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On Sunny Lane: Just Saying

Last week Sweetheart and I traveled to the small town where I lived when I graduated from high school.

Some members of our class get together for lunch for a mini reunion once a month. We talk about old times; we talk about what's happening now; and we talk about what the future will be like--especially for our children and grandchildren.

Sweetheart and I passed through several small towns on our way to our destination. As we did, we saw empty storefronts, as well as empty houses and signs of decay in every town. We began to speculate on the cause of the decline. As we did, we began to realize there were many.

The first thing that we came up with was drug use. Did drug use cause the apathy that led to the breakdown of houses? Or did the gradual degradation of the houses cause the drug use? Or was it because homeowners and city dwellers just didn't care? Without answering our own questions, we moved on to other reasons we thought might have contributed to the current state of affairs.

Even though Sweetheart and I grew up many miles apart, we could both remember when the streets of town were full of pedestrians on Saturday. Friday nights were busy with factory workers cashing their paychecks and doing some shopping. All of the stores stayed open late, when the farmers could come into town after a hard week working in the fields. People met their neighbors along the way and spent almost as much time visiting as they did shopping.

Then entrepreneurs began to erect shopping malls and invite many different kinds of stores to locate there. Soon, shoppers had to drive to the malls to buy the things they wanted and needed. That left small local businesses struggling to survive. Many didn't.

Now, malls are going through the same struggle, as somed shoppers are doing their shopping online and having their products delivered to their door.

Factories have closed down and moved out of the state and out of the country. Some factories have even been bought out by foreign entities, then closed down, leaving employees unemployed.

We can't leave the federal government out of the equation. They have instituted regulations that hinder initiative and established programs that stifle incentive and encourage sloth.

What do people do with all of their time if they don't work? Work takes up a lot of a person's time and it's a great way for a person to use the talents God gave him/her to fulfill their purpose in life. If you don't work, do you get into mischief on social media? Do you get into quarrels with your neighbor? Do some people lose a sense of purpose in life and turn to drug use? It looks as though we are back to where we started in this conversation.

I'm no expert, but this is not the America I remember. I don't see the values of self-sufficiency, integrity and Christian morals that our founding fathers built this nation on. Maybe, if we got back to those ideals, we would see more buildings and less decay.

Just saying.


Dorothy is the author of two books—“Miles and Miracles” and “Getting It All Together “. You can purchase a book or send a comment by emailing her at

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