farm livin’ is the life for me.

Country life suits us well, it turns out.

It’s much simpler out here, and once you shake the city out of your bones, it generally stays shaken out.  Once in a while, we venture east to go shopping, or hit a restaurant, or visit New York, and it always stresses me out.  It once was second nature to go anywhere in Northeastern New Jersey or New York City, and now we feel completely out of place.

Meanwhile, we have established roots out here.  We love it here.  Our kids love it here.

The only thing we really miss is going to see bands.  For us to do it now, it needs to be an event.  It’s an hour to get to Hoboken, at least, and even longer to get to the city.  Where we used to go in a few nights a week, even if there was nobody special playing, now we only go in for the most special shows.

We’ve taken up all sorts of activities that, 15 years ago, I never would have ever imagined us doing.  I play basketball once a week.  I’ve taken up cycling – and although I’m still very much a newbie at it, I really enjoy it more than I ever would have imagined.  I coach my boys’ sports teams (although Ryan is in high school now, so I’m all done coaching him – he attends a technical high school and is studying audio and video production, at 14 years old).  We’ve got a big-ass garden, with every vegetable I could imagine, even some I never eat.  Like eggplant.  We’ve also got a bunch of fruit trees, and I spend the first half of every summer trying desperately to take care of my apples, pears, plums, peaches, and apricots – and the second half of every summer cursing out the wildlife that always eats them all.

Sandy’s still doing the freelance gig, but she also found time to take some lessons in glass working.  After taking a few different classes, she settled on the art of lampworking, and turned it into a business.  She’s really good at it, and makes everything under the sun.  Check it out.

What’s best is our friends.

I’m not sure how it happened, especially because I always promised myself that I would never become one of those suburban shitheads who drives his SUV to potluck dinner night with a bunch of people he hates but calls “friends,” simply because their kids go to school together or their houses are on the same road.  True to my promise, we lived on a road in Boonton for eight years that had only seven homes on it, and in eight years I still did not know the names of all the people on the street.

But one by one, we met people with whom we actually had things in common.  People our age, dealing with the same sorts of things we were, but who had similar interests.  And after a few years, we had a crew of people we could hang with on the weekends.

It is really, really cool to have all your best friends living within a five minute drive of each other.

It reminds me, sort of, of Marion Pepe Drive, back in 1993, when Frank lived a block away and Rich and Matt were just ten or fifteen minutes west.  When we had visitors at all hours of the night, and a group of people that would come over and just hang.  Where we could spend a whole night just laughing.

But somehow it’s better, because we’re in a different place today.

~ by Al on December 22, 2009.

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