Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sun Powered Thoughts

No, this isn't about solar energy or how to turn your house into a self sufficient structure relying on Mother Nature.

I believe the sun energizes people, as well. Driving to work this morning, the sun was out in full blast, but like many others, I was headed to an office and will need to spend the next eight hours under florescent lights. Still, I feel energized, and will probably knock off my to-do list before its even lunch time. This gives me more time to imagine what Newburgh could be.

This weather makes me want to get outside or go for a relaxing drive with the windows wide open and radio setting the tone. One of my favorite rides is across the Bear Mountain Bridge, following along with 9W, going past Downing Park, and onto Broadway, all the while checking out the variety of shops lining the street. I sometimes find I take that ride for absolutely no reason, except for the fact I love to drive; rush hour may be the only time this turns into a love/hate relationship.

My daily ride to work takes me into a whole different direction, but this morning, my mind was traveling up to Newburgh. I’m hoping I can snag my contractor and landscaper (aka my husband and my mother, respectively) on Sunday and do something up there. I haven’t checked weather reports to see if it’ll be clear, but I’m just going to follow this feeling and hope it is. At home our lawn is looking healthy, the flower beds have been planted, our little vegetable garden is set up, and I’m starting to see the beginnings of little green balls growing on a peach tree. Sitting by a small koi pond we have hiding in the back, I watch my cat watch the fish. I can't help but think this is my haven.

I want to create a similar atmosphere at my place in Newburgh, the only problem being I’m in the heart of the city and don’t have much raw land to work with. There is an empty lot next to us, overgrown with weeds, and I never see the owners around or tending to anything. It may not be right, but I’m tempted to turn that into something better. If they’re never there, who’s to say they’d even notice, not to mention we’d be doing them a small favor cleaning up the space for them. We had accidentally been cited by the city for not keeping the growth below a certain height on that lot, so I know someone else took notice of the way this detracts from the neighborhood.

If I could make that lot mine, the possibilities could be endless, but being that it’s not, I have to keep my activity to a minimum. The problem with this lot is that it’s a backyard or loading area to a commercial space the next street over, and to acquire it, we’d probably have to purchase the entire building behind us.

My goal this weekend is to check the lot out in detail to see what we’re up against. I don’t even know if the soil is usable, what’s hiding among all that overgrowth, or how much of an overhaul the place would need. Still, I have to take advantage of this sun powered feeling I have and check it out, regardless of what the outcome may be.

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