Nary a Neighbor in Sight

First, a little mood music to set the tone.

I grew up in a city,  Buffalo, NY to be precise.  (I love it.  Right here is where I always get little smiles of sympathy and understanding nods.  Tell people you're from Alaska, Minnesota or Maine and they say, "Oh that's interesting."  Tell them you're from Buffalo and you get the same kind of sympathy a person who has had to have all their limbs amputated gets).

So I knew all about city living,  public transportation, stores, entertainment, crime, police sirens.  Then I grew up and said, "Self, you're grown up now.  You don't have to live here anymore."

I don't do things by halves.  I moved 3,000 miles away to southern California.  Eden, Nirvana, Paradise.  A place of sunshine and suntanned smiling people.  They don't even know what snow looks like.   Happy, happy, happy.  I get married, have four suntanned smiling children, and then insanity strikes.

Husband and I start to think we are doing our children a disservice by living so far away from family.  Making a totally incomprehensible decision, we decide to move back to Western New York.

But not Buffalo.  No, husband's family has an unoccupied house on sixty acres, next to my husband's old family homestead (which burned down in a fire - that's how he made his escape).

Wonderful, grand idea.  We load up the moving truck and drive cross country in two white mini vans, each housing an adult driver and two children (minor occupants rotated frequently to avoid untimely deaths).

We eventually cross from Pennsylvania into New York and suddenly the sky turns grey and it begins to rain.  It was an omen.  We should have obeyed, turned around and headed back to California.

But, no, we are obviously not that smart.

My husband was a country boy and told many winsome tales of growing up on the farm (his dad was actually a teacher) and seduced me with thoughts of fresh air; room for the children to run and play and grow; space for a garden (no room for that at the California townhouse); family with whom we could spend holidays; a lower cost of living.

The partially furnished house had mice.  Mouse droppings in the pantry, mice in the walls, a dead mouse under the sofa cushions.  It was cold.  It was grey - a lot.  It rained - a lot.  It snowed even more.

We had no neighbors as far as the eye could see.  The eye could see a long way, we lived on a hill.  Our mailbox was a quarter of a mile away down a dirt driveway.  The closest grocery store (so called) was only a fifteen minute drive away, but charged extortionate prices.  The next decent-sized, modern grocery store was a 35 minute drive away.  We planned our trips to "town" to go grocery shopping, do errands and go to the library where we could borrow movies (television reception was a little bit fuzzy).  It was a big day, town day.

Even though we only lived 60 miles from where I grew up, I was homesick; homesick for California.

My husband couldn't find work, I was depressed, neither of the homeschool groups in the county wanted us to join, "Oh, so and so group is meets much closer to you.'"  Truthfully, neither met close to us.  Our family's were busy with their own lives so we rarely saw them.  Our white mini van was smashed up on a snowy January evening while driving to our nephew's wedding reception (he got divorced).

Eighteen months later we moved to Virginia.

Today's letter is N in the Blogging A to Z Challenge


  1. I know exactly what you're saying here! I lived in NY moved to Virginia too some 25 years ago! Really wasn't a bad move for us at all. I love going home to see what family hasn't left, my brother a couple of Aunts and an Uncle some cousins. But honestly after a few days I start to get crazy; it nutty busy up on Long Island with all the hustle and bustle. I want to go home and here the bugs and see my stars at night!

    1. Sounds like we have more than one thing in common. It's a lot more humid here-but that's a small price to pay.

  2. Hope y'all are enjoying Virgina a lot better.

  3. you've had quite the adventure so far.:)hope you're settling down well.
    Happy A-Zing!

  4. Awww. You poor thing. Hope you're not as miserable where you are now.

    I so love Green Acres. People older than me that actually watched it when it came on deem me scary because of this. But I think it's a cute show.