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I am really off-topic this week, but I can’t help but write about the vanishing countryside around my small town of Gettysburg as the city folk and progress move in.

I was completely stunned when I drove down my dirt driveway earlier this week to find that a yellow stripe had been painted down a road that leads to my house. You may think this is a small thing – but the road is not really a road – it’s a lane, along which no one lives. It is even named “— Lane,” after the farmer who once owned the two fields through which it runs.

When I moved into my house 14 years ago, it was dirt, and you had to pull into the field if you met a car. (As I recall, that only happened about once or twice a year).

A few years ago, they decided to widen and pave this little dirt patch of a road that sits between two fields. It was, I suppose, done in the name of progress, though I don’t think the usage warrented it and I doubt that most people felt it necessary.

I liked my little dirt lane that required shifting between second and third gear between the potholes. It slowed me down for that short .8-mile stretch, gave me time to appreciate my surroundings. Now it is just like everything else these days, smooth, extravagant, designed for speed.

I guess I’m old-fashioned as I sit here and long for the “good old days,” when we didn’t need a yellow line to tell us what side of the road to drive on, and didn’t think a dirt lane that slowed us down was objectionable or outdated.

For those who tell me this progress, I recommend they read this famous quote:

All movement is not progress, just as all motion is not forward. Anonymous

 

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