January 9, 2008, Cornwall On Hudson, New York

Yesterday was pretty busy at work and busy afterwards as well. I am taking a lot of calls to get faculty set up in their courses for the spring term (2008-2 as they call it), most are easy. Tomorrow will be a little more difficult I think as problems are now arising and faculty are returning to post.

When I got home yesterday though, the deer were right outside my window. I changed and decided to see how friendly there were. I opened the bag of baby carrots I bought and gently tossed one to a yearling. It was not too interested or was too hesitant. I threw one to an older female, about 8 feet from the deck, and she nervously bent down to eat it. It was so cool to hear her crunching it. I tried to convince her to come closer and take another from my hand, but she was not going for it. I bet I can make that happen within a week or two though. I tossed it to her and she quickly gobbled it down.

I decided I would run out to shop although the light fades here quickly after 4 p.m. I ran over to Vail’s Gate and found the K-Mart there. I wanted a mesh laundry bag for trips home (or to the Laundromats here) and finally found them. The store was a mess as they were doing inventory.

Right next to the K-Mart is a ShopRite. I would equate it to Shop-N-Save or Foodland. I was eager to check out the other big name in supermarkets here though. There is a Hannaford’s in Vail’s Gate too. I stopped there and found the store to be big, clean and have a good produce section. I picked up a few things and went to check out. There was a young tattooed couple in front of me. Reminded me a little bit of the Hardesty’s. They had a loaf of bread, a jar of sauce, a pound of ground meat, some pasta and a few other things. Dinner was on the conveyer belt. They seemed high, happy and in love. To be young again …

When I got back, Mr. Fusillo called. He had the smoke detector and wanted to give me the keys and deal with the lease. I had a Subway (I think, I might have had that the night before – they have a “Black Forest Ham” trial going on and they are pretty good) and walked over to the house, checkbook in hand.

When I closed the deal with the real estate agent (Kathy from Smitchger Realty in Corwall), she said I owed her a broker fee of $800 (one month’s rent), the first month for Joe, a security deposit (one month), AND the last month’s rent. It was going to cost me $3,200 just to get into the cottage. I sent her $800 and another $1,600 for Joe and would pay him the other $800 when I got keys. I only got $3,000 for moving expenses, so that wiped that out. And it turns out the moving expenses were less taxes, so I only really got about $2,400. Oh well …

Joe and Magda were happy to see me and I sat at their kitchen table to chat and deal with the paperwork. Joe insisted I have a coffee. He has an cappuccino machine and loves using it. I insisted it be decaf. I sipped away as we chatted and Magda made sure I had a big plate of cookies. One of the three varieties on the plate had lots of chocolate and some raspberry preserves. Yummo.

Magda and I chatted about shopping, Pittsburgh, directions to different places around town, and Joe fussed with a set of attachments for his compressor. They are really nice people. He said I could pay the last month’s rent over a couple of months so he did not need anything from me that night. I appreciated that. It will be easier to spread it out.

When I mentioned I had fed the deer some carrots, they made sure to send me home with two full bags of bread for them. It was like visiting my parents. Eat, drink and take some food home with you.

I did not like driving home in the dark though. Traffic in this area gets busy after 5 p.m. and the roads leading to the cottage are not very well lit. Will make whatever trips I need directly from work from here on in.

What did I learn yesterday … always accept an invitation to your landlord’s house, especially if he has a cappuccino machine and his wife always keeps exotic cookies on hand.

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