Funny on Friday

I’ve decided that every blog I read has a themed day during the week….so why not PineRidge Hills? so beginning today we will have “Funny on Friday”…..where the only pre-requisite is being able to laugh…especially at ourselves…..I’ll start…
So many folks have asked me “How the heck did you end up in PA”?  well, its a long story, actually its the never ending story! But here is the first Journal Entry I made back in 2003 when we drove across the Delaware River and never looked back…well, almost never…..
this morning I took several pictures of our “Backyard”…at dawn with the fog rolling in…..and started to remember how it was when we first came to Pennsylvania…..
Summer 2003
Hi Everyone!
“We decided to sell the house and our lifestyle on the Jersey Shore and take up residence in the mountains of Northeast Pennsylvania.  My husband and I thought this would be a new venture for us! Long afternoons holding hands while meandering through the woods, daydreaming in our rowboat while the lake’s crisp, clear water gently rippled against the side and maybe a nibble on the old fishing pole. Sunday afternoon picnics with all our neighbors who also decided on the “Country Life”.  Watching our six thoroughbreds trot majestically through our Thirty-five acre estate of rolling hills and lush green pastures….”
The closing on our totally renovated, beautifully landscaped Jersey home, six blocks from the ocean, with the Olympic sized pool and custom built three-tier deck, hot tub and sidewalks, street lights and two years shy of being paid off went rather well on Thursday, everything signed, sealed, and delivered.  The New Owners? Lovely people……although I did found them to be somewhat rude. They actually left scratch marks on my neck while trying to pry my head out of the double oven! Upon leaving my house, the new owner made a vile remark about my sanity and quickly slammed shut my double solid oak and stained glass front doors with the ten inch Baldwin Brass doorknocker.
I caught her glancing out of my beautiful ten-foot wide bay window lovingly draped in custom silk jabots with hand turned silk tassels from Calico Corners. I gave her the “evil Eye” gesture while hysterically verbalizing about the demonic statue buried under the pool and how it will suck the life out of whoever jumps into the shimmering deep end…. I realized in moment….I was homeless..
Moving to the country was actually easier than I anticipated it would be.  We rented a lovely old home, old meaning demolition-sited, while we were building our “Tara” at PineRidge Hills. Taking a shower under a tree with a rusty showerhead attached to the trunk takes some getting used to I admit, but I found it was the acorns that the squirrels threw down at me that really made the whole adventure seem surreal.  My “There is no Bingo?” mother, who lives with us, planted seven tomato plants, yes seven, and for that generous deed, the local deer thanked her.  So determined was she to have fresh tomatoes in August, she cleverly planted new seedlings in large pots and kept them on the front porch under her careful eye. With each tap or thump, she heard coming from the direction of the porch she would leap like a gazelle, yank open the door and scream. We received a letter from the postmaster that until further notice we would have to physically pick up our mail at the post office in town – fifteen miles away.
 Needless to say August came without a bumper tomato crop…did you know deer love front porches? Not to mention the hand-made wreath on the old front door, which by the way was made of pine and seemed a bit warped for my taste…My husband the builder told me not to fret the new “Tara” would be built in no time…To a city-turned-somewhat-country-girl that meant six weeks…. give or take a few days for landscaping…
On one of my adventures into the quaint little town that we temporarily called ours, I stumbled onto what I called – a little piece of civilization! I found a candy factory, pretzel factory, and a candle-making factory.  I signed up for the Tuesday “How to” class for all three. After all, I need to sharpen my qualifications in the event I need to return to work…
I also found a Chinese take-out. I offered the man five dollars if he would deliver up the mountain – I even offered to meet him half way. He offered me five dollars to get out of his restaurant. With a heavy heart, I walked back into the crowded parking lot – three Pick-ups and a horse, and proceeded to attempt the trip home. With map in hand, cell phone charged, and a full tank of gas, I steered the jeep in the vicinity of – up. As I looked back down at the hamlet-like town all I could do was tearfully give it the “evil Eye” gesture…I am not sure but I could swear I saw a group of red squirrels sitting on a rock wall returning the favor…
Fall 2003
It has now been four long, tedious months since my Jersey home was seized from me.  It seems as if a thousand centuries have passed in just a fleeting moment. I write to the new owners offering them all my jewelry even my first and second born but the letters come back unopened. I have tried calling them to see how the deep end of the pool worked out for them but they seemed to have changed their number….fools as if that can stop me! I am a woman on a mission… I will have my revenge.  Wait until they start their first roaring fire in the full Savannah brick wall fireplace with the custom oak mantle and Baldwin Brass sconces I ripped from a women’s arms at a shop in New Hope, Pa; (sigh)…..Talk about a foul  odor….
Thanksgiving is quickly approaching.  My husband the builder, seems to have well, to put it gently miscalculated the arrival of my “Tara”. Although construction has commenced, it is nowhere near completion.
I must now begin, without fear preparing for the holidays. A neighbor gleefully suggests that I cook a fresh turkey this year.  So I drive up to the farm and tell the farmer that Ben, third red barn on the ridge, has offered his turkeys up to be the best in the area. Now, Fresh to me means Pathmark just got a delivery this morning. In the country it means “Don’t name the livestock; they won’t be here that long”. The girls came up for dinner and the grandchildren loved playing outside. The foliage is quite beautiful this time of year, with its bright gold’s, deep browns, and the smell of the fire crackling in the parlor made the old homestead tolerable. My mother had made peace with the deer and was feeding them homemade cookies and apple pie. Occasionally they were escorted by their longtime friends the Bear family. The cookie binge stopped rather quickly.
Winter 2003/2004
Christmas was breathtakingly beautiful and white! Three feet of it. Power lines froze and so we became, as I like to describe it, feral and without power!
I thought that at that moment we were surely facing death.  I could feel myself slipping away into unconsciousness from the bitter cold while watching the snowdrifts inching ever so close to the old pine door. I could hear my own voice now so weak call for my husband the builder.  He rushed to my side and held me close as I quietly asked how much longer could we survive without heat? He smiled as he explained that the electricity had only been off for ten minutes.
As if the Gods heard our prayers the power suddenly lite the entire homestead and “Law and Order” was back on the screen.
Spring 2004
Well Spring has come to the country; I think I am really settling in to this new lifestyle.
 I understand the local folk with ease now. I smile and say yup at the end of every sentence. I have learned to dress down. My Talbot’s and Jones New York suits have been replaced with overalls and flannels.  I have also come to the realization that no matter what you order in the diner it will be served with potatoes and a cream sauce.
I found a sweet old country doctor in town.  A little black bag with a bottle of blackberry brandy and his mail-order degree from 1947.  Luckily, his brother is the dentist. Needing a cleaning I opted to see the dentist first. Upon my first visit, I thought how quaint his front porch was, lined with carved pumpkins with whimsical smiles.  I then found out you have to pick a look you want from the  pumpkins BEFORE you come inside….as I ran from the drill, a craftsmen I believe, I turned and gave him the “Evil Eye” gesture.
I actually fueled up the jeep and made my first run to the Wal-Mart. Well, my husband the builder, did the fueling! You cannot imagine how exciting it is to stare into a shopping cart (Buggy to some) and see corn flakes, milk, a 10-gauge shotgun, and the new designer collection – camouflage. I cannot wait to see what Kmart has to offer! As I stood in the checkout line an elderly man turned and said Happy Hunting to me, I realized his smile meant he had just been to the dentist in town.
Summer 2004
Last Saturday evening I got out my best pair of overalls and went to a penny social. This event is compiled of several long tables bursting with little knick-knacks you can bet on for a penny each. Not too many local folk attended, so I won eighteen seven inch vases!
I was informed that I needed to learn a new skill this week; no doubt it will be most beneficial for the rest of my life – pump my own gas! I was told for a foreigner I learned rather quickly.  I only stood there for two hours waiting patiently for someone to pump it for me.  Most take at least three hours before going inside to complain about the help. Don’t they understand New Jersey women do not pump gas? Note to husband the builder – please fill the tank, again…..
I was recently invited to a bachelorette party – my husband the builder thought it would be cute at my age to go….In New Jersey women my age gather together at the nail salon, tanning salon and the Spa, and then move on to the Molly Pitcher Inn for lunch…..Needless to say I went…….
Well, we survived our first year living in Pennsylvania! “Tara” is finished and we are almost moved in…the deer somehow got out new address and brought the Bear Family with them….there were several other families already living here when we arrived…the bobcats, coyotes’, and the Rattlers’ all have homesteads here….we can walk to the lake, but the fog in the morning will put you “In” the lake instead of in front of it……The best way to travel to the general store is by horseback; in the winter by snowmobile!
I’ve pretty much settled into country living, I can’t imagine street lights ruining the beautiful star filled nights…..The country sounds that lull you to sleep…the smell of the grass after it rains….a neighbors horse who has stopped to graze…..and then….. I realize in a moment…..I’m home…..
Until next  time…………
 PS…..     Three years after we left NJ our former house went back on  the market….we never even gave it a second thought….Have a great weekend!
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  1. After looking at some of your beautiful but eerie pictures I can see a theme party happening in the woods, lions and tigers and bears Oh my.

    • You read my mind! The wheels are already turning…..I just loved how the fog rolled in this morning! I was taking pictures at 6:30 am!

  2. Louise sander says

    My first blog ever. Love it. Can’t wait for more.

  3. Love it mom!!!!

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