Dream House

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Here is the rest of what I was saying:

I know that we will eventually move back to the East Coast. There is a lot about the East Coast that doesn’t suit us but there is a lot about the East Coast that does (namely family and friends and some of the weather and the food and…)

BUT rather than living in NJ again, maybe we can move to NY. We’ve never lived there before so maybe we’d like that better. OR at least we can move to a different area in NJ that is still close to NYC ALTHOUGH NJ is not that big so if you are near NYC, you are basically near where we are from and therefore in a similar neck of the woods. What I DO know that I like is Upstate NY. If there is anyplace on Planet Earth that I would definitely WANT to own property, it is there. It’s beautiful, it smells good, the sky is full of stars, there is a huge amount of open space and trees and grass and hills and water…There are a lot of interesting boarded up houses and farms that are interesting to look at and photograph (and it is rumored that a lot of these properties are going to be restored to their former glory). There are county fairs, drive-in movie theaters and tons of antiquing and thrifting. It’s beautiful. BUT I have also spent two weeks straight up there and after a little while it’s like, “Okay, I feel a little too removed from the world.” So I know I can’t live there full-time but I want it as an option in my life. Also, there aren’t enough job opportunities up there for my taste.

SO the way I think our lives will go is that we will probably eventually buy a small house up there (or just land and build a small house on it) and then rent an apartment in Montclair or NYC. We want to be close enough to NYC so that it’s not a shitty commute but there are things to do and conveniences around. There are NO conveniences in Upstate. Not like in Northern NJ or NYC anyway. Shit shuts DOWN. And the area I like (The Hudson Valley/Catskills) is about an hour and a half to two hours from Northern NJ/NYC. In not much of a time investment, you really feel like you’ve gone somewhere else. It’s simple to drive in a weekend. When you’re there you actually FEEL the shackles of your life coming off of you, the little stressors you didn’t even realize were there until you don’t have them anymore. I just feel like up there, I actually sit down and read newspapers and books and kind of get up out of my chair and DO physical things. Take walks, go swimming, go biking, collect rocks, look for firewood, just kind of rudimentary things that seem like a hassle (or aren’t even an option) to fit into your daily existence but up there are ALL you have to do. No schedule or appointments, just EXISTING for a while. And you don’t have to go to bed at any particular time but you fall into bed EXHAUSTED at the end of the day anyway and wake up at the crack of dawn naturally.

We’ve always gone up there camping in the summer but can’t go up there in the winter because there the heat and electricity gets shut off in the part of the campground where we stay. I feel like if I had my own little house or cabin, it would be nice to go up there year-round. Spend Thanksgiving and Christmas up there. Have Easter egg hunts in the woods. Have a fireplace inside and outside. Maybe have a pool for the summer. It’s just a different world up there. There’s no one around to bother or to bother you either. Also the general lack of visible police is actually more comforting than you’d imagine. First of all, a visible police presence isn’t NEEDED because you’re not in any danger. Second of all, you don’t realize how monitored you feel until you are somewhere that isn’t passed by a police cruiser every ten minutes. I’ve brought people up there who get uneasy because of this. They don’t feel safe that there aren’t police around. But if you really stop and think about it, they’re not there constantly because they don’t need to be. That is nice. (And in the 30 years I’ve been going up there, I’ve never needed a police officer or SEEN anyone need one either. There is a general “live and let live” policy up there where everyone minds their own bidness and respects each other’s stuff/privacy.) Third of all, it is kind of freeing to know that, for one, there aren’t eyeballs on you other than those that belong to the people you have invited. You don’t realize what a stressor that is until you don’t have to worry about it. (Not that I do ANYTHING that is illegal. I am a girl scout but what I am saying is that it’s nice to just be away from prying eyes and left to your own devices sometimes.)

Also, when we used to go camping, we had clothes, towels, toothbrushes and just “stuff” we used there that stayed there all summer. And that “stuff” wasn’t ever pretty or stylish or anything but functional. That “stuff” was always handmade or thrifted and was always fell into one of these two categories “useful” or “fun”. Nothing was “have to”, everything was “want to”. It as a relief to have a space full of things that didn’t hold any ties to “have to”. When you only have your house or your apartment, you don’t know how relaxing it is to have a separate place where ONLY your “want to” things live. And responsibilities DO come with owning such a place because you have to clean it and weatherproof it, etc but even THAT is a “want to”. It’s like a giant craft project and if you involve your family and your friends, it can become a “want to” space for everyone and therefore a craft project everyone can get involved in. Everyone can contribute things that can be used later by everyone like games and toys and puzzles and warm blankets and books etc.

So anyway, that is what I want for myself. And if anything ever happened to my apartment in/near the city, at least I’d have a home to go to. *shrug* As much as I like people, I need a space to get away from people too. And living in such close quarters to other people on other people’s land is just too shaky for me. You never have a sense of ownership or power in your station. But buying a house in even a semi-urban area like where we’re from in NJ stresses me out because that feels like it would be sort of a kick in the ass. You OWN this property and yet you STILL can’t turn your radio up or have a party or not have to hear the person in the next house throw up. Haha. I feel like I would feel too indignant all the time if I owned a house that I didn’t have total control over.

We have to stay here for a few years and work and go to school. Ultimately what I want is to have a job where I make enough money to have an apartment on BOTH coasts. It would be nice to be able to fly back and forth for work and get the best of both worlds but I am dreaming in that respect. But I feel like if I had a house Upstate, I could move West for work if I had to and then our families could get use out of it. We all win, whereas if I owned a house in Montclair, NJ why in the hell would anyone want to take over that house when I’m not there? I mean it’s a cute town but not different enough from anywhere else so that you feel like you’ve gone on vacation. If we had a house in the woods, even when we were out of state, someone else could enjoy it and relax for a weekend or for a week.

So that’s the plan for someday. And I WILL make this happen, mark my words haha.

5 thoughts on “Dream House

  1. Ok so don’t laugh at me but I’m completely addicted to the shows 16 & Pregnant and Teen Mom. There was a couple on the season opener of 16 & Pregnant who were getting this barn style house thingy. It was pretty damn cheap and they’re really cool looking. They’re not huge but not miniscule either. Buying land and then “building” is probably the cheaper route. As for NJ living, try way north Jersey like Montague or Sparta.

  2. A) I love me some “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom” so I would NEVER laugh at you. Haha.
    B) I know land is SO CHEAP up there. You can buy a really decent sized property for like twenty grand (depending on where it is). God they even have abandoned campgrounds you can guy for like eighty grand. That includes dorms and tennis courts and a pool and all kinds of stuff. Like I’d never do that because it’s creepalicious and Kristyn forbids it and I’d have to put a ton of work into it but STILL.

    I was looking into it a few months ago just out of curiosity (I can’t buy a burrito let alone land) and found a lot of really inexpensive properties with no house on them. And I found a bunch of really pretty houses for ridiculously low prices too. Like a two story house with three bedrooms and two baths plus a huge yard for 100 grand. That would be worth half a million (or more) in Kearny. You can also find smaller houses for less. I really wouldn’t want a HOUSE house. I’d want something more rustic and olden-timey. My family is friends with a guy who built his own log cabin up Upstate. His family owns the campground we stay at and he built it a little bit down the river. I’m sure I could at least ask that guy for advice on how to go about it because he’s pretty nice and generous.

    In my wildest dreams, I’d like to buy a scrap of land from the campground itself but that will never happen. We always had our trailer in this one area along the Neversink River and it was really nice because the river is low (so you’re not in danger of drowing or being carried away which makes for good wading although it is freezing). Also because it’s so cold, you get a nice breeze in the summer. So long as you’re sitting near the river, it’s like a natural air conditioner. But they’ll never do that. Maybe if I get rich I can make them an offer they can’t refuse haha.

    In my wildest WILDEST dreams, someday I could buy that whole campground from them and just pay them to run it. I wouldn’t ever run them off the land, it would just be nice to know that they can’t run me off it either. I just feel ownership of that place although it belongs to someone else. They have a pretty house on it, I could just build mine on my campsite and have electricity run back to it. Another reason why you can’t go there in the winter is that they don’t plow back that far. We’d just have to change that too, haha.

    You see a lot of these “wildest WILDEST” (or even just “wildest”) dreams stuff comes with the assumption that I’ll be filthy rich someday haha. Back in reality, I know that I can eventually afford to buy a scrap of land up there and toss a house on it. I think it would even be kind of fun to build it and be the very first people who live there. There are companies that sell kits to have a cabin built and I think for the most baller one it starts at like 60 grand and goes up to like 100 if you have all of the amenities. So if I spent 20Gs on land, no hell 40Gs on land, 100Gs on the house and then 60Gs on things like leveling the ground and knocking down trees (to have a place to put the house), I’d have only spent 200Gs which is half the cost of a house in Kearny with probably double the land and quadruple the pleasure. *shrug*

    Or I could go the cheapie route and spend 20Gs on a plot of land and throw a really cool trailer on there for 10K and there you go. Haha. Some people spend that much on a car for Christ’s sake.

      • WOW! That’s an awesome idea. Me and Lee are thinking about that more for after the kiddos are on their own and we’re elderly and I don’t care much how close/far the nearest hospital is cause I’ll be ready to go anyways lol. I really like the barn/house idea though. It’s nice and quaint…..like you’ve said, no one else has lived there & we can really make it our own.

      • Yeah definitely. I was just saying to Kristyn before that having that trailer upstate and growing up that way has definitely kind of made me a happier person in a lot of ways. Like up there we had to kind of make do. The beds weren’t necessarily comfortable and you don’t shower every day and all your stuff is kind of rough and tumble. You’re doing a lot of “wildernessy” things so sometimes you get your hands dirty. We’d go wading into the river and had specific shoes for it that we didn’t care if they got ruined. We had campfires every night and you end up with soot on your face and ash in your hair. You’re bbqing all the time so you know THAT is a mess. And it’s not like we aimed to be pigs but it’s like when you are camping, there is a level of “Oh whatever” that comes along with it and it becomes less important to have your hair perfectly blowdried or to have your makeup applied just so or to have a perfectly styled outfit or whatever. So having the balance of rough and tumble and having nice things has kind of given me a good headspace where I can be happy wherever I am. I don’t need things to be perfect for me to enjoy them. I know that I, myself, am capable of turning nothing into something with my own two hands and a little creativity. We had the time of our lives up there all the time because we were making something out of nothing and it wasn’t perfect and no one expected it to be. I see a lot of people who don’t like stuff like that because they just CAN’T let their guard down enough to have a good time. Everything has to be sanitized and perfect in order to enjoy it. I truly feel bad for people like that because you’re not living your fullest life. Some of the best things in life aren’t perfect or stylish. They’re fun because they’re real and made by you.

        So I think that I would like to build a place like that for my family and my friends to enjoy where we can just let go of all pretension and just ENJOY. Eat, drink and be merry. And if I had a space where I could let go of daily pressures and my (future) kids could learn to make stuff with their hands or make do with what they had, I think they’d be much more happy for the rest of their lives because they’d know the value of making your own fun.

        And THEN like you said, it would be great because we’d have a place to retire to. Have a little garden, grow some veggies, maybe foster some animals and adopt them out to good homes. And then when I die, my kids would have a nice place to bring their kids to and build new memories…

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