Buying The Farm

Mickey and I are holed up at a friend’s house over in West Saugerties, escaping Real Life for a couple of days.   Going on long walks, staring at wildlife, typing and, in Mickey’s case, snoring.

Not actually snoring in this picture

I feel the way I used to feel every time I left NYC.  Still going thousands of miles per minute until the stillness of the countryside got in me and started rearranging my cells.

Hudson is hardly a thriving metropolis, but it IS a city and does thrum and buzz and clank.  So, when I got here to this sweet, quiet house, I  was thrumming and buzzing and clanking.  And now I am collapsing.  There’ s a slight white noise out the back side of the house here and at first I thought it was traffic.  But no.  It’s the CREEK.


Yesterday, before packing up for this woodsy escape, I did Realtor Stuff which, in this instance, involved driving around Columbia and Dutchess counties,  Mickey riding shotgun, looking at beautiful swaths of land.  It did not suck.  Okay, it sucked slightly.  Because farms like this one are, as we all know, vanishing.







Farms are being devoured by stubby plastic houses that look like those in the opening credits of the show WEEDS.

I’m sure these houses have their plusses, but I’m not sure what they are and I’d have a hard time selling one because I think they should be blown up.

Houses do not have to look like this

Houses do not have to be ugly to be efficient and affordable.    I actually like plenty of modern houses.  A simple box-looking house plunked down on a  small swath of land can be a beautiful thing. 

So, even though yesterday’s Realtor Business brought me to that beautiful old farm, it was a little sad.

My friend Laura the Hot Farmer, who is an Actual Farmer (I don’t just call her that because it sounds sexy, though of course, it does) does all her farming on TWO ACRES.  Grows vegetables and fruit, raises chickens, pigs, goats, and, yes, actual human children, on TWO ACRES.  Because no one who is Actually Farming can afford an Actual Farm.  The beauty I saw yesterday will probably never again be used as a farm because no one with farming skills can afford to buy it.

So I’m in the woods, decompressing, working on a noir novel about three women taking revenge on a mutual stalker, looking at trees and mourning the loss of land and what it means for our souls.

One thought on “Buying The Farm

  1. Melancholy, like it’s spotlight whore cousin Misery, loves company. It’s oddly heartening to read your post, because I was thinking similar thoughts here in eastern Pennsylvania. There are beautiful tracts of land for sale, and it seems like every realtor sign uses “zoned for subdivision” as the biggest selling point.

    The hideous townhomes and tract house will soon devour every countryside within a several hour’s drive of any major city. Sometimes, it just makes you hope for the economic collapse everyone’s fretting about. There are already more houses than people in this country. It would be wonderful to go “back to the land”, but the hedge fund managers are eating all up.

    But cheer up. Like I keep telling myself: someday my grandchildren will grow their own food in the hollowed out ruins of a hideous McMansion. My great great grandchildren will see the day when the Earth reclaims much of the disposable crap we’ve built.