Wednesday, October 19, 2011

How Long?

Kaaterskill Creek After a Soaking Rain
Palenville, NY

Pat's Red Lentil Soup
Someone asked me how long I stayed in Palenville. The answer is long enough to know that Alfie Beers is running for highway superintendent, that Laurie, the BBW that lives in a "bungalow" at the bottom of Woodlane has a rescued blue heeler that wandered for days before she was captured. Might I also add long enough to be able to tell you firsthand that Pat at the Circle W General Store makes the best lentil and also butternut squash soups. That's not all, Pat bakes her to die for chocolate croissants only on Fridays and on Sundays. It might remind you for a moment of the treat made once again famous in the movie: "It's Complicated". (By the way, she's on vacation this week somewhere in Canada.) Did I also mention that Bob, a retired color lab guy twice divorced, also hangs out every morning at the general store? We became friends too and talked photography every morning as I drank my small hot latte with sprinkled cinnamon on top. (By mid-day my routine changed a bit and I stopped by for either a Tannery panini sandwich or a Circle W killer pastrami reuben.)

Let's say that I was in Palenville long enough to know: that County Waste picks up both recycling and trash bins on Thursday; that the Fernwood restaurant is just around the bend from Woodland Lane; the Catholic Church is around bend south of the junction where highways 23A and 23 meet and before you get to Pat's General Store, the "Circle W". Construction is still going on up the mountain on the way Kaaterskill Falls and the towns of Hunter, Haines Falls, and Tannersville.

This truly is a sleepy hollow where a very busy creek flows through it,changes colors from white to red after a heavy rain, and where night skies are lit by only the moon and stars and seldom else. A destination point for tourists for many years, Palenville now affords solace for an affluent few city dwellers, bikers, cyclists, and a few Woodstock hippies that never left. To me, it was and is all good. This place grants, those that make the sojourn, the luxury to take in the simple beauties and pleasure that make living worthwhile. We need places like Palenville off the beaten path with great soups and creeks to enjoy we need them as beacons that lead us to safety and the promise of comfort,warmth, and joy along the journey.

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