Saturday, July 12, 2008

Podunk Road

My driver's license still says it... 6098 Podunk Road, Trumansburg, NY.

It's in one of those neighborhoods where the address numbers are bigger than the homes, and where really big people drive really little cars, as opposed to my hometown of Manhattan, where quite the inverse is true.

Our quiet little hamlet of Podunk Heights - the region that begins at one edge of our property and ends at the other - became more like a stretch on the Podunk Parkway. We could here the thumping bass of the pizza delivery car from miles away, and our neighbor put such bright mercury vapor lights over his garage, we felt like we were living next to a gas station. Haven't people ever heard of timers?

So my husband, Chris, and I made the decision to make the move to my brother-in-law's newly acquired land and renovate an old farmhouse that happened to come with it. We are still in Trumansburg, but now we're in Seneca County - you can almost smell the comb-over hair oil as you cross over the county line. Trumansburg is full of Democrats - and there are a few Jews - but not the Seneca County edge.

Hence, I retain the title of Podunk Princess.

Our new home is incorporated as Porcupine Farm, and my husband proudly painted a handcut stenciled, spray-painted porcupine on our mailbox.

The farm is about 70 acres of fields, woods, and ponds. We (okay, he) planted a winter's worth of vegetables, I drive a tractor, and the only vehicles that travel on our road are either the people that live on it or the farm equipment operated by the next generation of local landowners.

On any given day, depending on the weather, I have my choice of what to weed, what to water, and what I can pretend I didn't see get eaten by wildlife.

And we have a lot of wildlife. Aside from raccoons, skunks, deer, rabbits, and other expected woodland creatures, we have coyotes, foxes, and even the occasional black angus cattle (or whatever those big black cows with tagged ears are called) whose successful escape from the neighbor's cattle farm means our dogs have something new, fresh and stinky to roll in. More about the dogs later, but needless to say, having a white dog makes it really easy to detect where the vile smells are coming from.

We have bugs. Lots of bugs. Crawling bugs, flying bugs, meat-eating bugs, dead bugs... ironically, it's the ladybug I have come to despise. Every Spring we get invaded...inside the house. They cluster by the thousands around the windows, and somehow manage to work their way into every aspect of life. They migrate in pocketbooks, they travel in luggage, they drop dead off the ceiling onto laptops. One night my husband and I went to dinner and we noticed a ladybug on his baseball hat. It spent the whole evening on his cap, and when we got home, Chris let it loose in the garden. The only thing I can do is wait for them to all die and then vacuum them up. If anyone knows a better way, please let me know!

We also have well water, which to me translates into "Well, we have water...". At least it's not sulfur water like on Podunk. There is no graceful way to welcome guests into a home that has sulfur water.

We do not have cable - but we do have one of those giant wok-like satellite dishes affixed to the side of the house. All the better to watch NASCAR with. Bobby Labonte is the dreamiest man in sports.

Oh... gotta go! Green flag at Chicagoland Speedway!
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