I have always been a bit wild. Considered a ‘tomboy’ growing up, I loved climbing trees and preferred playing with lizards and frogs (or anything I could catch) instead of dolls. I used to get in trouble for bringing my pet mouse Pete to school in my pocket. My blond hair was always a tangled mess and my skinny knees bore constant scabs. Dirt was my friend.
Some things don’t change much. Even living in New York City for the last twenty years with all of the pampering amenities I prefer to be in nature. Sitting in a nail salon is torture for me and I re-rout my appointments so that I am able to walk through a park. I know almost every square inch of Central Park and frequent it day and night, in all seasons.
No surprise I would fall in love with a man who manages over two thousand acres of undeveloped land. (Hurray for online dating!) My first introduction to Broadlands came in the middle of an extremely snowy winter. After numerous New York City dinner dates our first planned weekend was delayed because of an extreme snowstorm. (At first I thought he was making excuses not to ‘take it to the next level’). He said, ‘It could be really rough’ not knowing how tough I was. Disappointedly, I stayed in my (overly) warm apartment while he showed me pictures of his truck stuck in snow and snow drifts covering half the windows of the old carriage house he lives in (again, thank goodness for internet!)
When I finally did make it upstate we had a (shall we say) wild weekend. and I fell in love, not only with Andy, but with this beautiful un-tamed area. The raw unspoiled quality of the Catskills spoke to my heart from day one. The only kind of vacation I ever knew growing up was camping, to which I am now extremely grateful for my parents exposing me to; fecund forests, sparkling streams, dark night skies filled with a billion stars, and all of the myriad natural world offerings which are deeply embedded in my heart of happy childhood memories. I am over-joyed that everyday I am able to continue to create similar memories in these purple mountains where our only neighbors are bears and bobcats (and many other wonderful wild creatures).
I have now been living full time Upstate (I always call it UP!state) for a few years, loving every moment with Andy (ok, almost every). As I greet each new day, climbing out of our warm bed pre-dawn to feed the wood stove (and cats), make my tea, watch the sky brighten, I meditate in gratitude. I am in constant awe by the bucolic bounty of ever changing colors, smells, textures and temperatures that is right outside my door, where my messy hair fits in perfectly.
… Blissed out in the boonies with my catskill rascal.
~ Home Brewed Blessings, ~ Cheryl
“You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So… get on your way!”