Lou and I met in January of 1983, and married a few short months later. Shortly after our honeymoon we decided to move to Lou's home town on Long Island, NY. We enjoyed the ocean and visited the beach often. We often took long lazy drives out to Montauk Point and enjoyed visitng South Hamptom. When much of Long Island was still countryside we enjoyed taking time to drive to Rocky Point and Port Jeffersen for lunch or dinner. A year before leaving Long Island our first son Tom was born, what a blessing it was to begin our family.
In 1989, we returned to Southern California to be closer to my parents. Just a few short years later the recession hit in 1991 and by 1993 we were one of those countless families that were effected. So we moved to Southern Nevada where Lou worked as a Union carpenter for many years. Shortly after this move our second child Dan was born in Las Vegas. And for a span of nearly four years we lived approximately 14 miles from Lake Mead in downtown Henderson, which at that time only had 25,000 residents.
Hoover Dam was only a short distance away from us too, and is said to sport some extremely large cat fish near the end of the dam. Some claim they are at least 6 feet in length. Rumors were spread also about allgators being present in Lake Mead but because the lake becomes very cold in the winter time it is believed these 'gators' would die if they really existed. Lake Mead is one of the largest man-made lakes and was a favorite place to visit for many years. It provided wonderful fishing of stripe bass. And I recall a story by those who fished in Lake Mead in the early 1980's how they quickly pulled up 30 pound striped bass. By the mid 1990's the largest bass that Lou caught was about 10-12 pounds.
The desert area has been in drought conditions for some time. The lake receded by 60 feet in the year 2002 from only the year 2000. The combination of both drought and the rising population has taken much from Lake Mead. It is reported that if conditions do not improve the lake may be dry by 2021.
A few years after Dan was born we moved out of the Las Vegas valley area and we moved to Nye County - a little 'cowboy' town called Pahrump. Our new home was located inbetween Death Valley and Las Vegas, and both were an hour out from our home.Within a couple of years after moving to Pahrump we had our third son, David.
Desert living is both hot and cold. The first summer we lived in Pahrump the high was about 127 degrees F. And then record was experienced -10 degrees F. We can absolutely say that after 105 degrees F it is just unbearably hot no matter how dry the air is! And the animal life in the desert is a lot different from most places. We saw many coyotes, snakes (including the deadly mojave green, side winders, rattlers), rabbits (both jack and cottontail), blue heron, seagulls (they must be everywhere!), road runners, quail, huge tarantula hawk, 5-6 inch centipedes, scorpions, enormous roaches, numerous spiders, and killer bees.
The first time I saw a tarantula hawk (wasp) was when we lived in Henderson, and I must say that it was alarming to see this huge insect flying over me, though they are reported only to be 2 inches the ones we saw were about 5-6 inches. But in Pahrump they were not as large as those in Henderson, generally speaking they were only as large as the standard - 2 inches.
Our favorite family outting in Nevada was to venture to beautiful Mount Charleston where there were tall pines and cooler weather. And without a doubt we truly enjoyed Death Valley and the desert living while we lived there. We also enjoyed visiting Red Rock Canyon and taking short hikes on the trails. Nearby was another place of interest called Spring Mountain Ranch which is an oasis. Another enjoyable drive was to the China Ranch Date Farm, which is another oasis in nearby California. Not far from home we would often drive out to visit Crystal Lake which is located in Amargosa's Ash Meadows Wild Life Perserve.
Once again we found ourselves moving, but this time back to New York with our three sons. We would move to upstate New York instead of returning to Long Island. We now live in the Greater Capital Region area which is also just outside the Andirondack State Park of New York. Our backyard is the forest which produces a variety of animals such as woodchucks, deer, bobcats, mink, fishers, raccoons, shunks, porcupines, bear, moose, and more. Then there is a vast array of beautiful and interesting birds with brillant to subdued colors which make all sorts of beautiful to odd and interesting jungle sounds.
New York is very green from spring into the mid September, which is definitely unlike Nevadan desert. New York has some lovely beautiful bright days filled with billowing clouds that hang so perfectly in the blue skies with gentle breezes. And most enjoyable are the rains, which we experienced little of while in the desert. After rainfall in Pahrump, Nevada was 6-7 inches.
There are countless streams, ponds and lakes in our area. The nearby Sacanda Lake is a reservoir resulting from the damming of the Sacandaga River in 1930, a move made to help tame the Hudson River from its occasional springtime tantrums that could cause havoc in Glens Falls and as far downriver as Troy and Albany. One of Lou's fishing holes is Peck Lake. It is a private lake, owned by the Peck family. They operate a marina and campground. About half of the 4-mile-long lake is developed, with good-sized summer and year-round homes along the north and south shores.
And out to the west is beautiful Lake Ontario which also borders Canada. Lake Ontario is actually an inland freshwater sea. The lake boasts big fish, and their records substantiate this claim. It reminds us so much of our days living on Long Island, as the shore line is so vast with its endless view of water.
We live on the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains, just outside the Adirondack State Park. The Adirondack State Park is very large, in fact there is enough room to have several other state parks within its territory. And we have four beautiful seasons. Each brings the beauty and grace which God gave nature to perform. In the spring we welcome first the robin and then the daffodils which grow wild. The mighty green pines are soon are lost among budding trees as they show their foliage, then soon the first cricket is heard.
The summer provides lush greenery and a vast of array of flowers throughout the season. The summer tempterature rarely sees 90 degrees F and generally there is little humidity. There are plenty of black bears, moose, and woodchucks which are not always seen. And not until recently did we hear a moose, but we have heard the bob-cat which sounds like a baby crying. So far only the neighbors have reported seeing bears or moose. Usually we see plenty of dear, robins, finches and in the evenings you hear some unusal sounds from the bull frogs to the woodcocks. Some woodpeckers create such odd sounds that it sounds more like a jungle in our forest. But the bird life is spectacular and most enjoyable to watch.
After summer the cooler weather arrives and is appreciated. And it is then we have the privilege of viewing the beautiful Autumn colors of brilliant reds, yellows and oranges from many of the local sugar maples. The air is always clean and crisp which is makes great working conditions for raking up of the leaves. Though we miss the foliage, it is enjoyable to see into the forest again, which is our backyard.
Finally winter begins generally in the last part of November, where we see snow that does not normally last more one or two days. By the end of December the snow season has officially begun. Winter is at times bitter when the temperatures drop into the subfreezing conditions, but that does not last too long. Many of the snow days are used for the express purpose of sleding! Below is a glimpse into our seasons.