I never lived in the country before moving to my current location, but I love it. In the past, I've always been a city person: from Cleveland to New York to Los Angeles. And you can't get much more "country" than the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York.
I never had a dog before coming here, but I love strolling around the neighborhood now with my dog, Oscar, and chatting with the neighbors, especially in the summertime when the population triples in our little town.
When I lived in the city, I never knew the name of our mailman, though I did know my immediate apartment neighbors. Still, living in the country is so different.
Some of Kathryn Spira’s swimsuits are shown drying on her clothesline recently in Caroga Lake.
For The Leader-Herald/Richard Nilsen
I enclose a picture of some of my bathing suits drying on our clothesline - something I never had in my life before. There's always a nice breeze here, so not only do clothes dry easily on the line, it usually is cool enough to sit outside, even with my sensitivity to heat due to the MS. We are on the east shore of West Caroga Lake, and the prevailing winds are from the west, so we always get that nice breeze.
I not only know the name of my postmaster, Kandy, but when I go in to get my mail, we often chat about her children (now grown) or what's going on in my life. We stop to pet the Coffee Shop's pet dog, Bear, and our neighbor Ken's "block dog," Logan, so Oscar can catch up on neighborhood dog gossip.
The whole atmosphere is just so laid back compared to city life, where everyone is in a rush (back then including me) to get somewhere else. I've said it before and I'll say it again: The only way I ever would have slowed down to stop and smell the roses was by getting hit with MS and ending my pursuit of acting as a career.
Ironically, I was once cast as Ellie May Clampitt in a spin-off Movie of the Week version of "Green Acres." The film was never picked up, but I still remember my first line as I pointed toward the village water tower and yelled, "There's the Hooterville H!" that was prominently displayed on the water tower as described in the script.
So maybe that was a premonition of my country life to come.
Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in New York City and Los Angeles, now pursues freelance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns and contact information may be accessed at her website, www.kathrynskorner.com.