Thursday, June 23, 2005


phillip is a geography master. seriously. he knows where every country is on this planet. he's rarely stumped. he even knows flags of countries that i've never even heard of. and that, my friends, is super sexy.

this morning my old boss and i were talking about where i grew up. i told him i lived in "central leatherstocking country", or the catskill mountains, whichever you prefer. he said "catskils? i thought the catskills were more south than that," after i told him the town i grew up in.

sounds weird that i'd even have to second guess, but i said "i'm pretty sure i lived in the catskills." i hate when i do that. i lived there for 11 years, went through first grade throught twelth, and here i am thinking "did i really live in the catskills or am i thinking of something else?"

i hate that. i DID live all those years in the catskills. and when phillip and i went back to visit my mom, we drove through them. i hate it when i question myself. it's from all those years not wanting to look "dumb" in front of other people. but just to set my mind at ease, i googled it. sure enough, there are the catskills running through the entire county i grew up in.

my home town is in Otsego county

the smaller of the mountains are in Otsego and Albany counties, but they are still there. and if you've ever lived in the mountains during the winter, you know you're in the mountains. that's why i think phillip and i would fare just fine in minneapolis; we're no strangers to cold and snow.

anyway, i hate that i questioned my self, my history of new york state (did you know that most, if not all, the towns in upstate NY are Iroquoi or Algonquin names?), and my general knowledge of geography (my high school was located in the butternut valley) and cherry valley was not far away (home of the cherry valley massacre of 1778 during the revolutionary war).

i wouldn't want to live there again, because i'm more of a city girl. but i would be lying if i said that upstate new york, especially the catskill mountain area, isn't beautiful.


Anonymous said...


Your blog today put me in mind of Washington Irving's story of Rip Van Winkle. I went back and looked at the opening passage of the book, and sure enough, there was a nice description of the "Kaatskill mountains." (Dutch spelling):

"Whoever has made a voyage up the Hudson must remember the Kaatskill" mountains. They are a dismembered branch of the great Appalachian family, and are Seen away to the west of the river, swelling up to a noble height, and lording it over the surrounding country. Every change of season, every change of weather, indeed, every hour of the day, produces some change in the magical hues and shapes of these mountains, and they are regarded by all the good wives, far and near, as perfect barometers. When the weather is fair and settled, they are clothed in blue and purple, and print their bold outlines on the clear evening sky; but, sometimes, when the rest of the landscape is cloudless, they will gather a hood of gray vapors about their summits, which, in the last rays of the setting sun, will glow and light up like a crown of glory."

~~Washington Cube

Honey Bunny said...

have you ever been to that part of NY? it IS beautiful, there's no doubt about it. my favorite part of growing up there was when autumn finally came and all the trees turned their gorgeous shades of red, orange, rust, yellow. seriously breathtaking.

it's just a shame that the area where i was raised is so hard hit by poverty and unemployment. not that i'd ever move back, but that's something that prevents me from even entertaining the thought. sad, but true.