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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Growing Up Adirondack Style

I grew up in a small town in upper New York state called Glens Falls , New York in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains.

I remember our first house on Putnam road. It was a 4 bedroom home; 2 bedrooms upstairs and 2 down.

My mother and father slept downstairs which left us kids upstairs by ourselves. We had no A/C then, neither did we have fans. I still vividly recall the summer months, in my bed, the sweltering heat, my body sticking to my sheet, hoping for a breeze to blow through my open window. But for me it was just the season and I did not complain.

After all it was summer and vacation from school was the best part. There were 4 of us home when I was born. I was the youngest of 6, my oldest brother was 20 years older than myself and I have a sister 21 years my senior. They were on their own making their way when I came along. We had one guest room, downstairs, that my mother always kept specially prepared when ministers would visit. My parents were devout in their faith and church was an integral part of our life style. This made a visit from our ministers very special and often they would spend a night or two.

Our home was a part of a developing neighborhood in the late 50’s. Half the houses on Putnam Road, at that time, were only partially built and we used to play in the cellar holes nearby. It was a quiet place and was located geography in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains. These mountains stretched northward about 200 miles to the Canadian border and as I grew up I spent countless days fishing and hiking through these mountains. The small lakes and ponds in this region were carved out by glaciers and were spring fed, clear and cold. In those days I preferred the cold mountain lakes to any pool, which to me seemed like bath water by comparison.

The winter months in retrospect were harsh but as a young man it was a time for snowshoeing, skiing, and ice fishing. In midwinter we would backpack into the mountain lakes to ice fish by the light of huge bon fires on the ice.

Then there was college and relocation to the city of Albany, New York about 70 miles to the south. For the most part my visits north were for short visits after that; then back to class, internships or jobs.

Life has a way of going forward all on its own and although my life now is very different from the way I grew up I still look back with fond memories of friends, snow, mountains, miles of natural xmas trees; their fur bows laden with heavy snow, and many hours of the best fish stories you ever heard.

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season filled with treasured memories , happiness and joy.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful landscape, Carl! :) And what a lovely memories you have. I love them. I can feel through your letters how good was your childhood. Mine was fantastic too, and you know? when I was eleven I met American culture for the first time (I used to live in that time next to the military base of Rota, in Cadiz, my father being a military too (in fact, a Civil Guard, which is a part of the Spanish Army). So...I was there, in a wonderful beach called La Bermeja, next to the military base of Rota. And my friends were some American girls, in my same age. There, at Christmas, I got my first Barbie (as a present) and I saw those wonderful Christmas trees, the Christmas cards, and so on... I think I fell in love with your culture since that time :)

    Thanks for telling us about you and your family, your childhood, your city...

    Take care :)