Road construction is the fifth Michigan season. Sometimes it's affectionately referred to as "Orange barrel season," and how we so enjoy it - not. The most local project for us has been a multi-year widening of the road our boys' schools are on. That means that four plus times a day for the last many school years, I've been blessed enough to sit in construction traffic. Last week, the section in front of their schools finally opened and we all sobbed in joy as we viewed the five wide-open traffic lanes.
The only reason I share that with you is because just north of that construction area is an intersection - a narrow, dangerous, complete congestion of roadway. The original plan was that the road widening would go through that intersection, but it stopped just before it and resumed after it. The authorities cited lack of funds for buying out the viable businesses which surround that intersection (even as they found minimal funds to reduce homeowners' front yards to 6-foot grass strips.)
Among the businesses there are a party store (known as a liquor store in other worlds), a shack which masquerades as a hardware store, and an empty carry-out restaurant. Ironically enough, the restaurant was purchased last year by a new owner and has set idle while local gossip says that he purchased it knowing the road expansion was coming and that he would make a tidy profit off the purchase of his land -- even though he never managed to open his new restaurant. Ironic, I said? Yes, since the construction stopped when his land was deemed too valuable for the county and state to afford to purchase it.
I smiled when I heard that. Gluttony never wins. Then, last week, officials announced that there are Washington funds available and that those funds would be coming to a local intersection and closed restaurant near me.
You'll have to excuse me now while I go locate and purchase corner property with a shack on it and wait for Washington to make me an offer I can't refuse.