It was 20 years ago today that the trailer became ours. The permanent - the "real" - home remained across the border but within an easy drive. Purchased as a getaway, this quickly became the destination of choice.
What did I want to get away from? Duties, clubs, house-cleaning, whatever it was that pressure-packed each day to the brim. The real world perhaps.
Here there were no "musts." Time stretched out like a silver carpet. I even found time to read! Yes, even in the daytime.
There were no rules beyond enjoying what one could. Adopting the name "mod room" came later, a designation for the room where anything was permitted in moderation, but the spirit was born in those early months.
It was easy to stop in those days for a pizza on the way up and "cheap cream-filled cookies" were a household requirement. My weight sky-rocketed of course but I was told I carried it well. I was happy and didn't much care.
We knew a few people and easily added friends for it was a joy to entertain. The kitchen was compact but certainly adequate and well-equipped. A real dining room made any meal something special.
The wood-burning fireplace worked well. The heat and light were appreciated as it added a cozy luster to the living room. It was all just corny enough that adding beaded glass curtains into the bath seemed totally appropriate.
The trailer came with a glass-enclosed Florida room, an expression new to me. I surmised the name indicated it would be good in southern climes for it was not heated. Still, by far the most pleasant spot on a sunny winter's afternoon, it became the site of choice even if it meant donning parka, cap and gloves.
Just steps away sat a separate "house" just large enough to securely enclose a hot tub. Another new experience! Guests enjoyed that as well. I could easily cross the deck clad in nothing but a towel. If photos don't lie, I really did carry those packed-on pounds well.
Summertime demanded our attention turn outward toward the large pond (even then, before it was enlarged, it sounded nicer to say "lake"). Kids, grandkids, dogs, all gamboled, swam, fished, found snakes I didn't want to know about and enjoyed as much as I could have hoped for.
Back in those days, there was also time - it seemed there was always time - to explore the area with so many sites waiting to be discovered.
One old store (with old things) carried two scythes which somehow became a must have. Huh? Why a scythe, much less two? The second may still be around. The first found its place over the fireplace. A small brass plate announced its meaning: "A scythe is just a scythe." Yes, as time goes by.
An astute reader has already seen the handwriting on the wall - more and more time spent in this idyll which ultimately required bringing the work from home till the days became as crowded and hectic as what I believed I had escaped from.
More and more time spent "north" meant as well that attention and allegiance were changing. Two properties became a burden.
I'm a New Yorker now and have been in my heart since that November day 20 years ago.
I certainly never want to leave but, in truth, do occasionally find myself dreaming idly of being able to get away from it all.
Susan Crossett is a Cassadaga resident. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org