County Road 8 Ends
More than 30 years ago, when Dad was at hard work farming,
ODOT was paying the engineers to create blueprints for a new and bigger
State Highway 24 through NW Ohio.
Dad and Mom raised our family on the quiet country county road
in a four-generation family farmhouse,
where we all enjoyed the blessings of rural living--
true organic gardening and animal-raising,
fields of wheat, corn, and soybeans, and sometimes tomatoes,
and a huge yard for ball playing in the summer and ice skating in the winter.
Dad retired from farming and Mom retired from nursing. Then they moved a few miles into a small town subdivision where they can still mow grass and plant flowers and pumpkins and spit watermelon seeds.
Then after a long battle waged by the hundreds of farmers against the state highway department, change became inevitable.
A year ago the big earthmoving machines rolled in and began their grunting and groaning as the fields were wiped out and reconfigured. The rich soil was dug and moved to make road beds. Huge ponds have begun to fill with water along each square mile.
The process continues. It's hard to watch. The family farm has been divided into two triangular sections, one not even accessible from the other. Other farmers fared better, some fared even worse. The county road is now a dead-end road. A cloverleaf interchange is going in half a mile down the way. It's all been hard on those who made their living farming the fields and providing food for America's families.
Some say it's progress. The truckers will be happy to have more lanes and a straighter course to their destinations. The speed limit will most likely go up.
We'll miss riding our bicycles along the quiet county road, waving to old neighbors, and picking Queen Anne's Lace and cattails along the way.
Change is inevitable. But we don't have to like it. Sometimes less is more.