old wood stoves, rabbit hutches, 55 gallon barrels of stuff, an abandoned car or two, several half cannibalized lawn mowers, an equal number of snow blowers, a garden gnome, and blue tarps covering all the secret stuff. All this in the front lawn alone. No telling what lies beyond the back of the house. I like these places , too.

Saving things for a rainy day is an old Yankee tradition. We are most definitely Yankee in this neck of the woods. I have a hard time throwing stuff away. I think there will be a use for it at some later date, and most of the time, I am right. Some folks take this to the extreme. I think it is because they are more creative than me. I would use an old Maytag washer for a washer, that's it. Someone else more creative can see a myriad of parts just waiting to come back to life in some other form, or in some other machine. So, the Maytag waits for new life on the front lawn.

This Yankee habit is a good one. Saves money, recycles old things, and is a Green thing to do since no petroleum products are used in maintaining the lawn.

I am not so dedicated, but I admire the characters that are. Characters are another treasure we have here in the middle of the state. Of course, characters abound everywhere, but here in Central Mass, with our lower population, they stand out more.

They make life far more interesting.

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