The Heavy Machinery Rolls in…

Change is imminent.

Having grown up in a terraced Georgian cottage in London (protected by the National Trust) that backed up to the convent school’s playing fields, there wasn’t much change being forecast.


When I arrived in America some years ago I was assaulted by vast expansion projects;

the razing of moderately sized houses to be replaced by McMansions,

the digging up of fields to make room for zero lot sub-divisions,

the thrusting of four lane motorways between trees to accommodate additional traffic,

the pouring of pads to bring malls and cinemas to the sleepy backwaters of N. Texas.

While we were a growing a family our back fence was met by a field that sloped to a creek flanked by large trees, that in later years formed a natural sound barrier between us and the toll road.  These fields were categorized as flood fringe so no builder would risk investing in anything that had the potential to be swept away by water.

We had been told at closing that our dead-end was eventually going to be pushed out into the vast swathes of farmland that housed the imaginary crocodiles and bears we greeted each time we rode our bikes too close to the metal barrier where Collins ended.

When the heavy machinery finally rolled in we would sit under a neighbor’s willow tree and watch the monsters doing their work.  Although it shattered the tranquility we had grown used to it opened up a shortcut to the nearby grocery store.

Many years later we sought a more rural area in which to live weary of the mounting traffic and noise and close proximity of neighbors.

We knew about future development plans but the major players were uncertain of the exact city limits and  proposed positioning of major highways so we settled knowing we had a few acres embracing us.

Four years later the heavy machinery has moved in and scenes like this foretell the sorry fate of the countryside.


The fields I used to pass along the 7 mile drive home from 75 are being ploughed under,

retaining walls built,

and trees taken down by the hundreds.

My stomach sinks as I drive past builders’ signs and bulldozers.

It feels hollow with the sight of utility workers upgrading the power lines in order to better supply the proposed building of thousands of single family homes.

I want to move even further out, only that will take me away from family and friends.

I can do nothing but embrace the advancement.

The countryside is going to become the city…

…and perhaps our internet choices will be better and the weather won’t determine our Netflix watching.

Although I rather liked the pioneer feel of that!

Share this:

No comments so far!

Leave a Comment