May 24, 2009

Old familiar places abandon

Going upp north to visit Frida and her parents on Thursday meant driving the exact same way as driving to the summer/weekend house. Growing up I spent every weekend, holiday and summer there and for about 25-30 years the area was part of my life. Mum and my step dad sold the house about 5 years ago and since then I haven't been there, until Thursday.

The area is very much farm and farming country and things hadn't changed that much until I passed through the different villages. There many of the small shops, B & B:s, petrol stations and other buildings had closed down. Most of them also looked quite abandon and deserted. I didn't see that many people either so I asked Frida's mum later on what had happened.

The recession would be the easy answer, but this all started before the latest economic downturn. No demands on things, no jobs and no future. The young people move away after school and leave the older generation behind. They grow old and no one wants to take over. Result abandon and closed houses and businesses.

Going back the same way later that day I felt a bit sad. Sad that what I had growing up was no more and that children like Frida would never be able to enjoy the charm of small villages. A place where everybody knows your name and life as kid is always sunny and carefree. Or at least that's how I remember it...

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