Sometimes it seems as if the city, county, and state (and interstate?) construction planners have but a single question before they commence: Where does Dyer like to travel? Knowing this, they can now plan their construction schedule to snarl my roads most traveled by.
Let's take the last few months, for example:
- Main Street in Hudson has been torn up since early July. Main Street. Which I must cross every day to get my morning caffeine fix. I feel, at times, as if I'm crossing a World War I battlefield.
- Fishcreek Road (Stow-Kent) has been closed (Kent-bound) for weeks; it's a principal route we take to Kent.
- Barlow Road (a bit south of Hudson) has been closed to eastbound traffic for months. This was troublesome for me because my family physician's office is right on the corner of Barlow and Rt. 91. I could turn in to the doctor's office, but to get home I had to drive all the way around Robin Hood's barn* to get back to town. (Miles to go before I slept.)
- Rt. 91 itself, just past Hudson's southern edge, is having some major bridge repair. One lane in each direction, a slow, slow, slow way to go.
- In Hudson, the planners have altered the lanes at the intersection of Rt. 91 and Rt. 303. Much confusion there--some near head-ons (one involving Yours Truly).
- There may be others, but I'm getting too depressed to remember where they are.
Now I know that all of this is just a coincidence, right? Not some foul government plot to keep me from getting where I'm trying to go?
Nah. It's just a metaphor for aging. Things that used to be easy are now difficult; ways that used to be open to me are closed--or cluttered.
I expect by the time I'm ready to "check out," every single sidewalk, street, byway and highway will be shut down. Only an elevator will remain ... down? up? I'll let you know.
*the "Robin Hood's barn" stuff--the OED says only this:
Chiefly U.S. round Robin Hood's barn and variants: by a circuitous or tortuous route (lit. and fig.); ‘round the houses’. Freq. in to go round Robin Hood's barn.
1797 M. L. Weems in P. L. Ford Mason Locke Weems (1929) II. 77, I can sell them abundantly fast without the trouble of going round Robin Hood's barn.
a1854 J. F. Kelly Humors of Falconbridge (1856) 220 The way some folks have of going round ‘Robin Hood's barn’ to come at a thing.
1878 Notes & Queries 22 June 486/2 ‘Where have you been today?’ ‘All round Robin Hood's barn! I have been all about the country, first here and then there.’
1928 S. Lewis Man who knew Coolidge 17 When it came to talking, why say, he wandered all round Robin Hood's barn!
1934 E. M. Rhodes Beyond Desert 201 Wagon-road goes all around Robin Hood's barn to get to my place.
1977 Time 31 Jan. 1/3 Your article on birth control goes around Robin Hood's barn for an answer to the birth control problem.
2005 Boston Globe (Nexis) 31 May f1 The plot eases out of Start and then bucks and shifts and takes you all over Robin Hood's barn.