Lost Arts studio

A lot of the fiber arts I enjoy are things like tatting, netmaking, chair caning, and even weaving, where people will come up to me when I demonstrate and solemnly tell me, "That's a lost art."

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Location: SW Outer Nowhere, Michigan, United States

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a chicken. (With apologies to Peter Steiner.)

24 March 2008

Sunny Sunday

Sunday involved a lot of driving on roads that looked like this and this.

I brought a pair of socks to knit, but ended up staring out the window most of the time. We drove north out of the snow, which is backwards of how the weather usually is here.

Of course, the farther north we went, the further back in time we went in spring, so all was brown and unlovely.

Winter is always hard on the roads, but I think this winter was harder than most. The temperature kept going up above freezing and filling all the cracks with meltwater, then freezing and popping the pavement off. Pothole city!

Years ago they went over all the freeway lane lines, cut squares out of the pavement, and set reflectors in concrete along the lane line. At the time, we wondered what was going to happen when the plow blades hit those reflectors.

Between years of freeze-and-thaw and being scraped with snowplow or grader blades, there are now hundreds of thousands of rectangular holes along the lane lines, that's what. Civil engineer, meet frozen water.

I thought I'd better take a picture of one of the random farms along our route before they all vanish under condos and townhouses.

There are still quite a few of these out there, little old farmhouses with a barn and some fenced pasture and maybe a woodlot or sugarbush, but every so often I drive somewhere and suddenly there are sixty identical-but-for-color houses stamped out like something out of the early versions of Sim City. (Remember that sound it used to make? ker-chunka ker-chunka, no more farms or horses or cows, just like that.)

And I won't even dignify by naming it the development (award-winning, its sign says) that was put on an old farm. It now has a self-conscious, pseudo-barn clubhouse, a tiny miniature farm windmill in the middle of a pond, and a peculiar silo-cum-lighthouse at the entrance. And I think a golf course. In case any of the cows need to play a few holes.

This is the kind of windmill you still see in varying states of disrepair on many old farms. They were usually pumping windmills that filled an elevated water tank for a gravity water system. So it would make little sense to put one up in the middle of a pond, unless the water was spilling out everywhere and creating the pond.

Am I the only one who notices that named developments usually suffer from this sort of mental blindness?

If it's named "Cherry Valley," it's certain to be on the side of a hill with a tasteful planting of staked pine trees out front. I saw one called "Osage Orchards". We have osage orange trees here. And orchards. One day I'll get a picture of "Hillside ( )arm" (missing the "F" for the last couple of years).



Blogger Rose Red said...

Oh we have those developments too - almost identical monopoly houses built on too-small blocks, so that you could almost stick your arm out of the window of one and touch your next door neighbour's house. McMansions, we call them here. Hideous.

10:56 PM  
Blogger Roxie said...

People keep having children and those kids grow up and need someplace to live. Then they have kids who grow up and need someplace to live . . .What ever happened to the notion of zero population growth? We have some of the richest farmland on earth here in the Wilamette Valley, and it's getting covered over with tacky condos at a rate of square miles per month.

8:55 AM  
Blogger Allison said...

If it's called Cherry Valley, likely there were some really lovely cherry trees there before they bulldozed them to plant houses and pines.

1:09 PM  
Blogger Knitting Linguist said...

That's very sad. I hate developments, and I can't imagine living in one. They're so very soulless, aren't they?

5:07 PM  

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