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

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

It's All About Choice

We try to use local businesses for the things we need around the house, and to grab a bite to eat. We frequent local restaurants, coffee shops, of course, and stores. If a local place doesn't have what we are looking for we will head out of town. For a small town, we have a great deal of services, and goods offered to us here in town.

JC Penny, on Main Street, is awesome. Not only does it have quality clothing, but shoes, and things for the bedroom as well. Yes, Wal*Mart has them, too, but I am talking quality here. Wal*Mart is great for that extra pair of jeans, some socks, maybe so T-shirts, or a some "play clothes", but JC Penny has all that, and of a higher quality. It's nice to have a choice, even nicer to have one in a small town.

Of course, we also have Old Navy, and Marshalls here in town, so our choice is even better than most towns.

Things like this ease their way into our lives, and soon we can take them for granted.

Although we don't have a hardware store here in Sturbridge, there is one I frequent a great deal just over the town line in Brimfield. The True Value hardware store in on Route 20, and not only sells hardware, but gas, camp wood, and dog houses as well. Nice place, with nice folks, and sure beats the heck out of running to Home Depot in Auburn or Aubochons over on the south end of Southbridge.

I could spend the morning writing about the restaurants here in town, but suffice to say, we have enough to offer a good choice in menus. We are lucky to have so many choices.

Everything from cell phones, to jewelry, to fresh produce, to fresh fish is sold here in town. We have a choice from several gas stations here in town as well. The price between stations can vary as much as 20 cents per gallon at times.

Choice is good, and our choices here in Sturbridge are far better than most places.

There are a few things that I feel we could use here in town, but for the most part, for a small rural town, we are doing quite well.

Local businesses rely on our using them in order to stay in business. If the service is good, the prices are right, and the staff friendly, then there is little reason to shop elsewhere.

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