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, September 7, 2010

Life Signs Along 148

I live on a road that sees its share of traffic.  Depending on the day, and time of year, it can be very tough to get out of the driveway, or it can be a breeze.  No big deal, that's life on Route 148, but what I am finding out is that those cars that drive by actually have humans inside of them, and aren't just cars.

OK, OK, I know, sounds strange, but how often do we actually connect with the faces inside the cars that drive by our homes?  Well, if we live on a cul-de-sac maybe a bit more than most, but on a busy state highway, not at all.  Of course, when someone beeps, and waves I will wave back at the tail lights as they drive by, but that's it.

Unless they were driving a clown car, I have a hard time recognizing them once they pass the house at 50 mph.

So, how do I know there are humans, real people in those cars, and not just automatons?  Well, I've been finding traces of them all along my lawn.

I know, amazing, huh?  I feel like an archaeologist, or better yet, CSI: Fiskdale.

We have 304 feet of frontage, and that accounts for a lot of space for folks to toss their whatevers out of their car window, and for those items to land on our lawn.  Littering has always been with us, although in the past 40 years, it has decreased dramatically, but there is still litter out there.   What is even more bothersome than a Ring Ding wrapper on our lawn is the other things I find.

  • Nip bottles.  You know, those little bottles of booze.  A lot of them.  Every week, another flavor, or two.  You can be sure that whomever threw it onto my lawn did not loose it out of their bottle recycling bag.  This scares the bejeepers out of me for obvious reasons.
  • Lottery scratch cards.  This is frightening as well, especially if there is only one person in the car, and they are the one scratching, and driving.
  • An abandoned bicycle.  The one I found was stolen, and the police did come and retrieve it.
  • Fast food wrappers.  All kinds of them.  And the incidence increases during the school year as students stop at Micky D's for a quick Sausage Biscuit on the way to school.  No surprise here.
  • Wedding bouquets.  Found this one earlier last week.  Must have been  one hell of a toss at the reception.  That would be one bride I would like to see pitch for the majors.
  • Cell phones. They were broken. I did find a cell phone intact on a Sandwich beach a few years ago.  I charged it up, and found the address and returned it.  I also checked out the photos, but I felt like a voyeur.  The phones I found on my lawn didn't have photos on them.  Disappointing.
  • Condoms.  I know, I know, but how, never mind why.
  • Cigarette packages, and butts will always be with us.
  • Mail.  Unopened mail form out of the area, and occasionally opened mail still in the envelope.  what is up with this?  The unopened mail I will stick it in the mailbox and hope it finds its way home, and the opened mail will get a new stamp and some tape, and off it goes again.  Talk about being haunted by your bills.  
These are a few of the unique things I find.  It's a treasure hunt, really, but I wish the pirates tossing their booty would throw something of worth now and again.  

What is thrown away, when it is discarded, and why, does speak loudly about our society.  We are not all sober behind the wheel, obviously, and we gamble while driving, too.  The cell phone thing is expected, but why toss the phone out the window?  Bad reception, or bad conversation?  I wish I was a fly on the wall inside that car.  The condom thing I don't want to explore any further.

So, from the microcosm along my front lawn I've had a a unique view into local society.  Some of it expected, some surprising, and some conjuring up disturbing visuals.  Funny ones, but still disturbing.

I guess I really shouldn't complain.  The remnants of living life may litter our lawn,but that shows  that our village is alive.

Sure beats the alternative.

1 comment:

  1. Along with writing and photography, you might try a little artwork. Here's an idea. Attach a one of your roadside treasures to a canvas, or a structure of some sort, and paint something inspired by the treasure next to it. For example a smoker with the cigarette butt, a young bride with the bouquet, or a condominium with the...


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