My hometown is an old farming town in theory, but it has become a modern suburban town in the past thirty years. For public relations, the few remaining historic buildings from the 18th century have been depicted on pamphlets, but it is a façade. We are dominated by one modern development after another; men have sold farmland and forests, builders have bulldozed trees and scraped the land, carpenters have built McMansions, and landscapers have created new, expansive green lawns. New neighborhoods are everywhere; farmland is scarce. People mainly from India and China have moved in, and I often see women in bright saris and headscarves strolling through the neighborhoods, and old Chinese women in large straw hats walking behind their husbands in the park. Bigger schools have been built to accommodate the growing population of children. We have exponential growth and a new blend of cultures, but our old image has not changed with the times.
I have mixed feelings about the changes. I found the rural landscape to be beautiful with patchwork fields of corn and soy stretching over the gentle hills. I am saddened each time I see the fields and woods demolished, and new buildings erected. However, I like having neighbors that I can easily get together with, and I like the diversity of the community. I appreciate how well-kept the houses and lawns are, and I enjoy looking at the landscaping. My home is one of the old farmhouses, and I get to enjoy the historic charm of the place – the old amid the new. Most of all, I like the people in my town, so I am here to stay.