Saturday, June 20, 2009

A lot of cold, wet 'civilization'

It's been three weeks since I've had anything to say.

That might be a record. I've hit a state of ohmmmmmmmmmmm --- or something. Just taking one day at a time, making a list, waiting for the weather to clear.

Especially waiting for the weather to heal.

Today is the Waterfront Festival in Watkins Glen and the much-anticipated Cardboard Boat Races. And this is our radar picture for today.

One of the biggest changes after living in Mexico for six months is that we now have to check the weather forecast daily --- or hourly --- and we actually talk about the weather. In Mexico, you knew every day was going to be perfect. Here in New York, Michael has already told me to clear my schedule for Tuesday and Wednesday because the forecast is finally looking good.

Not that the forecast can't and won't change. But I'm (finally) adapting. And not whining as much. I'm also layered up in fleece with a rain slicker, shoes and socks.

Re-entry to Civilization

The first few weeks back is a process of re-adapting to a country that offers pretty much everything and anything and is easy --- all for a price, of course.

Some of the things I've been enjoying:
• Just rinsing our fruits and veggies, rather than treating them in anti-bacterial rinse before eating.
• Drinking the water out of the faucet.
• Getting dressed in the morning without having to shake my clothes and shoes to make sure a scorpion hasn't taken up residence.
• Streaming video on Netflix!

Some of the things I'm still wrapping my brain around:
• The price of everything! --- food in the grocery stores, restaurants, gas, any services.
• The difficulty of finding people to work in some service areas, especially housecleaning. It pays pretty well but nobody's doing it. What's up with that?
• The weather. (Of course).

My latest venture into civilization was Friday's visit to a dentist in Ithaca, Dr. Chris Devenpeck (in practice with Dr. Ira Kamp) to have a tooth extracted. Friday's are also spa day at the office so you get massage while they yank your tooth out.

Silly as it sounds, dang, it works. It's hard to concentrate on exactly how uncomfortable and anxious I am when someone's massaging my feet.

Massage at the dentist
How 'bout it, Dr. Pam?


I'm also so pleasantly reminded of the history of family, of the length of the roots we have here. Our ancestors arrived in upstate New York sometime in the 1700s and I have cousins and siblings, nieces and nephews to visit up and down the lake.

About 50 years ago, when my mother bought this place near Hector, we built a steep, narrow path down to our lakefront and dock. The cables we attached to the saplings have now grown into and become a part of the trunk of the tree, a reminder of how long we've been here.

50 years of a sapling's growth
The cable is a handrail tacked on to the tree 50 years ago

Our dock on Seneca Lake
Our dock at the bottom of the 'goat trail'

Although my mother has been gone since February 2005, I still use her name to remind people of my connection to the area and she's still remembered, her house is still known.

But the memory of the locals goes so much farther back than us that often I have to remind the oldtimers that 'you know, the cottage that old Stoney owned?' And they know right where I live. And I think, 'Gee whiz. How long do we have to live here before we're not the newcomers?'

I guess longer than 50 years.

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