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Saturday, 20 October 2018


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This is a beautiful essay. Much of what you describe applies to Maine, where I live. It has been a beautiful autumn, with spectacular leafy color during the past couple of weeks.

A very peaceful photograph that conveys the season quite well. I like the wide screen crop, I think any other such as 4x3 or 2x3 would not do the scene justice. I recently started using the 16:9 crop setting on my camera and really like the wide screen look.

Wow - it looks like you've found heaven on earth and congrats! The photo certainly supports your feelings. Since your comments disregard winter, maybe semi-congrats! Me, I'm a mountains loving guy who has never lived where I can wake up to a view of a "big" one, but they are only a few hours drive away, thank goodness. Here in coastal Northern California, we have no seasons, just winter and "non-winter". The reward is the ability to walk all year without turning into a moving block of ice :-)

I was going to be flippant and say "you need a 'like' button", because this is where the "like" button in social media is such an ingenious invention. It let's me feel like I'm engaging with you (and your essay and photo) but it also let's me do that with minimum time and effort so that I can move on to the next thing. Ultimately, though, moving on with minimum effort is good for the proprietors of social media but I don't think it's as good for me (and probably not for you) as stopping and considering your essay and photo and thinking about what that means.

It's wonderful to hear that you've found a place you love. I hope you get to stay there for a long time. The photo draws me in and makes me want to go across the lake, snoop around those houses on the other side and then go up back into the sunshine over that hill.

Have a good weekend, Mike.

Oh, my. I'd want a little sailboat.

Wouldn't the mailbox side vs driver side problem exist anywhere?

Your letter carriers have to supply their own transportation? To me, that is quite odd. I have always seen them in official USPS vehicles.

[Yes, rural letter carriers have to provide their own vehicles. Oddly, official Post Office delivery trucks are being rented out for Fed-Ex deliveries on Sundays. So I get my mail delivered in a Jeep and Fed-Ex packages on Sunday are delivered by a USPS van. --Mike]

You do live in a very beautiful corner of the universe.

What a lovely piece, thanks
Something indeed to be grateful for.
Places where land and sea and sky meet are always full of wonder and teeming with visual gifts.

Enjoy, Post Pictures

That’s a great elegiac post, Mike. I’m pleased to say that i’ve seen that view, or one like it - you’ll remember that I visited you in Keuka in the spring of 2005. I remember the view over the lake, and also the odd ‘lower’ road - sometimes it was there, and sometimes not! I’d love to show you the countryside near where I live, the Peak District of Derbyshire in England.

I recently saw an excellent exhibition of the art of Thomas Cole, the great landscape painter of the early 19th century in the Hudson Valley. Truly extraordinary.

The thing that really throws me is the amazing (to me) temperature range you experience in the eastern US. You’re almost on the same latitude as Rome, dammit, but you get months of snow every winter! At 53° N I live north of anywhere in the lower 48, but most winters we get little or no snow and few frosts - and nothing like the ones you get. Minus 5° C is a cold night here - that would be around 24°F, I think. Not really worth calling it a frost....

Mike's photo got me thinking. I've always said that I could never live in a place where there are no palm-trees. On other things I'm much more flexible. I've had a very low boredom tolerance forever. Been there done that ...way to often, is my mantra. Maybe it's about time to re-invent myself—to re-boot into another universe.

How many of the ebbing hours of old-men's-lives have been wasted arguing about ...? It makes no difference what your obsession, maybe it's time to acquire a new fixation. A fresh infatuation to consume all of your time and money. Your latest enthusiasm will lead you to a newfound group of enthusiasts to argue with about your current hang-up—another group to buy your works. Just sayin' 8-)

Those northern lakes. Yes!!

A couple of weeks ago I spent a bit more than an hour in your town and imagined fitting into the lifestyle there. I criss-crossed the downtown area, stepped in to the nice tavern with the two pool tables downtown, investigated three or four neighborhoods and jotted down for-sale info to check later. We'd driven up from Watkins Glen and enjoyed seeing the thriving vineyards along the way. There's a lot to like in PY and I think you've found "the place just right." I'm still going to be on the lookout for what might be mine.

Lovely piece, well written, with a terrific photograph thrown in for good measure. Thank you so much for this post.

I quit the relatively big smoke of a city for a life on an island; don't be misled into thinking there is terrestrial paradise: everywhere you go you bring along you. That "you" easily becomes the problem in every location.

From wanting to live on a yacht, fortunately prevented by my far more rational wife, we settled for this island in the Med. Yep, wonderful for a couple whilst still healthy and financially relatively independent, but far less heavenly bereaved and alone, and without the bank interest that underpinned much of that nirvana; solitude can morph into isolation rather than persist as a perfect state of being.

Don't forget climate change. Those expensive seafront properties will become marina foundations in a few years, Lakes, I believe, can only follow along as the rainfall and outlets dictate, both of which have ruined villages and snuffed out many lives this past week or so in Portugal, Spain, its islands and France. All it took was the spin-off effect of one hurricane in the wrong place.

Fall is my favorite time of year. I always make time to roam the countryside with my camera when the leaves start to turn. I was up in the White Mountains of Arizona (Fort Apache Reservation) last weekend to photograph the aspen when a snow storm hit. Getting a chance to photograph such beautiful country during a heavy snowfall is a lot of fun (except for some white knuckle driving) and some of the photos end up looking like paintings. Many of the small towns in the White Mountains also dwindle in population during the winter months and I enjoy the solitude when I visit during this time.

Roaming a half empty town or standing in a forest at 8000 feet always reminds me of the Robert Frost poem, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. It’s the only poem I know by heart and I learned it in grade school. It’s funny what sticks with you.

A week ago, here in the Wild South of Germany:

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