Thursday, October 28, 2010

City Mouse, Country Mouse, City Mouse...

So I went from living on a houseboat in the far outer fringes of the ATL Metroplex to the trendy urban environs of Virginia Highlands to a quiet lakefront cottage on the outskirts of Knoxville (where, as I used to brag, I could fish off the front porch and hunt off the back,) to the bustling, artsy neighborhood of Broad Ripple in Indianapolis...

And now I'm visiting at Marko's famous Castle Frostbite in Upper Cryogenica.

It sure is quiet here. And it's awfully dark at night.

Having grown up in the 'burbs, I find I have no taste for them anymore. Either I want the nearest chi-chi gourmet grocery two blocks from my front door, or I want to be five miles from the nearest grocery co-op and ten miles from the closest zoning law.

Maybe I'll go bust some caps in the back yard this afternoon...

18 comments:

Bram said...

I do like the NH. Clean air and few laws. Unlike the poor slobs in upstate NY, they were smart enough to detach themselves politically from the city liberals to their southeast.

I hope the place isn't overrun with Massholes when (if) I retire.

Jay G said...

Here's one Masshole who would dearly love to overrun NH...

I hear you on the property, Tam. The sooper seekrit range where we hold the NE Bloggershoots is on a lot like that. It's a little slice of heaven not too far from the border...

Frank W. James said...

Speaking solely as a 'country mouse'; WELCOME TO MY WORLD.

My backyard range has 25, 50, 75, 100, 300 and 600 yard targets... :-)

All The Best,
Frank W. James

bluesun said...

That's why I love MT. Even in town I'm just to the left of nowhere.

Anonymous said...

I'm amazed our Tam is going:

"Holy Mauser it's COLD up here in cryogenica"

Just think of it as a great opportunity to practice cold weather drill, like "where the the 'ell is my heater under 15 layers of sweaters" and will my heater function when it's colder then a witch's teat? A valid question when oil turns to butter.

And the think of whjat Canadjuns refer to New Hamster as: The South. (New York City is Deep South, and there are rumours that further south there are places with NO PERMANENT SNOW PACK for 4months a year, but those are generally refered to as Wicked Lies )

Tam said...

Actually, it is warmer here at the moment than it was in Indy when I left...

Lergnom said...

My never-to-be-realized dream is to have enough property that I can paint the rocks white on one side and use them as range markers off the back porch(or out a back window, or from a hot tub).

Anonymous said...

Depends on your definition of 'burbs, I guess...

We have a summer cabin near Ellijay, Ga. on the side of a mountain with long, hazy, rolling mountain views with no sounds save the breeze in the trees, the little burbling stream, and maybe the buzz of a ruby-throated hummer or six jockeying for space at the feeder; truly a whole 'nother world from the flat, hot, humid oppressive heat (90 frickin' degrees on Oct. 28 for God's sake!) here in mid-FLA.

And yet, there I can be on I-575 and into Canton, Woodstock, or Kennesaw to partake of every restaurant, store, or service known to man in 20, 30, or 40 minutes respectively. Just about the perfect tradeoff.

Alas, son has his business here and needs me somewhat, daughter and grandbabies are in nearby Clearwater, and wifey can't stand to not get her kid/grandkid fix at least once a month. So here I stew in the heat of which I am so sick, while the colors of autumn and the chilly morning air of the mountains wait for me and I yearn for them, in vain.

AT

Stuart the Viking said...

I dream of owning a few acres out away from the city some day. Not sure I'll ever be able to afford it now since ex #2 gets her third every payday, but still dreaming at least.

s

Tam said...

"Depends on your definition of 'burbs, I guess..."

Not really, unless you're determined to be a contrarian.

If you can shoot in your back yard, your closest neighbors are over 300 yard away, and nobody complains about the backhoe parked in your front yard, you ain't in the "'burbs", and I don't care how many malls are within a half-hour's drive.

My little pied a terre in West Knox was less than fifteen minutes' drive from West Town Mall on surface streets, but my neighbors left their keys in their cars, there was a shooting range in the back yard, and the horses ran free in the pasture across the road. That's "the country" wherever you are.

Anonymous said...

You'd like my neighborhood then. The houses are far enough away so no one is bothersome but close enough to provide interlocking fields of fire.

Gerry

Ed Foster said...

Interlocking fields of fire. A buddy of mine was a biology major at UCONN back in the late 70's/early 80's, and spent his summers as a firefighter in the Pacific Northwest.

Big Al The Viking is now the owner of a horse ranch in Concrete Washington, in an area they call the asphalt forest because it's to damp to ever burn.

Half the year smoke jumping while his best friend goes to school in Bellingham, and six months snowbound with one of humanity's truly great ladies. If he wasn't one of the greatest people I know, I'd hate him.

Anyway, there is one road in and out, a three mile loop. The locals all have targets set up outside their houses. Not for themselves, for their neighbors. They all practice sniping at the 250 to 400 yards needed to reach out and touch someone in front of the nearest houses, and all have a clear line of sight to their neighbor's homes.

I have 7 acres out in northwestern CT that I don't have the time or money to play with right now, but next year it's getting a berm and a 200 yard range, and hopefully a well.

The nearest neighbors are the people who sold it to me, and they're somewhat to the right of any teabagger I have ever met. So I have great hopes for the not too distant future.

And dammit Tammy, you're not supposed to fly anywhere east of Buffalo without calling me first and saying "Foster, you owe me a steak and brew". Hell, with a few hours notice, I could have had Mack Qwinne over from Maine, and you would have heard staggering stories far into the night. Most of them true, too.

Ian Argent said...

@Tam sez: My little pied a terre in West Knox was less than fifteen minutes' drive from West Town Mall on surface streets, but my neighbors left their keys in their cars, there was a shooting range in the back yard, and the horses ran free in the pasture across the road. That's "the country" wherever you are.
_______________________

Even in New Jersey you can find that. Hell, some places you can still find local cops that will tell you to quit wasting their time reporting gunshots in hunting season! Shame the housing is too damn expensive in those places

Anonymous said...

"...unless you're determined to be a contrarian."

Well, "destined" might be a better word, but yeah.

As to definitions though, here's Webster's:

SUBURB: An outlying part of a city or town. A smaller community adjacent to or within commuting distance of a city. The residential area on the outskirts of a city or large town. From Latin suburbium, from sub- near + urbs city.

I like the Latin simplicity: near a city. Describes my cabin pretty well; your K-ville place too. Nothing about no shootin' either, although "rural suburban" fits that better.

MW's place though, from everything I've read and seen on his blog? Now that's country. Right now you're probably thinking more like "remote country". Sounds wonderful though, at least for a while. Enjoy.

AT

farmist said...

"If you can shoot in your back yard, your closest neighbors are over 300 yard away, and nobody complains about the backhoe parked in your front yard,"

well, the nearest neighbor IS closer than 300 yards, but he shoots more than I do, so I'll count that as 2 1/2 out of 3.

Anonymous said...

Tam:

If weather permits, don a sweater and a pair of mittens, wander outside for a minute or two, and take in the Milky Way for me. I haven't seen it since I took a river trip down the Grand Canyon back in 1985. It was magnificent! An amazing swath of stars across pure black sky.

BoxStockRacer

Steve Skubinna said...

A friend liked the rural area I live, and built a weekend place up there. His wife, born and raised in Chicago, tolerates it and even will spend two or maybe three weekends a year there with him. She insists that he have night lights in all the rooms when she's there.

At least she hasn't gone full urbanite - there are some weekend places out there that the owners have actually installed a street light in front. None within light pollution range of me, thank God.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the neighborhood! You can practice your cold weather drills the next few days, it's supposed to be highs in the 40's, lows in the 20's.

Hanover has a few hippies, but the real Broad Ripple-esque experience is down the road in Keene, NH / Brattleboro, VT.

Us natives can be found in Lebanon / West Leb, should you decide to venture out :)