I live in The Hudson Valley of New York. Actually it's the "Mid" Hudson Valley and the foothills of The Catskill Mountains. The "Lower" Hudson Valley is part of the NYC suburbs--very crowded and has been growing steadily since 9/11. The "Mid" is an area in flux--changing from "bedroom" communities to suburbs.
The little town I live in has 4000 people, it includes
- 2 stop lights
- 3 gas stations
- 4 churches and 1 synagogue
- 1 ice cream stand
- 3 pizza places
- 1 Mexican and 3 Chinese food restaurants
- a family owned grocery store
- 1 Chevy dealer
- NOT ONE fast food restaurant and NO movie theaters
- The nearest Krispy Kreme donut is 25 minutes away and the closest B&N/Starbucks is 25 minutes in the other direction.
- But, we've got a great USED BOOK STORE
Small town America at it's best--LOL.
Not very exciting, but I can look out my bedroom window and see a river slowly meandering north (yes, it flows north and not south). Deer and wild turkey wander our backyard and come up to our back door. We can see bald eagles flying over the river searching for fish. Majestic blue herons stand perfectly still on the river's banks. If I look north I can see the "Trapps" (cliffs) outside of New Paltz. If I listen I can hear birds, bull frogs and woodpeckers.
In the fall, I'll see leaf colors so beautiful, they're breathtaking. And, if I take it for granted, the steady stream of "Leaf Peepers" from NYC, with their picnic lunches of wine, cheese and baggettes (rather cliche isn't it--but true), are a constant reminder. Locals laugh, but I understand the draw.
It may not be as exciting as NYC, but I wouldn't live anywhere else.
So, it sounds bucolic and grand doesn't it? Gee, it seems like I forgot to mention
- The skunks we had to evict from under our front porch.
- Woodchucks that eat my flowers and my husbands vegetable garden.
- Raccoons breaking into the garbage pails.
- Deer that eat the bushes down to nubs and bring ticks carrying Lyme Disease right to our back door (my husband's had Lyme Disease--worse than any flu you can imagine.)
- Squirrels picking the black walnut tree clean and throwing the shells into the pool.
- The bull frogs I hear live in the mosquito ridden swamp that used to be a swimming pool two doors down.
- The lady next door who rakes leaves into our yard because the tree is ours, therefore the leaves are ours too.
- Black bears and coyotes that occasionally wander out of the mountains and get lost.
- How about the snakes that range from harmless to poisonous?
- And what about the winters that start with a just few flakes in October and November and end with snow banks that don't melt until April.
I'm amazed by the amount of people who, when they move out of the "City" or more established 'burbs, think it's the towns responsiblilty to take care of all these little nuisances instead of just living with them like the rest of us. They forget that the little nuisances come with the perks.
Hey, it's not glamorous, but it's my backyard.
So, what's in your backyard??