Things you learn by moving from Brooklyn to the sticks

  • Used walk-behind lawnmowers are not the correct tool for clearing a field with lots of hidden stumps. If the sudden THUNK followed by oil oozing out onto the deck doesn’t make this clear, the gouts of smoke and horrible noises when you pull the starter cord again should.
  • Blackberries are delicious – already knew that – but the bushes they come from are bent on world domination, and pretty well armed for it too.
  • Though it can scoot through a foot of snow and navigate deeply rutted logging roads with ease, a 2WD VW Vanagon in the mud is nothing but a posthole digger.
  • With two jacks, a bunch of logs, and a bit of patience, one person can retrieve a van sunk so deep into the mud that it’s actually resting on the oilpan and tranny. (see above)
  • If it’s cold, already near bedtime, and the woodstove isn’t going, you might as well just use extra blankets.
  • If you try to get a woodstove to heat up really fast, you will discover that the years of lint, bugs, etc stuck in that little chamber behind it make terrible incense. The flames shooting from the top of your house are burning creosote. Go check your garden hose for leaks NOW.
  • If you leave the gate open, some weirdo WILL drive into your yard.
  • Roosters crow at dawn. Also at 4am, mid-afternoon, dinnertime, 2am, etc.
  • Every time you smooth down a ground-squirrel mound, two instantly appear somewhere else.
  • Radishes germinate and grow easily, and there are no recipes calling for three pounds of them.
  • Once you’ve had really fresh eggs from a neighbor, even the “organic free range” ones in the supermarket look sickly and pallid.
  • If you squish wasps, it attracts vengeful family members. Using a blowtorch to get rid of only the ones that invade your workshop does not seem to have this effect, though you feel vaguely guilty about enjoying the hunt.
  • Sometimes in Oregon, at 4-way intersections, you will find 4 carloads of people who starved to death while trying to yield right-of-way to each other.
  • Those same incredibly polite drivers think nothing of pulling out twenty feet in front of a vehicle moving at 70mph.
  • Lowlives who throw their trash out the car window invariably drink cheap, light beer in cans.
  • If you spontaneously help an old-timer empty his truckload full of brush at the dump, he will remember your face and full name a month later when you see him at the general store, and invite you to stop by and meet the missus.
  • There are populated places with no broadband or cellphone service available.
  • You really didn’t go to the museums, galleries, theater, etc. that much, and all you truly miss is the loved ones you left back in the city…and real pizza.

5 thoughts on “Things you learn by moving from Brooklyn to the sticks”

  1. Jay Solis

    haha great list Pete. I have to say, although I didn’t move to the sticks like you did, Stamford CT IS the sticks compared to NYC anyway. And I have to say, I’ve found myself saying the same EXACT thing – that all I really miss is being able to hang out with my friends and the damned pizza…

  2. Lesley

    We miss you too pete! And that is one crazy list. Especially the one about no broadband in populated areas. And here I thought that was just an urban myth.

  3. Joshu

    I didn’t think this was a hoax until I got to the second to last point – you really had me going there for a bit.

    Also, I might add, that if you DO live in Brooklyn, and all your friends LEAVE for the stix, really all you’re left with is the pizza, which is actually kinda sad. Now if only I could get mine with radish greens and eggs…


  4. Jason

    Wow, hey guys. What are you all doing over here? Oh, it’s Pete’s place. Hey, Pete.

    I noticed you spelled it *sticks* and Josh spelled it *stix*. It’s actually *STYX*, people. As in “set an open course for the virgin sea”.

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