Sunday, December 17, 2006

The World Has Changed

I grew up in Detroit. I was about 3 when my family moved there. In a nice little neighborhood filled with working class people just as my family was. Many were immigrants that had come to America for a piece of the American Dream. The streets were filled with different sized houses that were neatly kept and the neighborhood itself had a feeling of being safe. People walked to the store to get their groceries. There was a small business district a few blocks away that had drug stores, furniture stores and 5 & 10 cent stores. I can remember as a youngster, saving my money to go buy comic books from the local drug store. They were about 12 cents apiece then.

Every Christmas my mother would take my sister and I downtown to see all the Christmas decorations. She'd also take us to a store called Hudson's to see the toy display there. They would also decorate one whole floor (the building was 14 stories tall) for Christmas with animated elves and such. We would wind our way through the display until the end, where we would get to see Santa himself. Such sweet memories.

Fast forward to the present. Even when I went to visit my mom in the old neighborhood, almost no one walks to the store now. Hardly anyone can be seen walking anywhere there. The houses aren't as neatly kept. There is a resurgence in the neighborhood though. New immigrants are making a home for themselves and going for the dream.

Where I live now, sidewalks are a thing of the past for areas. For that matter, they are in most new areas. Stores are farther to get to also. Gone is the friendly neighborhood drug store. Every one seems to drive to get to where ever they need to go. I know this is a necessity as most places don't even have a way to walk there now.

I've grown up also. I too drive pretty much everywhere I go. I do miss the walking to the neighborhood drugstores though. And the 5 and 10 cent stores. I'm still a kid at heart though. Just ask Skittles.

This was just something I have been thinking about the last couple of days. Going out shopping and such. I like going shopping, but the people just don't seem as friendly as they did when I was younger. Too many people treat parking lots as raceways. Everyone seems to be in a hurry to get to where they are going. I really couldn't wait to get home from shopping Saturday. The hustle and bustle of crowded city life just isn't for me anymore. Maybe it's because I have endured it for so long and just recently seen a slower way and easier lifestyle.

I used to dream about living in West Virginia. That dream still exists, but the job market there just isn't good. I'll have to see about that when I retire. But, during our vacation last summer, I got a chance to see more of our beautiful country than I ever had before. I think now I would like to live in Wyoming. Plenty of open spaces. Things there might not be convenient in the ways they are where I live now. but, the lack of crowded areas seems to call to me. The scenery isn't bad either.

So, just thought I'd pass on my little bits of thinking to you. As Christmas nears, I ask that you take time to think about things. You don't have to delve into deep thoughts, just think about things is all. It helps me sort out things that are going on in my life. It might help you also.
Till next time BYE!!


JohnH985 said...

The problem is that today no one has patience. We are in such a rush to get to the next place, to the next line, to the next store, to the next whatever...

And I have to include myself in that category. I find that if I go to the store and the lines are too long I just walk out. I don't want to waste time waiting in line. We all want to hurry up and get everything over with.

If we're not careful we're going to hurry up and get life over with.

Jake said...

Mike, before you select a retirement area, you better stay far a while, get to know the people a little better

HeatherinBeautifulBritishColumbia said...

I think Wyoming is a perfect place to retire - lots of space to kick back and reflect....I'm going to think about that!

Rach said...

I agree 100% with everything you said here. I am more tired of busy, crowded city life than you could ever know. I'm tired of the fake, materialistic people that seem to be the majority these days. I probably wouldn't recognize my neighbors if we ran into each other in our own parking lot. I have this whole theory on crime increasing as the need to interact with others decreases. We can do everything from the comfort of our own home now. Shop, order food, chat, even work. No interaction with other humans can drive people insane...literally. It causes depression a lot of the time.

Skittles said...

Well, you know I liked the slower pace on the other side of the state, and you also know we both fell in love with Wyoming. It's all we talked about for weeks after we got home!

I miss the 5&10 stores, the hardware stores with the creaking wooden floors.

Rach said...

*sigh* I'm back...I truly love this post, but it makes me sad. I need open spaces.

maggie said...

I hate going by where I grew up. It was all woods and fields. Excellent for all the things we did horseback riding, snowmobiling, ice skating ponds, fishing and sledding. Now it is all businesses and parking lots. It really makes me sad.

Jeni said...

When I was a kid, growing up in this little village, we had two general stores that carried about everything from soup to nuts, plus tools, clothes - you name it. They've been gone for 30-40 years now! Used to have a bar and 2 private clubs - only a bar and the Moose still exist. Used to have 3 Lutheran churches, the Catholic church and a EUB church - only have the Catholic church here in town today - 1 Lutheran church now about 5 miles away. And, we also used to have a post office too and haven't had that now for 12 years! Mail is now deliverd to "cluster" boxes -3 of these within the village! Sad to see how things change that way!