I am in shock! Knowing it is more expensive to live in the north, I thought I was prepared when I moved to the finger lakes area of middle New York state. Living in a sorority house spoils you, as daily cleaning services are provided with chefs planning and preparing weekday meals. When venturing out to a movie, park, to pick up weekend groceries, buy gas, take a side trip, shopping, or dropping off at the cleaners, I use my own money.
So, I needed to take one of my favorite tops to the dry cleaners and I chose one that was highly recommended. When I went to pick it up, as the owner is searching on the rack, I open my wallet and pull out a $5 bill. He hangs it on the hook next to the counter, ding-dongs the cash register and proceeds to say, “That will be $10.45.” What? I know I looked dumbfounded but that was the first item that I had taken to the cleaners in Ithaca and I am sure that it will be the last!
While I am comparing notes between costs in the south and north … I found a convenient drive-thru car wash and paid the $7 with intentions to vacuum my car afterward. You know the feeling when your car is clean. So, with a squeaky-clean exterior, I pulled up to the vacuum where they wanted another $3! Seven dollars in the south will get you a basic full car wash and vacuum. I left with a half clean car but am now finding I will have to breakdown on that one since I am a stickler for vehicular cleanliness. I am baffled though as gas prices here are about the same!?
In one of my last columns, I mentioned that Hobby Lobby closed in Ithaca the weekend after I moved here. The closest is one hour away south in Elmira or an hour away west in Syracuse. Wanted to see the movie “Overcomer” and, as I suspected, it was not showing in Ithaca nor Elmira. I learned it was showing 1.5 hours away on the other side of Syracuse. A friend and I took off Saturday with a strict itinerary: visit Hobby Lobby and see the only showing of “Overcomer” at 4:40 p.m. There would be very little time for wiggle room after the movie as the Georgia vs. Notre Dame kickoff was at 8 p.m. (and you know I couldn’t miss that). We had great aisle seats and enjoyed the recliner chairs and refreshment services (just as I had watched some of the Georgia away games on the big screen in Athens). Beautiful new theater with an art deco style and decor.
One of the reasons I chose to live in Ithaca was to experience the four distinct seasonal changes knowing that snow during the winter is inevitable ~ an average of 60-65 inches per season! This would be a weather phenomenon in the south, but it gives me an opportunity to wear some really cute winter clothes that I have and am never able to wear in the south. When scouting the area, I learned there is a ski resort half an hour from here! Of course, before the snow season, I am promised a breathtaking glorious view of fall colors and continue to wait for that change. Leaves here are mostly still green with just a tinge of color pigments in few treetops. I am also promised that once the leaves fall, I will have a view of the lake in the valley below from my suite!
As far as outrageous costs differences, living here is making me more disciplined in spending and saving!
Life could become very boring if there were no changes or challenges in it. Same-o, same-o. There are just too many things to see and do and more people to meet. So many things to learn and experience. Most will not think like me, nor look like me, nor have the same background that I do. Thank God! I have been SO blessed in my lifetime and realize that I need to share those blessings as much as possible as I look forward to acquiring new knowledge and skills through those God places in my path.
Because I wanted to see a movie and shop in a particular store, I had to therefore invest the time, gas, money and energy to do so when it wasn’t necessarily convenient. I was able to stock up on Halloween, Thanksgiving, birthday and Christmas cardstock-making items in a part of New York I had not visited before. I saw a great Christian movie directed by Alex Kendrick (who also starred in it). And, I was able to visit with a new friend. Fortunately, I only missed the first three minutes of the game which resulted in adding another check in the win column for my Bulldogs.
Plans this week are to see “Downton Abbey,” which I will enjoy as I loved the Sunday night PBS series. Fortunately, it is showing in Ithaca.
Lastly, can’t forget the big rivalry game in Knoxville! Since Bulldog blood runs through my veins, Go Dawgs and Happy Fall!
Susan E. Kendrick is a Sunday Stories columnist who shares her insights and Southern humor each month in Sincerely, Susan. To correspond with Susan, email her at [email protected] To share your events for our Out & About calendar, email us at [email protected]