We moved to upstate New York to accommodate Mr. Smith’s job in 2015. I spent some time settling in and getting to know our new area before looking for employment. While I was enjoying the brief respite without a job, we often spent a few moments together in the morning, sharing a cup of coffee and checking the news and weather before Mr. Smith left for work. Ithaca has its fair share of snow and cold, but during the weather report I would always notice that it was colder and snowier in Cortland, NY. I told Mr. Smith that I didn’t know where I was going to work, but that it wouldn’t be in Cortland.
For over three years now I’ve been making a daily commute to my office IN CORTLAND! We live on the north side of Ithaca, NY and every morning I get in my vehicle and head up Highway 13. I drive the two-lane highway mostly through farm country, passing through the small town of Dryden at approximately the midway point. Mr. Smith pointed out a way to bypass Dryden to avoid the ONE stoplight in town, but I prefer to tootle on through the heart of the bustling little village. I like seeing the people lined up at the bus stop waiting for the bus, often an express to Cornell University. I take note of the specials at the flower shop and the Dryden Hotel restaurant. And I don’t mind if I have to stop at the stop light where I turn left. After my left turn, on my right-hand side I get to see this.
I continue on down the road bordered with farmer’s fields, barns and beautiful vistas.
Entering Cortland in late May or early June is particularly delightful with this sculpture peony garden to savor.
Depending on the weather and traffic, I spend 30-45 minutes in the car each way. Being in the habit of always wanting to be “productive”, I’ve struggled with how to make this time count. I could use it as “planning” time, making mental to-do lists. I could listen to music or an audio book. With Bluetooth abilities, I could catch up with friends and family without breaking any laws. I decided to make it “me” time, to embrace the silence and enjoy the scenery. I admire the flowering trees in spring and the changing leaves in fall. While I’ve had a couple of winter drives that left me thinking – there’s a road here somewhere, right? – I’ve also had many more spent admiring the newly fallen snow or an enchanting hoar frost. I let my mind relax and luxuriate in the quiet. With all the noise and distractions in our world, it’s a bit of much needed selfcare to let my mind renew itself. A huge investment in myself that doesn’t cost a penny…
C’est la vie.