Monday, October 29, 2012

My Hometown and End of Autumn in the Catskills



We drove up to the Butternut Valley and the tiny village of Gilbertsville this weekend.  The colorful display that is autumn in the northeast is past up there.  The subdued green of the conifers and the dull grey-brown of the almost leafless hardwoods cover the old mountains in their winter blanket. The exception to the absence of autumn hues is the bright yellow dots of paper birch scattered throughout the forest.  These relatives of the oak share its tenacity of leaf, hanging on to the branch long after other trees have given up. So we are treated to these leafy suns, these paint splatters in the forest, long after all the other colors are gone.

Gilbertsville is my hometown.

I dimly remember writing about the word "hometown" sometime ago, though I don't know whether or not it was in this blog.  No matter, it's back in my head so it's now pushing out through my fingers.  I lived in that little village (pop. @400) a total of about five years out of my seventy; I've lived in New Paltz for thirty-three; I was born in the borough of Queens in New York City and lived there until I was ten. Several other places also fit into my nomadic life for periods from one to four years, yet Gilbertsville is the place - my "hometown."  I don't think I'm particularly strange (no snide remarks) when I stake my claim to an area where I resided for such a brief time.  Curious as I always am to learn, I have asked others to name their hometown. Often they respond with a phrase something like "You mean where I was born?" which tells me they have their heart attached to a place that is not of their birth.  How about you?

Hurricane Sandy is beating up the NY/NJ coastline right now and is still a long way off shore.  The storm is huge!  We have wind and rain now, some heavy gusts but nowhere near what we're told to expect later on.  I'll try to report again tomorrow if we have power.

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