I've been here for two weeks and a day, and I'm settling in. I think I may find here what I've wanted: a quiet, pleasant, orderly life, not without company.
I live in the hamlet of Crosby, New York, in the town of Barrington, which is not quite a town if you expect a town to have buildings. The nearest Post Office, and hence my mailing address, is Penn Yan. The name "Crosby" is not widely used.
It's a peaceful place. Crosby Point was a steamboat stop back when multiple steamboats plied the 20-mile length of Keuka Lake in the 19th century. From written accounts, it seems like it's all anyone ever did back then—ride the steamboats from one end of the lake to the other. It was the era of the so-called "steamboat wars," when each of several companies strove to put the others out of business. Now they are all out of business. An accountant currently occupies the old Crosby house, and the building that was the Crosby's general store, which made them the most prominent family of the tiny area that is sort of named for them, still stands nearby. The Crosby general store declined as the steamboats did, as local roads improved and the automobile arrived.
A view of the lake showing the points or "bump-outs."
I've put a red dot next to mine. Penn Yan is at the northern end of the main arm of the lake, at the very bottom of this picture.
Crosby is a point or "bump-out" on the lake. There was previously no zoning, so there is no minimum standard for the amount of lakefront each house must have, nor was there any proscription about "stacking" houses, i.e., building them in back of each other. So my bumpout, which even some locals do not know is called Crosby Point, is chock full of cottages, many of which were originally mobile homes, or trailers.
Speaking of zoning...a new house being built on the lakefront near me takes up the whole lot it is on. One of the builders told me the clients instructed them to build the biggest house that could possibly fit on the lot. They said they are "indoor people," and needed room for things such as a home theater room. (My house doesn't have TV.) Why you would need a lakefront house if you are indoor people is not for me to decipher. Perhaps they thought the lake would be nice to look at, from indoors.
Oddly enough, the weather app on my iPhone does know the name of the tiny hamlet of Crosby...sometimes. It crops up as the location when I'm home. Other times it says Barrington. It's the only place besides history books and the captions of old pictures that I've encountered the name "Crosby" so far.
My son Xander and his girlfriend Abby are visiting for the first time. They arrived after dark last night. I worked hard getting the bed assembled for them, and the mattress was delivered in the nick of time. It arrived just hours before they did. I don't have much furniture in the house yet.
The second bedroom—the house has two—is tiny, and doesn't quite fit a queen-sized bed, so the bed in the second bedroom is "full" sized. That word, full, has drifted into euphemism as the years have moseyed past. As with "full-frame" and sensor sizes, full, when it comes to beds, doesn't mean the biggest...it means one in the middle.
I am male, and I probably ought to identify more with kings than with queens. However I believe I've only slept on a king sized bed once, at the cottage my S.O. rented last month. It was impressively, excessively big. There was a hiking trail from one side of it to the other. We texted each other from opposite sides, as it was too far to shout. Despite the gratuitous genderizing and de facto status ranking of the names, queen sized beds are big enough for me. I suppose full size might have been the biggest size of bed back when the steamboats were running. Everything's relative. Besides, I live in a democracy, and we democrats look askance at the idea of kings and queens.
My second bedroom has a balcony. I bought two little chairs for Xander and Abby to sit in. At night, if you turn off the lights in the house, you can see the Milky Way—there are very few lights in this area at night.
From what I hear, things are about to get very quiet around here. Most of the summer people decamp in the weeks after Labor Day, which is Monday. Although the weekends remain busy into October, that falls off as the days get cold.
There is currently no comfortable place in the house to sit, which, although temporary, is a shortcoming. I have dining-table chairs—no dining table yet; it's being built by the Amish—but no couches or stuffed chairs. The famous orange couch from my last new house was midcentury-modern style. It worked well in that house but would not have looked right in this one. I gave it to Xander, and it is now occupying the living room of his rented group house back in Wisconsin where he goes to college. Before winter gets here, I am probably going to need some furniture.
But there's still time. I'll work on it.
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