Wednesday, December 27, 2017

My Cozy Country Life

It's hard to believe Christmas has come and gone. It seems we prepare so much and so long and then it's over in a heartbeat. 

Some folks tend to get depressed during the holidays....and some after. I know my daughter suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) after the holidays....she's written blog posts about it in the past, in an attempt to help others who also suffer with SAD. 

I've been lucky, I'm really not afflicted with SAD. 


Don't get me wrong....by March I'm definitely looking forward to the ground thawing and the garden awakening from its winter slumber. 

But in the meantime, I nestle in and enjoy the cozy warmth of my home and embrace the long winter. 


It helps tremendously that I am blessed to live in an area with so much abundant beauty all around me. 

Of course, that's a decision I made many years ago, when I uprooted my life and moved from New York City to the mountains of upstate NY. 

I have never regretted it for an instant. 


I'm not one of those folks who loves the hustle and bustle of the city. 

Sure, it's a nice idea to stroll the city streets during the holidays, admiring the amazing window displays. 

But the reality is quite different, with crowds of people everywhere you look, most of whom don't even look up from their cell phones long enough to avoid bumping into you. 
 

The garbage...the traffic....the rats in the subways...I don't miss a thing about the city, truly. 

I was born and raised in NYC....and I honestly couldn't wait to get out. 

The final straw for me was one night when I had to call the cops because there was an ethnic gang war happening right outside my window. 

That was it, I made the decision right then and there that it was time to go. For all of our sakes. 


Now when I look out my window, I see the smoke curling from my neighbor's chimney. It's a welcoming sight to know they are close by....but not too close. We have our own space and we both cherish that. 


Now when I look out my window, I see the horses next door, grazing or playing in the snow. I think that's what sold me on this house, back when I first toured it.


Now when I look out my window, I see the birds munching happily on the seed and suet I have provided for them. I see them drinking from the birdbath that I keep from freezing with a farm style heater

Now when I look out my window, I see my garden cottage sitting peacefully in the corner of the garden waiting patiently for spring. 

Some folks leave behind the city life to live a sustainable life, living off the land. 

As much as that sounds like something I would love to try some day, it's not my reality. At one point I did have chickens, but that seems a lifetime ago now. 

Of course, I do try to live as closely to the land as possible by growing much of my own food, gardening organically, composting, and supporting the local farmers.  We have an artisinal well, are not hooked up to town sewers, and use propane for gas. Someday I'd love to get solar panels, I just have to do a lot more research first.


As it is, I work full time in order to pay my bills, and my life is a busy one. 

We are blessed to live in a ski town, which is also a four seasons destination. There are tourists in our area all year long, wishing they could live right where I do. 

Because of that tourism industry, we have many wonderful restaurants right at our doorstep, and lovely little villages to stroll through looking at window displays all year long. 


And when the tourists get to be too much (in the local supermarket, in particular!) I can hop in my car and head home to my peaceful little chalet style home on the mountain top.

I can nestle into my cozy little home  and look out the windows at the mountains around me, the forest behind me, the beauty that surrounds me. 


I wake in the morning and glory in the beauty of the sunshine that spills into my tiny dining room. 


I bundle up and head out with Little Miss Molly to throw some seed and peanuts on the flat feeder. The bluejays swoop in within minutes, they watch for us from the treetops. 

Even though the forecast calls for some wicked cold temperatures and frigid weather, my house is cozy and warm, heated primarily by my woodstove.


I have a whole house generator, thanks to my sweetie, so if the power goes out due to a storm I'll be fine. My freezers and pantry are both full, and I have a supply of freshly baked cookies in the cookie jar on the counter.

The Christmas tree will stay up until January 6th, my dad's birthday, as is tradition in my family. I'll miss the glow of it when I take it down, but until then I will enjoy every second.

I'll sit in my little chair by the fire, enjoying the evenings in my warm cozy home, and say a prayer for those folks less fortunate than me. 


And I'll know that Mom was right when she bought me this little pillow. 

Life truly is better in the mountains. No doubt in my mind. 

I am truly blessed. 

63 comments:

  1. Debbie - the reasons you left NYC are exactly the reasons I left Staten Island, NY when I was 19. Too noisy, too polluted, too thick with people and traffic, the exhaust from vehicles everywhere, too many crowds. I love visiting the city, but knew as an adult, a country life was far better suited for me.

    Your mountains are beautiful! We have to travel inland a bit to get to the mountains of NY, NH and Vermont. Connecticut is mostly rolling hills.

    Where did you get those leather chairs? Absolutely love them - would be perfect in our man cave.



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    1. I actually left Queens when I was 19 also, moving out to Long Island...I kept moving farther out, and eventually ended up right back where I started, in Queens. I was there for another 10 years or so and then made the move to the mountains. It's been 15 years now and I never looked back! Just like you, a country life is far more my thing! The leather chairs are from Ethan Allen, Karen Ann - I got them in the Newburgh store, they were a custom order. If you are interested I can connect you with the person I dealt with, she was wonderful. I'm sure she could look up the model and the price based on my order.

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    2. Would love to know the model - we have an Ethan Allen near us, believe it or not. I'm guessing you like these and have found them comfortable? I see several models online, let me know which is yours. Thanks! - K

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    3. I reached out to her, Karen - I'll pass along that info when she gets back to me! And are they comfortable? You better believe it! Sadly I have fallen asleep in my chair next to the fire many times....this whole getting old thing is rough!

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  2. Those pretty curtains just frame that window so beautifully! I envy you that space out in the mountains my friend!
    Brenda

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    1. I know you would love nothing more than to live in a quiet little place in the country, Brenda. I was thinking of you when I wrote this post, and your post about the urgent care experience. Luckily you have your cozy little apartment, your patio, and your pupsters to bring you joy and peace!

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  3. Love the cozy look of your home in the winter. So pretty. Happy New Year and many Blessing for the new year too.

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    1. Thank you, Marty, I love it too! It was frigid out the day I first toured my home and I stepped into a cozy little home with a fire blazing in the hearth and a big pot of soup on the stove...I think right then I could envision myself being happy in this home all year round! Happy New Year to you as well!

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  4. You are right where you are supposed to be, Deb! I get a mild case of the blues each time our girls and their families leave, but I try to be thankful for the time we have together. This year I'm blessed with 2 grands with us this week and a week with the other 2 coming up soon. I love the beauty of winter, too, and can't imagine a winter without it! It's -17 now and I see some frost on the baseboards, but it will warm up.....in a few weeks! Your scenery from your windows is truly magical and your home is as cozy as can be. Happy New Year!

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    1. Holy moly, -17 is nuts, wow Vickie! I don't think I've ever had frost on the baseboards....yikes! Enjoy your time with your grands, you are blessed to be able to spend all that time with them, for sure! Happy New Year to you also, Vickie!

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  5. What a beautiful post Debbie! Definitely sounds like you made the right decision on where to live.
    This time of year is difficult for me as I detest the cold and not a big fan of snow. We get lots of both. I tend to hibernate which is easy to do now that I'm retired.
    We are thinking of getting a generator as well.
    I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your honey and your fur babies.
    Take care
    Jeannette

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    1. That's definitely rough, to be in a place with lots of cold and snow and to hate it, Jeannette - sorry you have to deal with that! I can't imagine winter without snow, but talk to me again in another 10 or 20 years, ha ha!

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    2. Forgot to mention Debbie that I also keep our tree up until January 6th as well, just like my Mom did! I so enjoy the lights and glow it gives :-)

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  6. It all sounds wonderful Debbie! I grew up on Long Island until I turned 10, and then we moved to Georgia. I have fond memories of NY and the city, but agree city life isn't for me. Even living in the suburbs here can be a bit much for me now.

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    1. That's funny because when I go off the mountain and into the larger villages I can't wait to get back up to the peace of the mountain top at the end of the day! And the villages aren't even big, it's just that they are so much busier than what I'm used to now - I could never go back to the city!! I live in Long Island for about 10 years in three different towns, and liked it better than the city (at least there was grass and trees!) but couldn't go back there now either!

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  7. I have never been to any part of NY. I have often thought I would like to see NYC at Christmas time. I hear its beautiful but I can do without all the gangsters and crowds. I live close to Charlotte (the Queen City). I like to visit sometimes but like you, I can get out and get to my cozy little home. My daughter on the other hand, Lives right smack dab in the middle of uptown Charlotte and loves it. Im glad you share your liveing as a lot of people do not realize that NY has a beautiful mountain side.
    Lisa

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    1. I think that's it, Lisa - cities are a great place to visit, for me, but definitely not to live! My older daughter could deal with living in a city, she's a bundle of energy. My younger daughter has zero interest in living in a city, she is looking for houses up here in the mountains with her boyfriend. There are many, many beautiful areas in NY, without a doubt....of course I'm partial to mine, but the Adirondacks are spectacular, as are the Finger Lakes....lots to see in our lovely state!

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  8. I got here from Karen's blog.......I love your little house in the woods.....I live in northeast NY myself...in a farming community....a little hamlet called Kingsbury, near Glens Falls. I could never ever live in NYC.

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    1. Ahhh Kingsbury....so you are near Queensbury, where I used to get off the thruway when I was heading to Burlington to visit my daughter. Would that be considered the Adirondacks, Hilary? I love farming communities, there's nothing like wide open spaces and farm animals to make you feel like you are truly in the country! There's a gorgeous farm down the road from where I live, and every time I pass it I think it's the most ideal spot to live, on a farm with the mountains rising up all around you!

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  9. Lovely post, so descriptive I can feel the coziness and the fire. Love the views through your windows. Happy New Year! Rhonda

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    1. Happy New Year to you as well, Rhonda! The fire is a Godsend on these crazy cold days, that's for sure! One of the best improvements I made to my house was taking out the antique wood stove insert that was there and putting in this energy efficient model....oh, and changing out all the windows, too! Last night I walked around putting my hands by all the windows and there wasn't even the tiniest draft even though it was below zero. What a difference from the old windows!!

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  10. Oh my, were we separated at birth? I feel exactly the same - left the city 15 years ago and never looked back for all the same reasons!! It just took me a bit longer to get back to the mountains.

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    1. I think once you have a taste of the mountains it's hard to leave, Carole! When I first left the city I lived in the valley, which was also lovely...my house was nestled into the woods and at the end of a gravel road. But I always longed for a house with a view of the mountains...and now I have it!

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  11. It's bitter cold here in northern IL, too...wind chills about -25. So thankful to have a warm and cozy home. You sound like me with Chicago...I love to visit, but I sure wouldn't want to live there. I love clean air and pretty views and being able to see the stars at night.

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    1. Same here, Melanie! Isn't it amazing that in the city you can't ever see stars? It's like they don't exist!

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  12. Having grown up in the country, I'd never want to live in a big city. I am in a little borough that is NOT country, but cozy and safe enough of an area that I don't have to worry if my car or house is unlocked when I leave.

    You have a wonderful place ( when the BEAR is not lurking around :)

    It's very cold here right now as well. However I am happy that I am in Southwestern PA and not north in Erie where they have about 5 feet of snow !! The most that I can recall dealing with here is about 3 feet and that is hard enough.

    Enjoy your cozy fire and pantry full of your garden produce and have a Happy New Year :)

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    1. That's funny, Deb - you grew up in the country and you don't worry about your house or car being locked....since I grew up in the city, I lock my house up tight all the time, even when I'm in it....and my car always is locked with the alarm on! You can take the girl out of the city but I guess you can't take the city out of the girl! Happy New Year to you as well!

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  13. I live close to the city, but the beach tends to drown in all out. I am in a tiny hamlet where everyone knows your name and I love that. The city is a nice place to visit, but I could never ever live there...and you know how I feel about your maned neighbors. True love...

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    1. I wouldn't mind living near the beach, Kim....although this Irish skin does not do well in the sun, so perhaps the mountains are a better fit for me!

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  14. Lovely post, Debbie! You truly live in a beautiful area! I, too, am tired of the crowds of a metro area and are looking forward to moving to a rural area! Stay warm!

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    1. I look forward to following along on your journey when the time comes for you to make the move, Linda!

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  15. Window views are my favorite and yours in the snow have such a sculptural quality, the one of the horses by the red barn are art gallery quality! I'm so glad you found your home in the mountains and that you appreciate it so much. I remember reading someone say about living in the NC mountains that he needed a mountain to rest his eyes against. I bet you understand that.

    And then you have those lovely warm cozy rooms inside to cuddle into, the best of inside and outside. It sounds as if your town is quite cosmopolitan too, an added bonus.

    Stay warm inside and safe outside!
    Dewena

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    1. I don't know that I'd really call is cosmopolitan, Dewena, but we are blessed to have wonderful restaurants, that's for sure! It's a little mountain town, if you blink you'd miss it, but it has everything we need!

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  16. So comfy and cozy looking. I loooooove your posts that show these photos off. I was waiting for this one! hehe!

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    1. Well I'm glad I finally posted it, Ellen! Lord knows it takes me a while to get a post up these days, I most definitely need a clone!

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  17. Wen left the city TWICE.... first to move to suburbs across the country, then BACK to the city when his job went away, and then finally here to the country life in the mountains of southwestern Virginia. We are 100% retired since my husband closed his consulting business earlier this year, and doing just fine. No chickens or other farm animals, but we do grow as much in the garden as we possibly can. I love visiting cities and do miss some of the amenities offered there, but as we age we need simplicity in our lives. It's VERY cold here this past week. The fireplace feels awesome! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, your family and all of your readers. <3

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    1. I left the city twice, also - first I moved out to Long Island, and kept moving further and further out the Island until I was an hour from the city. Then I ended up back in the city (boooo) where I stayed for years and years, until I finally made the move up North. I agree, I need simplicity in my life. I'm truly a homebody and love nothing more than being in my cozy home as often as I can....although our date nights to our favorite restaurants are a welcome treat as well!

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  18. I only work in the city and long for the minute when I can return back home to the mountain. Your house almost looks like it could reach out and give anyone a hug. So cozy, Mountain Sister! I hope you had a very Merry Christmas and HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU!!!

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    1. My house definitely gives me a hug every day when I get home from work, Mountain Sister!! Hope you have the happiest New Year with David and His Royal Highness!!

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  19. you are definitely living the dream. .....My dream LOL!

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    1. It's not everyone's dream, but it sure is mine! Isn't it funny, some folks would wonder what we do up here, but when you're working, there are always things to be done on the weekends, without a doubt!

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  20. Your mountaintop home is just a beauty, warm and cozy. It is obvious by the way you love gardening and the outdoors that you are where you belong. I can understand why you left the big city! Keep warm...give all the pupsters hugs and kisses. xoxo

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    1. I do truly feel I am where I belong, Donna! Poor little pupsters don't want to go out to do their business these days, it's so darned cold!

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  21. It all sounds so wonderful and I would agree that you are very blessed! Have a wonderful next year! Nancy

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    1. And the very same to you, Nancy! And yes, you are right, I am truly blessed, no doubt!

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  22. I just love winter in the mountains in NY!! I had a similar home on the lake in the apple orchards. I left it and so long for it back! I live in a village now and although I love my home, I really want that quiet and seclusion of the country. Please tell, which sweet town do you live in?

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    1. Oh my gosh, AnnMarie, that must have been heavenly! Was it also a chalet style home? I adore the quiet and seclusion of the country. It's wonderful to be able to go out in my bathrobe in the summer and sit on my swing and sip my coffee!

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  23. Oh Deb you have just the perfect life going in the mountains. You can be cozy and look out your windows to the most beautiful views. You really have the best of everything. The great restaurants and the shops and hustle and bustle when you want it with tourist in the area and then you can go quietly to your beautiful home for peace and cozy. I have to agree living where you do is so much better than city life. I think city life is nice to visit but not a great relaxing sanctuary to live. I am so glad you can enjoy your sweet home in the mountains. Happy New Year wishing you lots of joy each day and good health and lots of cozy days in front of your beautiful fireplace.
    xoxo
    Kris

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    1. My apartment was my sanctuary when I was in the city, Kris. However, we had bars on our windows, two deadbolts on the doors, and I carried pepper spray everywhere I went! I don't miss it the tiniest bit!! Happy New Year to you and your sweet fire chief and adorable baby Peggy, may you have a wonderful year in 2018!

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  24. Don't you just love looking out your window at the horses, Debbie? We had horses next door to us when we lived in the Colorado mountains and I do miss them. I still can see horses here when I go on my daily walk. And cattle, goats, and deer. I lived in LA, Phoenix, and Columbus, Ohio. Lots of shopping and restaurants, but life in the country is so much better, even without all the big city conveniences. You are living the dream, my friend. Hugs and Happy New Year!

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    1. I really do love looking out at the horses! When I first moved here their electric fence was much closer to my property and we used to give them carrots....but they moved the fence to take down some dead trees and now they are far away from me, sadly. No more carrots! My sweetie had a deer jump right into the side of his car the other night on his way to my house, it was so scary for him....and I'm sure for the deer!

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  25. Lovely, just lovely! The views from your windows with the cozy and comfy home inside...you truly are blessed. I think I could sit in that chair gazing out the windows for hours, daydreaming about this and that. Have a wonderful New Year, and may the end of 2018 find you happy, wealthy and healthy!

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    1. Happy, wealthy, and healthy sounds just perfect, Vickie! Originally I wanted swivel chairs for by the windows so I could swing around and watch the birds and critters, but the comfy leather chairs won out....oh well! You are right, my friend, I am truly blessed!

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  26. You have such a special slice of heaven, Debbie. How far are you from work, I'm curious?

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    1. 2 miles from work, Rita - it doesn't get much better than that, does it?

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  27. Debbie, I love that you embrace the cold and snow the way you do. In our part of the country, we love it for one day and then we are ready for the warmth and sunshine. Your views are so beautiful along with your cozy house.

    Happy New Year friend! Looking forward to much more. ;)

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    1. Happy New Year, Stacey! The cold has been quite extreme here for the past ten days or so, and it's not over yet - we don't usually have a cold spell that lasts quite this long, but there's nothing we can do but hunker down and make the best of it!

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  28. Hi there Debbie, so glad you stopped in and that you liked walking around the old plantation with me! I've spent hours rambling around them, always something new to discover each time. So much history and so much to learn. I am enjoying your snow pictures and particularly the birds feeding ones as we have just recently taken an interest in feeding birds. I love that picture of the window with those big LOOOOONG ICICLES....I haven't seen anything like those in years! So pretty. Do you have new years eve plans?--hope yours is wonderful and you stay safe and warm now okay?

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    1. We had a lovely New Year's Eve, just us and another couple had dinner together, nothing crazy....just the way I like it! Hope yours was wonderful as well!!

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  29. We left the city life years ago and now live out in the country. It's not as beautiful as living in the mountains (which has always been my dream), but I will never move back into town where I have neighbors. You have a beautiful home. Happy New Year!

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    1. I'm sure it's just lovely where you live, Terri - the countryside is just beautiful everywhere, isn't it? Happy New Year to you as well and thank you for popping in!

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  30. Hi Debbie, I am so glad you were able to escape the city and find peace in your little mountain top home. I grew up in small towns and a semi rural area, even though we had the tourist areas too. My hometown has now grown into something that I don't even recognize anymore with the bumper to bumper traffic, people everywhere, outrageous cost of living and is just too chaotic for me. I love my life in our small town here. I do have neighbors on either side of me, but I can look out over the farmer's field and the butte from my front living room window. Life is slow here, just the way I like it. Yes, I do have to travel to do my shopping, but it's all good. ;)

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    1. It's amazing the way that happens, Debbie, isn't it? Some towns grow and prosper and others become basically ghost towns. Our town is undergoing some major changes right now, all of which will bring more tourists to the area....not sure how I feel about that but no doubt it will help property values! Happy New Year to you, Debbie!

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