I’D RATHER BE IN HOBBITON, BUT I’D SETTLE FOR SAN DIEGO

I’D RATHER BE ANYWHERE IT DOES NOT SNOW

I LOVE THE SOUND OF SNOW PLOWS


We finished watching the third 4-1/2 hour piece of “The Lord of the Rings,” extended version last night. Given the weather, I pointed out that we could be trying to climb Caradhras, but Sauron was totally against it and we never made it.

For a variety of reasons — aching muscles maybe? — Garry didn’t find it nearly as hilarious as I did, but the man who shovels is allowed to get grumpy about it. Still, we were definitely atop Caradhras and the snow was not going to quit anytime soon.

There was no noise at all until we heard that wonderful sound, the sound for which I yearn all through the storms of the last two weeks: a plow clearing our driveway. There was an awful lot of snow out there, but the dogs, who go into a medium-level frenzy when trucks are in our drive, gave us a lot of energy. Gibbs is particularly noisy about two things: any kind of diesel-powered vehicle and my son, Owen, of whom he is insanely fond.

Duke and Bonnie in snow

Duke barks hysterically whenever the neighbors emerge from their house. He seems to believe they are about to intrude on our space. Also, they have dogs. Very big dogs. Really, huge dogs. English Mastiff and a boxer. They are really quiet, peaceful creatures who bother no one — except The Duke who gets extremely feisty in the face of Other Dogs Nearby. And they aren’t that near. It’s at least 300 feet from here. More, maybe. We have what is considered a really tiny plot of 2.43 acres of land. Next door, they have maybe 27 acres? Possibly more?

It doesn’t look real. I’m not even sure what bush that is. Rhododendron maybe?

A lot of people around here have a huge amount of land, but the majority of it is wild, thorny, rocky, and generally uninviting to walkers. No trails, either. So mostly, no one on two legs goes in there. No one goes there in the summer because you will be consumed by mosquitoes.

Many other creatures live there, though. Deer, raccoon, fishers, skunk, coyote, bobcats, squirrels, rabbits, bats, eagles and other raptors. Red-tailed hawks and owls. I almost never see them, but I hear woodpeckers constantly.

Foxes, chipmunks. Many fewer chipmunks since the arrival of the bobcat who is very fond of fresh chipmunk. Rats, mice, and some of the biggest spiders to make landfall since Shelob didn’t kill Frodo.

I yearn for New Zealand. If the world should bestow many dollars (or any other currency — I’m not picky) on us, that is the single vacation I would take. Fly to the west coast. Take a ship down the Pacific Ocean and land in some famed harbor. I know that’s the long way, but a cruise to New Zealand and a cruise back sounds like heaven to me.

We might never leave Hobbiton. Well, I suppose we’d have to. There are dogs and family and friends back here … but these days, not living in the U.S. doesn’t seem like such an awful idea. I’ve lived abroad before and I liked it, so it’s not that crazy, for me anyway.

Bonnie and Duke like snow. Gibbs was serious about the sofa.

If New Zealand is impossible, how about San Diego? Great weather. Beautiful beaches. One 5-hour flight and voilà. No more snow. Ever. Or we could go back to Israel. I’ve got a passport. As a citizen, I have — in theory — another home. But that may be my other country. It isn’t Garry’s and while he has nothing against a Jewish country — he’s put up with me for long enough — it might be more change than he is entirely ready for.

So in answer to two questions of the day — where would I rather be and what about noise? I’d like my dogs to shut up, but please, bring the snow plow. Then, send me to New Zealand.

89 thoughts on “I’D RATHER BE IN HOBBITON, BUT I’D SETTLE FOR SAN DIEGO”

      1. Hmmm. I wonder if he would have taken over for my precious friend, George Reading (RIP). That would have been good. San Diego 25 years ago? I loved it (as you know). It was still a smallish comfortable friendly city. I wish he’d talked to you too! Especially right now!

        Liked by 2 people

            1. Martha, I wasn’t good at anchoring. Not my strong point. I did it often enough to know. I still wudda loved to have spent some time in that San Diego weather. Especially now.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. There’s a dark side to that weather. Nowadays, summers are absurdly hot unless you’re rich enough to live on the coast. In summer, I waited until it got DOWN to 90 to walk the dogs or ride my bike. And the fires are terrifying. Winters are nice unless it’s a wet winter then you get day after day after day of rain. May and June are cloudy and dull; no surf, nothing, like the whole place flatlines in preparation for the inferno to come. There is no fall. There is December, when the native trees (sycamore) turn golden. But I understand when you’re buried in snow San Diego sounds great. ❤

                Liked by 2 people

  1. Gibbs = Jethro Gibbs? What an unusual name for a dog. And I never got the impression that Mark Harmon (human Gibbs) was fond of snow. His tanned physique put paid to the idea he spent any significant time in snow country. I’m with Gibbs btw, curled up on a comfy couch, watching the action through the safety and warmth of the panes of glass. But Bonnie and Duke (and their human) seem at home in the white silent world of snow. That’s the only thing I find palatable about snow…it seems to muffle the NOISE. And how lovely that you live next to the Shire and all those beautiful wild animals. Heaven on earth! ❤

    Like

    1. Well the real Gibbs, Mark Harmon, is a California kid, so I’m guessing snow is someone else’s problem. Gibbs just got the name because Garry is a VERY big NCIS fan. Very big.

      I love the wild creatures in our woods and every now and then, they drop by for a surprise visit. Scared the pants off my son a couple of times and got to me the time he jumped off the roof, landed next to me on the deck, then leapt the stairs in one jump. Man, those kitties can really jump! They aren’t much bigger than a big house cat, but they are a lot stronger and are serious eaters of rodents. Which is fine with me, though it would have been nice if they hadn’t also eaten all the rabbits and squirrels.

      We see the fishers, which are large weasels very much like mink (same kind of coat, too). They like the sunshine in our back yard and decide to hang out there. They are not friendly and make it clear until they are ready to leave, we should please keep our distance. We salute and stay back.

      The bobcats breed nearby. For a few years, in our neighbor’s shed, then for another year, in my tepee. You never have more than one bobcat on your property at a time. They are only sociable when mating and briefly while raising kittens. After that, they are entirely solitary. They are supposedly shy but ours are not afraid of us at all OR of our dogs. They sit outside the fence and laugh while the dogs go berserk. I’ve had to shoo them away (from a distance — I wouldn’t like to tangle with one of them!) because I was afraid our older dogs would have a stroke. They obviously know the fence keeps the dogs in their yard.

      But I could do without the weather and right now? I’m really tired of winter.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m trying to recall the days when I liked/loved snow. I think Ike was in the oval office…

        Hey, Ike played lots of golf. But he also put in hours at the office.

        Like

    2. Embeecee, I’m a big Mark Harmon fan. His Dad, Tom Harmon, was a college football legend and a highly regarded radio and TV football announcer.

      Harmon’s “Leroy Jethro Gibbs” is my favorite TV hero.

      Like

  2. Hmmm — a choice between San Diego and New Zealand? That’s a pretty tough choice! I loved New Zealand, and would like to spend more time there, but in the US San Diego is pretty nice too! I live almost close enough to San Diego to commute, and I love to go there for the day when I’m not healing from eye surgeries and/or basal cell carcinoma surgeries on my face! Soon!!! Love the snow shots, especially the one of the rhododendron (?).

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Marilyn, how about us becoming the “Chet and Nat” of NZ TV News?? Think they’d like us? We could have Bonnie, Gibbs, and…. THE Duke as field reporters. DUKE is getting calls from NBC to replace Miguel Almaguer.

        Like

  3. Great post! And I agree with you about winter. We’ve been lucky in Chicago, compared to the east coast, but if it’s below 40 deg F wind chill, I’m too cold! I also would like to live abroad again. We travel a lot, so that’s nice, but I’m sick of American politics.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh the timing! I just finished reading LOTR for (maybe) the 15th time. I have seen the movies so many times that I can recite about 90% of the lines with the characters. Nerd city. AND I have a flight booked to San Diego in May.

    Like

    1. Lucky you!! I was trying to figure out how many times I’ve read the books and I actually can’t remember. I used to read them every year, but then I stopped … so I think the last time I read them was during the mid 1990s. We only saw the movies at the movies when they first came out, so this is just the second time we’ve seen them. Since I’m also reading the books, it was a weird experience being in different parts of the story … and of course, I could really tell exactly how much of the movies had been altered from the book since I’d just read the same piece of book.

      I wish we were going somewhere. Anywhere sunny and warm would be very lovely.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m stunned by the amount of snow!!!!!! holy crap! we get that kind of snow but at much higher elevations. We had a total of 18 inches in 2 days, then another 6 but it melted within days and then attempted more and it was here long enough to enjoy but not create issues..well many issues. People were prepared and had snow tires and chains. My son walks 1 block to work. My daughter works quite a ways but uses the main highway to get to a “mid” highway that are ploughed so once she got to the main road, it was good. The kids walk 2 blocks to catch the city bus (for the older ones) and school but for the younger. Of course, they LOVED the snow and came home snow-coated and grinning ear to ear. I, watched out the window and smiled my appreciation as I love the snow. Not copious snow as you have to contend with, quite obviously. My heart goes out to you as I used to feel that way about the rain. The north end of the island gets copious RAIN constantly endlessly, one year it rained 360 days. Torrential downpouring rain (like in scary movies) as it courses down the window as though a hose were being used, that’s the type of rain I’m talking about. So, moving was a blessing. We actually get to see snow (which we haven’t seen other than on two occasions) in thirty years. woot-woot. I know that’s like salt to you, but it is what it is. I’m touched at heart you shared these photos. I love having a peek into someone else’s life. You always share the good and the bad, generally with a delightful tongue in cheek humour. I love that about you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, the best part of snow is that it IS beautiful. It’s a lot easier to cope with now that we don’t have to get to work, too. I don’t wind up spending a whole day scraping ice off the car windows, either. They are pretty good at cleaning the roads in New England. Especially around here because we get more snow than most place on earth. It has something to do with being in this river valley and being just a bit lower in altitude than the Worcester hills. The clouds rise up over the hills then drop a little lower and dump mountains of snow on the valley. They call it “the slot.” We often get more snow than Montreal or Maine.

      Like

      1. Ive followed on the weather channel and seen how much snow as opposed to\montreal or main. \ikes. dang still not used to the lap top constantly hit the wrong keys. sigh. \ill get there. \i know it lol

        Like

              1. No they really aren’t and the difference between a lap top and desk top are huge to my way of thinking. Not easy when you can’t see well to begin with. The other keyboard I had memorized. Now I have to stare at the keys to learn their position and memorize them. I do my serious writing on the desk top for now and practice on the lap top the rest of the time. \including answering here, so hence the mistakes. Which \i tire of erasing. lol as you may have noticed. smirk smirk,

                Like

    2. Covert, I have to remind myself amid the myriad blogs and complaints about this winter of discontent…that I no longer have to stand outside on live television…freezing the family jewels..while reporting the obvious. Right about this time, those TV news folks are reconsidering their jobs. It’s depressing until the weather changes and you can become smiley again in the sunshine. We can also sing in the sunshine. Paging Gail Garnett.

      Like

        1. I think it was less decision than direct orders from the Boss. Garry didn’t want to be there and most of us wondered why he had to be there since you could tell what the weather was … you know … windows?

          Like

  6. Great photos and good writing, enjoyed it! Hobbiton is on a little island just off our coast line, I’m an Aussie and I can’t imagine the winter you show … brrrhh not for me!
    Sending you light, warmth and green from over the seas 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I lived in Israel for 9 years before coming back here and for the first five years, i was freezing ALL the time. Eventually, I acclimated, but I could do without winter for the rest of my life and not have any problem with it!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I should just point out that Hobbiton is a over-crowded ex-movie set tourist trap and that New Zealanders aren’t hobbits (with the possible exception of my neighbours — but the jury is still out). 😂😂 If you could bear that disappointment, you’d probably like NZ. We do still get snow, just not in the epic volumes you’ve been having. And if you do ever wake up to find a pot of gold you want to spend on a cruise here, let me know. I’m a pretty good (non LOTR) tour guide and host.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I know it’s a movie set. We just watched the movie. I remember when they built the set. But we are very fond of movie sets and my husband is a very serious movie fan, so visiting movie sets is fun. We tracked down “The Quiet Man” movie sets in Ireland and we are always identifying which parts of the places we’ve been in Arizona are in the movie we are watching. We’re also rather big fans of Australian and New Zealand television. You’ve got some really good stuff on your tube with rather better than average script-writing and MUCH better than typical music.

      I liked cruising back when we had money — which was so long ago I have trouble pinning down the actual date, but it was back when we were both working, so … 17 years? Something like that. The odds of us having that kind of money approach zero on a very close order. I mean, we might win the lottery, but that would require we actually buy tickets and regardless, that isn’t exactly a plan. I think we are equally likely to be picked up by the mother ship and transported to another galaxy.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m glad you like Antipodean telly. I didn’t realise our stuff made it onto TV outside the country. Although I do remember that a Kiwi soap called Shortland St was played in the UK while we lived there.
        I know what you mean about the pleasures of recognising locations, although it can be frustrating too. I remember watching an amazing (Kiwi) film called The Quiet Earth, and having a particularly suspenseful moment spoiled because the hero entered an alleyway literally around the corner from where I lived, and emerged in Hamilton, a city about 80 miles away. 😂😂

        Like

        1. There are a couple of streaming channels that specialize in English language stuff from England, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Two of them, but Acorn (the one we have) seems to have the most available material. So we have been seeing quite a lot of your TV and enjoying it a lot. Amazing how culture travels, isn’t it?

          Like

      2. We did our cruises back in the 90’s. Time does fly. It would take the lottery for a NZ-Australia visit.

        Snow has forced officials to “limit” St. Patrick’s Day parades today and tomorrow.. They’re cutting back on length of routes taken. I am positive there’ll be no limits on libations imbibed.

        There will be lots of pale green on the snow banks. AARRGGHH.

        Like

      1. It’s certainly contributed to the tourist boom, although I think our perceived “clean, green, natural” image is the overwhelming draw.
        And ironically, because we now have so many tourists, the things they come for — unspoilt landscapes, the chance to engage with the natural world — aren’t less and less available. Our main attractions are so overcrowded that people can’t get accommodation, or park their cars, and some of the walks have become super-highways. Basically our country is groaning under the weight of so many extra people.
        There is a growing feeling that as a nation we need to manage the tourist industry way better. We’re heading to the South Island in a few weeks for the first time in about 10 years and are dreading the changes we’ve been told we’ll see. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Being a tourist mecca is always a mixed bag. Martha’s Vineyard wasn’t always the hot place to vacation, but over the years, this 25 square mile island houses hundreds of thousands of guests … and then they leave the mess behind. It is the ONLY business on the island, so they need it and they also hate it.

          Liked by 2 people

      1. Hey, we could have still another reality show “THE BATTLE OF WINTERS — NORTHERN HEMPISPHERE VERSUS SOUTHERN HEMPISPHERE'”.

        I’m available — for the “off season” shows.

        Like

  8. New Zealand would be a nice place to visit, but if you’re retired, you need to be willing to invest at least 7-8 million dollars in the country, excluding the price of your home, in order to get a long-term residential visa. I’ve looked into relocating to NZ, but not because of the weather, but because of Trump.

    Like

  9. New Zealand does sound nice. They have good coffee there too.

    Watch “Hunt for the Wilder People”. The Kiwis also have a sense of humour.

    On the matter of barking dogs, I do have to regularly remind mine that my neighbours have a right to be in their own backyard.

    Like

    1. I have frequently had this conversation, but Duke goes totally wacko when he sees them. He races around the house looking through ALL the windows he can reach. The other two don’t really care, but Duke … he just has a thing about them.

      We have really enjoyed NZ television series. I wish we had access to more of them. They also grow great ginger there. Goes well with the coffee 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  10. I have really enjoyed reading this post Marilyn and even more so the comments! Ah, this blogging community is grand 🙂 You do sound really fed up with the snow. I hope by now it has gone and left you with rather warmer weather. And at least you know that the idiot in the White House won’t be there forever, unless he goes the way of the Chinese of course and creates presidency for life. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t even SAY that. I have to think that somehow, our country will weather this storm as it has weathered others. And he’s not a young guy, so unless he has made a pact with the Devil and is going to live hundreds of years, his time is be definition, limited.

      As for snow, it’s melting, but there’s cold on the way and another storm next week. Don’t know yet if it will be rain or snow. I’m hoping rain. I’m just tired of winter. Also, why can’t we get nice 6 inch snows? Why 28 inches? Why so MUCH? Geez. And it’s March. Let’s move on already!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Hey, Jude — don’t even THINK that god-forsaken thought. None of here in the States warrants that cruel and unusual punishment. Bite your tongue, Jude.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. I can imagine how cranky you must be. I have never known a person in high office so illiterate before. The man can hardly string two sentences together that make any sense. Let’s all hope he doesn’t cause too much damage.

            Liked by 1 person

  11. I guess it’s easy to wish for San Diego or New Zealand when you keep getting dumped on by feet of snow, but I’d still want my seasons…. even winter. The dogs might miss the snow too, though it’s possible they might like the sand better…

    Like

  12. Loved this Marilyn – but wouldn’t love your snow! Have many friends up there and feel so bad for how difficult your winter’s been. No worries tho, soon spring will really arrive and you’ll soon forget all that beautiful white stuff! As for me, NZ over San diego any day!!!

    Like

      1. Yes, anyplace. But I’m not signing on “The Bounty” despite its South Seas itinerary. Something about that hinky Captain.

        Like

Talk to me!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.