The Papah likes it when I keep my columns warm and fuzzy. I have a large readership among folks my age who remember how things used to be years ago. These same folks are the ones who are going to be affected by the monkey business going on with Social Security. We remember when there were shoe factories in Richmond, a baby clothes factory in Gardiner. We remember when there were local stores.
I am concerned about how things really are in our economy. Recently I have begun to notice how roadsides aren’t being cared for properly. There are places where the tree branches are growing out into the street. Who is supposed to cut the bushes – the property owner, the town, the state?
Also, I have noticed and can’t stop it now that I have started: I see everywhere how folks are retreating into their houses and letting the bushes grow up in their yards and borders. I have taken different roads when going into town. It is the same all over the area. Paint peeling, fences not cared for. Large fields that took years of manpower to clear are being allowed to grow up.
I can only conclude that either folks don’t have the time and money to keep up with things or that no one told them to keep the value of their property up by caring for the place and taking pride in how things look!
The loss of the great open fields began with the decline of farming. They hired others to cut the fields. These folks didn’t like cutting the small bushes that always grow along walls, so they didn’t mow close to the walls. As bushes sprouted, the fields got smaller and smaller. So our Maine countryside is fast vanishing back into the woods.
We mow our open fields and pasture to keep down the undergrowth. But it takes a lot of time and the mower is costly to run. Got to mow, though, Mamma would have a stroke if I didn’t.
(Doug Wright lives over Head Tide Hill in Whitefield. He welcomes feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.)