Thursday, January 3, 2008

Hay Bales to Highways: The Story of How I Came to Live in Jersey

Well, I figure I had better tell you how I got to the country in the first place before I tell you about how I came to leave it. When I was 5 my family moved out into the country (from a lovely, new, "modern" house)--and when I say country I don't mean it wasn't congested and there were animals around--I mean it was RUSTIC and not in that cute provincial decorative way either!

The homestead we moved into was about a mile away from the closest neighbor which happened to be my grandparents. My Dad had spent his whole life just down the road where he grew up with his brother and three sisters and had wanted to enlarge our farm (which currently consisted of 2 holstein cows) so we moved next door to his childhood home.

My Dad's parents ended up moving to the middle of nowhere a bit after they were married and it was a BIG change for them! They came to the tiny fish-town of Altmar from the Big Apple! My Grandmother Rose Veronica had spent her life in NYC and was terrified when they moved to Altmar. She couldn't believe there weren't any street lights, was amazed at how dark it was and I'm told she went gray just about overnight because of how fearful she was of living in the dark, in the woods, in the middle of nowhere on a single lane dirt street.

When my family and our two cows moved to Altmar things were a bit better--the road was now two lanes and paved but we had things like coy dogs (WILD howling prowling dogs that ate chickens and possibly small children...well maybe not the children part) and SNAKES everywhere! Seriously, you couldn't go outside without seeing snakes (one time my dad walked into the barn and one fell from the rafters and landed on his neck) seriously, I couldn't make this stuff up if I wanted to!
And the mice...urgh! Mice of every color were running through that house and taking up residence in every nook and cranny--I saw black mice and white mice, grey mice and little holstein cow colored mice. And the bats...

I left out the best part of all--NO INDOOR RUNNING HOT WATER. Seriously, there was plenty of cold water but no HOT water! Of course, this was the first thing my handy man father fixed but we took plenty of sink baths before we hooked up the hot water!

I remember the first time we turned on the oven to cook a meal--you won't believe what happened...


charmed1 said...

Snakes - ewww! I couldn't live like that! I grew up in Elbridge and thought that was country but I think you got me beat!

dlyn said...

Found you from your comment on PW's blog - this is a great blog and I will be back to check it out some more. I live in the country too and have a few tales of my own about life in the wilderness if you want to check them out. Good luck with the potty training - my daughter is having the same struggle with her son!