Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Grudging Admission

Over the years, I have made many snide comments about the rapid population growth in my little section of North Carolina.  In my Deborah Knott books, I have mourned the changes and losses:  loss of farmland, loss of familiar landmarks,  loss of local newspapers that used to act as an ombudsman for its readers, loss of community.

This picture, taken here in my neighborhood, is a perfect metaphor.  It shows a field of tobacco in early August after the sand lugs have been harvested.   Striding the field like alien behemoths are those huge power structures that relay electricity for space-age gadgetry from one end of the state to the other. There to the side is an uninhabited tenant house.  No power line to it.  In another few years, as the housing market rebounds, it will probably be bulldozed, and dozens of fully-wired houses will spring up where tobacco now grows.

“People have to live somewhere,” my Brooklyn-born husband keeps telling me.  “Get over it.”

He’s fond of saying, “It takes a certain critical mass if you want a decent symphony, the ballet, even real bagels, wines, and cheeses other than Velveeta and hoop cheese.”

He’s absolutely right.  But North Carolina has now passed New Jersey, Virginia and Massachusetts in population and I kept thinking of that line by Edna Millay:   “I know.  But I do not approve.  And I am not resigned.”

A couple of weeks ago though, I had a medical emergency. (I’m fine now. Absolutely no after-effects.) And now I must grudgingly admit that yes, the mushrooming growth is why we have an excellent emergency care facility only six miles away and not twenty-six miles away in Raleigh as it was in the “good ol’ days” when I was a child.

There are pluses and minuses to every change, but Urgent Care is definitely a plus!

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