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Move to the Country, Change Your Life

September 12th, 2016

This is about the amount of counter space I had at the old place. Here, it's about 1/3 of my counter space. I was able to do all my prep on another counter and still have room next to the stove for everything else. I fucking love this kitchen.

This is about the amount of counter space I had at the old place. Here, it’s about 1/3 of my counter space. I was able to do all my prep on another counter and still have room next to the stove for everything else. I fucking love this kitchen.

We’ve been making some pretty major lifestyle changes since the move.

That sounds like crazy talk, since we’ve only been here a week and five days. How can you make lifestyle changes in a week and five days? Will they even stick?

Some of them have been forced upon us by the move. Others are things we’ve wanted to change forever but haven’t had the mindset to do so.

And Schenectady is such an enabler.

The #SchenectadyDoesntSuck crowd will try to tell you that’s not true, but most of them don’t actually live in Schenectady. They live in the small outskirt towns, where the blight GE left in the wake of its mass exodus doesn’t quite reach. They only go into Schenectady to work in its offices that don’t generally employ native Schenectadians, or to enjoy Proctors, or to take advantage of Schenectady County Community College’s programs.

They’ve never watched in disgust while the news reported blatant lies about how the government and rich business owners are improving the neighborhood where they live.

They’ve never had Schenectady police officers look them in the face and flat out refuse to do their jobs.

They haven’t lost friends and loved ones to violent crime in a city where the violent crime rate is 130% above the national average.

They haven’t had to watch as the lack of jobs ripped their families and their friends’ families apart.

They haven’t been forced out of their homes in an attempt to lure richer people and larger businesses back to the city.

And they want you to look past all that. Pretend that stuff doesn’t exist. That the things my friends have been going through in that city don’t exist.

I can’t do that. Those things do exist. I know because I’ve been touched by them. My dead friends existed. My friend’s mother, who stabbed to death the man who was abusing her, still exists in a jail cell for killing her abuser. My homeless friends, drug and alcohol addicted friends, impoverished friends still exist.

They’re still struggling to survive in a city that doesn’t give a damn about them; in fact, would be happier if they were all dead. Because the plight of Schenectady’s low income neighborhoods can’t possibly be the fault of the rich white legislators who turn a blind eye to the corrupt police force and court system that doesn’t affect them, and legislate to protect themselves and their businesses without considering the effect it will have on the people who aren’t as well off.

There’s not a vice you can’t find in Schenectady. It’s as easy to buy street drugs and weapons as it is to buy food…and the drugs are usually cheaper. There’s at least one bar and one fast-food restaurant in every neighborhood. And in the next year, or so, there will be a casino, which legislators are claiming will increase jobs and decrease crime.

…sure it will. Cuz Vegas is totally crime free, and casinos definitely saved Atlantic City. 🙄

I’ll admit, I’m feeling a little guilty for giving up and getting out. But my mama didn’t raise no fool. When you’re living in Hell, and someone throws you a lifeline, you grab on for dear life.

Moving out of Schenectady has forced us to change a lot of things.

The closest pizza place is about a ten minute drive on a good day, and we have to drive to them. The same goes for Chinese food. There’s a teeny McDonalds smooshed into a gas station about fifteen minutes up the road, and that’s it for drive-thru food. It’s a 45 minute drive to anything else. And all of it closes between 10 and 11pm, so no more popping off in the middle of the night to Dunkin for coffee and donuts or Mickey D’s for a shake and nuggets.

I weighed 265 lbs when we started this move two weeks ago, and I weigh 252.8 lbs now. I dunno whether to be impressed or disturbed. That’s a lot of weight to lose in two weeks. But in the interest of maintaining it, and maybe losing some more (because I want to be able to enjoy the outdoors, here, without feeling like someone hit various parts of my body with a sledgehammer, and right now, I’m not in good enough shape for that), I’ve begun working on portion control.

M is not overly thrilled about this, because portion control means that instead of him getting to eat an entire steak the size of his whole hand with the fingers spread (he has big hands), he has to suffer through me cutting off a piece about the size of my palm (I have smallish hands) for myself.

He might die.

Not that we’ll be able to (or should) eat a whole lot of beef out here. The prices are asinine, which is utterly bizarre. I mean, we’re surrounded by dairy and beef farms. You’d think beef would be cheaper.

I already mentioned the changes with my cleaning habits. I swear, that alone is going to help me lose weight because this place is so much bigger than any other place we’ve lived in. It takes 24 steps to go from the bedroom to the coffee brewer. Twenty-nine steps from the couch to the toilet. Thirteen steps from the kitchen table (where I spend most of my time) to the washer. And whenever we get off our asses and set up the office, I’ll have to go up and down stairs every time I have to get one of us water or go to the bathroom.

I dunno that anywhere in the old place took more than 10 steps, and if I ever said it did, I was vastly overestimating.

My “comfort food” is a thing of the past. It’s not available out here.

This place has twice the windows the old place has, and curtains were an expense we couldn’t afford on top of the rest of the cost of the move. And since we’re so close to a rather well-traveled road, we really can’t run around in our underwear and/or naked. I mean, we could, but I don’t think the families on their way to their vacation spots would be appreciative.

Yeah, you read that right. We live where other people go for vacation. Be jealous. Lol.

The curtain issue will be alleviated this weekend, probably, but we’re quickly approaching Autumn, which means it won’t be too much longer before we have to have the heat on. Our heat runs on oil. That shit’s expensive. So we’re going to have to conserve as much as possible, which means wearing clothes in the winter. Luckily, this year, our new landlord filled the tank before he moved out, so that’ll save us some money this winter, but it would be stupid (and completely ungrateful) not to start conserving this year just because someone else paid for our heat.

M hung a clothesline to try to save some money on electricity. We use less lights because who needs ’em when you’ve got a thousand windows? And we haven’t even installed our window unit a/c, which turned out to be a good decision because we’ve only wished we had it one day. And would you look at that? We survived without it.

Staring at the stars has become a nightly thing. Who knew you could see so many without the light pollution of the city?

In short, it looks like our lifestyle of excess and unnecessary stress is becoming a thing of the past. It’s partly out of necessity, partly circumstantial. But I kinda like it.

  1. Heaven
    September 21st, 2016 at 11:53 | #1

    That is a beautiful kitchen, I am glad you are liking your new place.

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