Something wrong?

Like most people with ears, I’m a big fan of Hank Williams. As I was listening to him the other day, one of his more obscure songs came on that I hadn’t heard in a while and it got me thinking about where we live.

The song is called “Everything’s Okay,” and while it’s meant to be one of Hank’s more comical tunes, it’s makes a great point by not-so-subtly saying, “No matter what pain or misfortune you may have to deal with in life, always remember, at least you ain’t dead.”

He’d gone to visit his Uncle Bill out in the country and the song has old Uncle Bill talking about his life. Here’s just a few verses that’ll give you a better idea of what I’m babbling on about:

My wife’s been sick, the youngins, too

And I’m dern near down with the flu

The cow’s gone dry

And them hens won’t lay

But we’re still alivin’

So everything’s okay

The porch rotted down, that’s more expense

The darned old mule he tore down the fence

The mortgage is due

And I can’t pay

But we’re still alivin’

So everything’s okay

That song reminded me of my own life now that I live within the Blue Line. You see, until I moved up here permanently, I used to hate the Adirondack Park. I used to hate it only because I always had to leave it.

I dreamed of being a resident of the North Country so that I wouldn’t have to constantly dread the six hour drive home, the pile of bills, newspapers and chores (not to mention the job!) that were looming the second I walked in the door back in Jersey.

And here’s the thing: Now that I’m a resident of Adirondack Park, it’s not like some fairy came along and got rid of all those pesky life annoyances … I still have to pay bills, deal with flat tires, sore muscles, family issues, etc.

The only difference is where I live. And that makes all the difference in the world.

Instead of looking out the window and seeing parked cars and the unkempt house across the street, I now see trees and a pristine lake. Instead of taking a break from bills and watching TV, I can now take a break and watch a pileated woodpecker search for breakfast. Instead of driving 15 minutes to the world of Kohl’s, Best Buy and Ray’s Pizza, I now drive 15 minutes to the world of mountains, farmland and vegetable stands.

Okay, life in upstate New York isn’t perfect … nobody ever said it was or would be. It’s all about trade-offs. I’m sure there are folks who live up here that would love the area where I used to live … it’s a short drive to just about anything, and there’s quick delivery of everything from sandwiches to sand boxes.

But there aren’t any loons, or acres and acres of forest, or Stewart’s Shops!

I’d never pretend to write lyrics as well as Hank, but here goes:

My back’s worn out

From shoveling snow

It’s Saturday night

And there ain’t no place to go

My well needs frackin’

And the septic won’t play

But we’re still alivin’ in Adirondack Park

So everything’s okay.


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