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Progress?

  In the small community where we live there are no stoplights, just a sleepy little caution light on the town square. There are benches for whittlers and those that have the time to stop and “set a spell.”

  Residents peddle produce and flowers from the back of pickup trucks parked side by side next to an antiquated courthouse that boasts stairs so steep they leave even the physically fit breathless. It is a quiet, quaint little town, but like everything else in the world, it is changing.

  Last week one of the larger fast-food chains opened a restaurant less than a mile down the road from our house. I suppose it had to happen. No matter where you live, sooner or later progress finds its way into the farmers’ fields and cow pastures.

Progress, of course, comes with a price. The roadside is already littered with bags and boxes from the new eatery. Every night my children inspect supper and decide whether or not they will eat what I’ve prepared or drive down the road for a burger. The spare change in my purse disappears into a collection plate for french fries.

  And then there’s the challenge of driving past the brightly lit hamburger joint without being run over by oncoming traffic. The highway has turned into an obstacle course of swerving cars filled with gawking drivers, their necks twisted and heads turned toward Edmonton’s newest establishment. Evidently I’m not the only one unaccustomed to big-city lights in my small town.

  The next thing you know we’ll have to replace the caution light with a modern three-colored stoplight. What is this world coming to?

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