Monday, March 31, 2008

Home sweet home

A couple of people have asked me to put up some pictures of where we live. People (and this included me before we moved out here) don’t think of “New York” and “rural” in the same sentence. When I thought of corn and soy bean fields, New York was not the state that came to mind. Now my thinking has changed … we do live in the middle of corn fields and it is very rural. We live in the township of Seneca Falls - population 6,861 and in Seneca County – population 34,724. For comparison’s sake, the population of Farmington, Utah is 15,540 and the population of all of Davis County is 276,259. So … compared to what I am accustomed to, Seneca Country is quite small.

The area is known as the “Finger Lakes” region due to the abundance of lakes. We live next to Cayuga Lake, near the north end of the lake. Cayuga Lake is the longest of the finger lakes – just under 40 miles from tip to tip. You can drive down the entire length of the lake and end up in Ithaca – and it’s a gorgeous drive. We also enjoy being close to Seneca Lake, another big lake with gorgeous drives. It never ceases to amaze me how very BLUE the lakes are. Photos don’t really do them justice – they are a beautiful deep blue color that’s just amazing to look at.

Left to right: Seneca Lake, Cayuga Lake at night, and near Ithaca in the fall.

Our house was built sometime in the mid-1800’s and was used in the Underground Railroad. We are surrounded by corn fields – seriously. We have one neighbor and the then no one for a while. We don’t live in a subdivision, as it is out west. Our landlords own about 100 acres, and they rent the land out to Mennonite farmers, who work the land. It sounds so Pioneer times, huh? Many Mennonite and Amish people live around here (Mennonites are a branch of Amish people – they use electricity and drive cars but they still dress with the women in bonnets and dresses, and the men in trousers). It’s not uncommon to see Amish people plowing their fields by hand (no tractors for them!) or to see them in their horse-drawn buggies “driving” down the road. In many ways it feels like a simpler time out here.

Left to right: Downtown Seneca Falls, seen from the canal system that runs through town, Amish farmer working in the fields and Seneca Falls in the spring (see what I mean about rural?)

So yeah …
that’s us. Sometimes I wish we lived somewhere that wasn’t so rural. For example, since we live in the middle of farmland, we are not close enough to any restaurants to have food delivered to us. The closest pizza place is Pizza Hut … but not close enough, because we live out of their delivery boundaries. We’re not close to a Chinese or Mexican place, either. This can be a good thing - we hardly spend any money on eating out – simply because there are no restaurants (fast food or otherwise) anywhere near us. I also wish that we lived closer to stores like Target and Wegmans (an awesome grocery store out here). There is truly nothing by us. BUT … it is quite simply a beautiful place to live in. The lakes are gorgeous and very calming. It’s quite green in the spring and summer, and the fall colors are fantastic. There’s so many hikes, waterfalls and spectacular scenery around for exploration. I like not having to fight with traffic (it takes me less than 10 minutes to get to work – from walking out my front door to being at my desk). I don’t miss the congestion and the inversion/smog of Utah – though occasionally it can be lonely on the country roads out here. All in all, it’s a great place to live. We don’t plan on staying here forever – we’ll be moving on when Cory finishes with school – but for now we are rather content with where we are. It’s beautiful out here!

ft to right: Overlooking Canandaigua Lake, overlooking Keuka Lake in the fall, and the campus of New York Chiropractic College (where Cory goes to school and I work). You can see Cayuga Lake in the background of the picture. The school sits on 286 acres, including a 9-hole golf course and the large pond you can see in the picture.

Now for some pictures of our house. Keep in mind that right now is not the prettiest season - it's still winter so everything is dead and spring has not yet come ... I promise to post some more pictures of the surrounding area as spring comes around.

From left to right: our place (we live on the 2nd floor of the home and someone else rents the bottom level), looking south of our h
ouse (we live right on the highway that runs the entire length of Cayuga Lake), looking east (towards the lake and the field that is normally all cornstalks), north of us (you can see our one neighbor), west of us (again normally all cornstalks), and the view from our bathroom window (you can see the lake in the distance).

And last but not least ... we attend church at the Peter Whitmer farm. It's where the Mormon Church was officially re-organized on April 6, 1830. These pictures are taken at the church.

From left to right: cornstalks (corn is everywhere! Really!), the cabin where the re-organization took place (hiding in the trees), and the church building.

A few more random pictures: rainstorm out here (I know it rains in Utah but out here it just pours! It's crazy!) and the campus of Cornell University down in Ithaca. It's a really old and beautiful campus - overlooking Cayuga Lake.

I can't believe that I am saying this ... but we really will miss it when we move! I'm glad we've got a bit longer to enjoy it all!


Andrea said...

Man I just got so homesick. What a great place to live. For a little while at least...

Lincs & Ali said...

oh wow! That really is so beautiful! What a gorgeous place!

Brookeh said...

This was a great post. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing where you live. What an adventure. And now I know more about Mennonites. People ask me if we are Mennonites all the time and I have to correct them. So it's good to know.

Suzy said...

Wow, that's really beautiful. We even live in the same part of the country as you, but it really does look different. We are not quite so rural, although we are surrounded by fields as well. Its a big change from out west.

Harrop Family said...

Wow! Sarah, I had no idea how wonderful your adventure is. I would absolutely LOVE to have an experience like what you are having. We are in Indiana just 45 min SE of Chicago. Seems pretty normal here. You have so much history around you. What an awesome thing. Keep posting pictures. They are beautiful.

Ashton Family said...

Wow! Looks fun! You do live in the country, at least compared to our current living quarters. It looks so beautiful there!!!

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