Sunday, August 04, 2013

Built Up

I love sitting outside on a cool morning with my coffee and newspaper - yes, print media may it never die - and watch the hummingbirds take their sips of sugar water.  Spouse came out to join me, but was driven in by 55F. temps and my protestations over his polluting the fresh country air with his ghastly cigarettes.  The smoke always finds it's way directly into my face.  At least he did not jump on the table, dump my coffee and chew up last Sunday's paper.  It feels more like October today.  Love it.   Directly across the little Beaver Creek valley from where I am sitting is another home, a double-wide, ubiquitous in this region, recently installed.  I am typical of people who find a spot in paradise then expect no one else to come.  I, however, moved into an existing structure, something that used to be commendable in environmental circles.   Just above the two double wides on the opposite side of the valley is a lovely old barn that was being refurbished by people from New Jersey.  Matt says the materials they were using are top of the line energy efficient panels.  They lived in the tiny farmhouse while they were working on the barn in the summer.  Before Matt got his weatherization job with the non-profit, he stopped in to ask if they needed any help with construction.  The guy said he had fallen on hard times in NJ, like so many, and was not in good health.  Nothing has been done on the site for a couple of years now.  Perhaps they wanted to move here permanently, too.  Dreams dashed by unfortunate circumstances.  I wish I lived in a more isolated place, perhaps the Adirondacks.  I have privacy, but not complete privacy on all sides.  People can watch me with binoculars - yes I know I provide better entertainment than Direct TV.  I don't want to move, as I have the most lovely spot, under the piney ridge, on a hillside, and a back pasture that has so much character, with streams and ponds.  Both our jobs are commutable, long, but manageable.    I could never, ever, afford to build this magnificent barn anywhere else.   Sure, it would have better pipes and amenities, but not the historic class that mine has.  Maybe someday someone will have the money to really fix it up, but I can't imagine anyone investing so much of their life-force into a barn, other than the Amish.  People complain about them and say they do carpentry work and undercut local contractor's prices, etc.  I don't mind them a bit.  They are farmers, unlike the "downstate people" (an insult around here) who buy land, put a Winnebago on it, cover it with a tarp, and come up periodically with their quads and guns to shoot animals.   They are not as bad as the downstate people who move here, get on the town council, and enact laws against things that farmers need to do, like burning piles of debris once or twice a year.  If you don't have a back hoe to bury it there is not much else to do with it.  Farms grow piles of debris.  Then there is the guard dog issue.  Don't get me started.  Guard dogs bark into the night to warn the predators to stay away.  City people who move to Paradise don't understand that.   A lovely 300 plus farm, like mine was, was divided up nearby and city people have built little cabins on parcels.  One of the gorgeous stone barns was beautifully restored, with a little prefab house next to it.  Cameras were installed with signs that read "Smile-We Are Watching You" or some such nonsense.  They have GOT to be city people.  I am city people, too, having lived a mile outside of a large town, in a development, in New Jersey....but I have sheep poop on the bottom of my shoes!  That has to count for something!

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