Sunday, October 16, 2011

Random thoughts from the Aerie, October 16, 2011

Driving down to Mansfield this morning to get the Sunday papers and gas up the Tundra, I heard an ad for the newest place opening in town: A Perkins Restaurant.

While Mansfield has its share of fast food chains (Taco Bell/KFC, Arby's, McDonald's, Wendy's) it hasn't had a more "upscale" chain eatery. There are several mom-and-pop places that serve breakfast as well as other meals (Grandma's Kitchen, The Black Swan Cafe, Eddie's Restaurant) and a few that are open for lunch and dinner (The Wren's Nest, Cast and Crew, Lamb's Creek Food & Spirits, etc.), but adding a Perkins has quite a few local resident's all aflutter--at least those that didn't prefer that it be a Cracker Barrel.

It's not like there aren't scores of places to eat within a short drive of here. "Short" being a relative term. Could be anywhere from 15 miles (Wellsboro) to 75 miles (Williamsport, Corning, Elmira, Watkins Glen, Binghamton, etc. ). Surprisingly, for such a rural area, there are folks who consider the latter just "way too far!"

And should you opt for more home cooked fare, there are church dinners every single weekend. They rotate the locations so as not to step on one another's toes, so to speak. Then there are the Saturday or Sunday breakfasts at the local firehouse. Some to support the volunteer firefighters, some for the Scouts, some for whoever might need help this month. Or the barbecue chickens at the VFW.

I tell, ya, the area runs on it's stomachs.


Why are we here?

We built the Aerie in north-central Pennsylvania because:

1) PA has a much, much lower tax burden than either NJ (our original home) or NY (where we have the Bolt Hole).

2) Mansfield is a college town/ (Little did I know they would stop playing regular football as soon as we moved in! Or that they didn't really make any sort of effort for continuing education classes--poor homework on my part!)

3) It was still convenient to the Bolt Hole at nearly the same 250 miles door to door we had when living in NJ.

4) It was sufficiently rural for my hermitic tendencies yet close enough to "civilization" for Terry.

5) Neither Terry nor I would like living in the southern heat of Florida, or the muggy summers of the Carolinas or southern Missouri. Winters in Alaska might cause me to hibernate--for real!

6) The Northern Tier of PA is cool enough in the summer, colorful enough in the fall, invigorating enough in the spring, and enjoyable enough in the winter despite all the bitching I do about snow. We like seasons, damn it!

7) Montana and Idaho, early candidates, were too far away...we thought...from family. Now with Rick and Sandy in Portland, Oregon that has become a moot point.

8) While I also considered doing some full-timing (living on the road in an RV traveling wherever we wished), I realized that would be impractical for several reasons. Both Terry and I need a base for our hobbies: stitching and woodworking, hunting require lots of "stuff" that takes up space.

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