Traffic on Thanksgiving

My husband and I spent a good deal of Thanksgiving Day behind the wheel. It probably would have been easier for us to do our traveling the day before but as I had to work up until Thursday morning we didn’t have much of a choice. Besides, we figured, most everyone would be off the road on Thanksgiving Day.

For the most of our trip we were right. Although we had a slow start due to a new batch of snow, we made good time. Still as fair bit of traffic but nothing abnormal. Before we got on the turnpike though we were warned that we were going to run into some traffic as there was a 45 minute delay between exits.

It wasn’t terrible. It could have been a total standstill I suppose but it was still frustrating. For one thing, it was a holiday and unlike most of our trips down to suburbia we were kind of on a schedule. We were both starving and I was exhausted having just gotten done my 40 hour work week…which I work in the space of 3 days.

So slowly we inch our way ever so slowly out of the traffic…and we never did figure out why there was a traffic jam. Yes, there was a bit of traffic but nothing out of the ordinary. If anything there was quite a bit less as there were no big freight trucks clogging up the lanes. Perhaps there had been a car accident but nothing that we saw. No active construction which is usually the case. It was just a reminder of how much nicer it is away from all that annoying traffic congestion. Oh sure, it might take us forever to get from point a to point b but at least we aren’t ever sitting at a standstill twirling our thumbs…unless a heard of cows don’t come sauntering down the road.

Hope everyone had a very good Thanksgiving! I’m here in Suburbia until Sunday visiting family.

Hunting Season

Hunting season started almost two weeks ago. After the “excitement” of opening weekend, I basically forgot all about it. Neither my husband and I are hunters so aside from the offer of free venison I mostly forgot about hunting season.

At least I forgot about it until this morning when I was awoken by the sound of explosions outside. Like, it sounded like it was right outside the window…

Of course it wasn’t quite that close, but it was not a good way to wake up. Then I looked out the window to discover that Mother Nature decided to dump yet more of that white stuff when I was trying to get to work a little earlier than scheduled. But that’s a story for another day.

Traveling Great and Far

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In Suburbia, I was surrounded on all sides by highway. It didn’t matter where you wanted to go, if you were going out of town more often then not the highway was your quickest and most direct way of getting there. Oh sure, there was almost always the option of taking back routes and what not, but why would you?

In the Catskills however, state roads are usually your only option if you are traveling through your own county and certain parts of the surrounding counties. And well, the county I live in…is the size of a state. Granted, that state is Rhode Island…the smallest state in our Great Nation. But work with me people. The county is as big as a freaking state!

So yeah, we spend an insane amount of time traveling. You want to go to the grocery store? Oh okay, drive 15-30 minutes to the grocery store. Need to go to Walmart? That’s a 45 minute drive. The mall? To see a movie? All about 45 minutes away. And forget about the daily commute to and from work…one to two hours commute daily depending on where you might live…and this has nothing to do with traffic. It’s because everything is so spread out and there are NO highways to jump on to zip from one place to another.

As you can imagine, since you have to travel to do just about anything…you tend to make a day out of even the simplest of errands even it’s not your intention. You might need to make a trip to the pharmacy to pick up a bottle of Tylenol but since your there, you might as well do your banking, do the grocery shopping, pick up your dry cleaning, etc. Next thing you know, you’ve used up a whole day. 

Today my husband and I attended a Luncheon. The entire affair was less than four hours, but we were in the car for three additional hours. The place where the Luncheon was held was about an hour away. The rest of the time was spend backtracking as we were carpooling and had to pick up someone in another town…then backtracking almost to where we started the trip to get to the town where the Luncheon was held. There was no other way to get there. And this is normal.

When I lived in Suburbia, I took the ability to drive for granted. Oh sure, I had my own  car since I was 19 but even if I didn’t drive a ride was close by. Relatives lived close by. There were several buses. Taxis. Here, forget it. Most towns don’t have taxis or bus service. Rail service up here has been discontinued for decades. Biking and walking are not often an option due to sheer distance and/or weather. I would probably go crazy if it wasn’t for being able to drive and having a car of my own.

The Post Office

In Suburbia I almost never had to go to the Post Office. The only time a trip there was necessary was when I was sending off a package to a friend, or selling a used book on Amazon. Mail and packages were delivered directly to the house, and all that was required was to open the front door and reach over to the mailbox.

In the country however, we do not have door to door delivery. The town is too small to deal with such nonsense I suppose, so everyone has a PO box and in order to actually get your mail, you have to physically drive or walk to the post office. Not terribly inconvenient, though it does require keeping your days and hours straight. There’s been a few Saturdays where I putz around the house too long before realizing that the Post Office is closed for the day…and I’ll have to wait to check it on Monday. 

And then there’s the lunch break. For a solid hour, the post office is open but the window is closed tight. And, as Thursday and Fridays are the only two days I’m actually home to go to the post office I can never seem to remember what that hour is.

Today I decided to go check the mail. We hadn’t checked it yesterday and I was expecting a package. I thought about going at noon time, but figured that if the package had come the window would be closed and I’d just have to go back. So I poured myself another cup of coffee and wittled away another hour on the computer. At a little after one I left to run my errands. Got to the post office and realized…oh crap, the window is closed. And yes, the package was waiting for me. 

Thinking now, holding lunch 1-2 makes much more sense. Less traffic then at noon time when people are coming in to get the mail on lunch breaks. Duh. 

So, I had to make a return trip after all. 

My Story

I spent the first 25 years of my life living in Southern New Jersey, a place of suburban sprawl. A multicultural mecca. Truthfully, it was a personal hell for me. A textbook introvert, graduating high school as one of a class of 700 plus students was a nightmare. But it was all I had really know, and even when I had the opportunity to make my way out into the outer world…I only went as far as the Hudson Valley, New York…which truthfully, aside from the hills and the snow…was not much different then where I had grown up. And much like my hometown, it was kind of a personal hell. Too many people. 

But during that time I met my husband. Or well, my future husband. He was from the Catskill Mountains, a place that I had never been. I went up for a visit one weekend and fell in love. I hadn’t even seen much of the area, but something just felt right. But within a few weeks I packed up my belongings and returned where I grew up.

But fate stepped in. Two years after I moved back to New Jersey, I boarded a train and headed back to the Catskills to see the guy I had been dating. A half year later, we were engaged and a year after that…I finally found myself moving to the Catskills.

I’ve lived here about 17 months now. I love living here, though after 30 years of living in suburbia…country living is still proving to be an adventure. 

Welcome

Well it looks as though you’ve stumbled upon my new home. Please excuse the cobwebs and dust as I’m slowly building and making myself at home. There’s not much to see yet, but please, stop by again. I promise to make it worth your while.