The cool spring breeze kisses my face, upturned to feel the slight warmth of the sun's rays. The trill of songs held captive by the cold winter in the hearts of birds charms the day when unleashed. The fragrance of new buds permeates the air scenting it with the promise of beauty to come.
A picture perfect stroll on a picture perfect day...as long as I remember to go no further than my own backyard. Auntie Em Auntie Em where are you?
Several years ago the powers that be closed our 'dump' and created the more politically correct 'transfer station'. Our welcome letter was accompanied by a bill, and a warning that if we deigned to dump our discards in an area other than the designated trash heap, they would prosecute.
Silly me, I believed they'd actually sully their hands to do this, that they'd actually care????
My soon to be un-glorious walk to the end of my road is punctuated by the blowing debris, the buzz of flies, scurrying of rats, and the stench of last week's leftover casserole wafting by.
Along the way the roadside is littered with discarded beer cans and spent shotgun shells, a lethal combination which causes me concern. It is at least heartening to know that some messages have gotten through to the sexually active as condom use is apparently on the rise...and fall...as they lay grossly on the fresh blades of grass.
There must exist no housing codes nor abandoned vehicle laws. The rusting cars and trucks might begin to blend into the scenery as the underbrush swallows them, but the huge yellow junked school bus is hard to miss.
And isn't there a regulation about tire disposal? I'm charged a disposal fee from the garage for my used and abused ones. To whom do I send the bill for the stacks of those that line the yellow brick road towards Apes Hole Creek.
Upon nearing the water, amidst the undulating amber waves of marsh grass, someone has dumped an old riding mower, and an upright piano. Sacks of garbage torn open lay sodden on the ground. Someone skins deer and muskrat and dumps their rotted carcasses, along with decaying birds. Crab scraps and a pile of broken windows complete the picture.
Where are our threatening elected, hired, and appointed officials now? Do they lose their vision after the votes are tallied? Do they cease to care once they've posted our transfer fees and taxes?
I care, I deign to sully my hands and find the owner of this trash. My efforts by way of correspondence and attached identifying information resulted in the admonishment that they "can't do anything about it unless they actually SEE them toss the trash". Wouldn't 'seeing' this action require their presence, require some investigation, some policing of the area? It would involve involvement.
I've made phone calls, I've written a letter to the local paper.
I've offered to clean it up and bill the county, perhaps in lieu of my taxes. After all, shouldn't a portion of my tax dollars be used in my own neighborhood?
I've offered to transport the aforementioned offending garbage to our elected official's neighborhoods to allow them enjoy it as well.
It's really a lot closer than the transfer station. There's no annual fee. Perhaps I should simply accept that if I can't beat em I should join em?
There would still be no response.
And why? Because I live deep in the heart of Somerset County, on the outskirts of Crisfield, back in what we affectionately call 'the sticks'. Life is pretty quiet and serene, save for barking of dogs, hooting of owls and the occasional mooing of the cows in passion down the street. There's no place like home....
We vote, we pay up, but we don't count. Years ago I tried to get a 'slow children at play' sign erected and was told they don't do that anymore. Careful investigation revealed however that they apparently were saving them for certain other neighborhoods. I attempted in vain to persuade the school system to send the bus down our road to pick up the four small children living here. Seems the bus was already making too many stops for a single child on certain streets and...well...you get the picture.
The trash is not really the larger picture, it's merely a sad visual reminder that our elected officials don't give a damn about anyone who can't be of benefit to them. My needs and concerns are not grandiose, they are basic and necessary...safety and cleanliness.
However, I'm just a simple middle class resident hidden from the tourist view, tucked away and expected to be satisfied with the leftovers. Oh they come around often and assess our properties too high and shove a half ass septic system down our throats so they can collect the payments.
But, when it comes time to give back, it seems they've spent all their time, effort, and money...'someplace else'.
I, for one, am tired of being dumped on.