Observations on a Grey Morning

I had a deja vu moment today. I took Mary to school, and as I was leaving, the radio started playing the song Boys Of Summer by Don Henley. I love that song. Every time I hear it, it takes me back to my college days in Ames, Iowa. (Iowa State University) Back to the days when I was slender, my hair was long, brown and curly, and I had no responsibilities other than keeping my grades up. Every time I hear Boys Of Summer I can see Welch Avenue and Campustown in my mind’s eye. Well, the song played, and I backed Candy up and turned down Third Avenue to go home. Third Avenue is lined on both sides by older homes and big trees, just like Welch, and as I drove up the hill I suddenly felt like I was back in Ames and I would see the Towers Dormitories when I crested the hill. Of course I didn’t – what I saw was Main Street, and beyond that, the new housing addition north of Park Ridge Road. But it was a neat sensation, for a split second, to be back in Ames and 21 years old. Ah, the good old days.

Speaking of the “good old days” and the new housing addition, I’m starting to have a little problem with my little town. It’s not so little anymore. Carl and I starting building our house nine years ago (July) and since then the development where we live has filled in, and contractors have started three new additions: the Poker Flats Addition (north) the Ridgeview Addition (east) and the Feather Ridge Addition (west). The size of our town has doubled since we’ve moved here. Seriously. And there’s talk of putting in a “strip mall” on the west edge of town. We have a nurse practitioner here, and she wants to build a new office out there, along with a fitness facility and a sub shop. Not bad for a town that was around 900 people when we moved here. But Atkins is growing fast, almost too fast for its infrastructure, and is becoming a bedroom suburb of Cedar Rapids. I never wanted to live in a Cedar Rapids suburb, and I’m starting to feel trapped. Plus, it’s noisy. Not noisy in a big-city-honking-taxis-booming-rap-music way, but in a constant-sound-of-machinery way. Sitting here now, at my computer, I can hear the rumble of earth moving equipment that’s about three blocks away. It sounds like a diesel engine UPS truck is idling right outside my window. Two years ago, that sound would have meant that the UPS truck was here, or else the farmer who owns the field just south of us was out working, but those sounds would end and then it would be quiet. Not anymore. Now the rumble is constant, and is becoming very annoying. So I’ve been praying that, if it’s God’s will, He’ll show us a nice farm somewhere, one that we can afford, that’s away from all the noise. Who knows? Maybe it’s God’s will that we stick it out here, and eventually the building will stop, and it will be quiet again. Only time will tell. Until then, though, I think I’m going to be investing alot of money on ear plugs.

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