Sharing views on abodes — big old homes, new condos, timeshares, and boarding houses

MIDDLEBURGH — On March 5 at the Middleburgh Diner, the OMOTM were treated to big brand new colorful coffee cups as we sat down to another fine breakfast made even better by drinking good hot coffee from the new coffee cups.

There is just something about eating a good hot breakfast from the local diners and cafés and kitchens that have been part of the fabric of the Hilltowns that among them have been doing this for over 300 years.  I mean, all these people really, really know how to fry an egg and brew some great coffee!

Of course, the warm weather was a topic of much conversation. It was agreed that Tuesday’s all-day rain was far more agreeable than an all-day nor’easter!

At least one OF has made his appointment to have his summer tires put back on next week. He says, if it snows a bunch, he will just stay indoors, build a fire, read a good book, and wait for Mother Nature to melt the snow with 50- to 60-degree days. Seeing the buds on the lilac bushes in his front yard makes it seem more like this is an April-shower type day than a March dodge-the-snow-storm type day.


Scribe update

We heard some more good news this morning regarding our First Team Scribe. He is feeling much better and it won’t be long before he walks through the front door of one of our favorite Tuesday morning eateries and orders his usual oatmeal breakfast.

The diner or café or kitchen will not even have to take his order; they will just bring it out to him and we will all smile as we get back to normal. His better half, who has been taking care of him all this time, has decided that enough was enough and for the past few weeks it has been our Scribe’s turn to look after his better half.

It is amazing how a married couple who have been around the block a couple of times, somehow seem to always share life’s ups and downs together. Always together. They have had the love and the help of their children during this stressful time and that is the very best medicine you can have.

Old home place

There was a discussion of “downsizing” as to the size of where we live as we OFs grow a little longer in the tooth. Some of us shut down parts of our bigger homes, like a bedroom or two upstairs as we move ourselves downstairs.

We convert that “other” room down the hall into an office or sewing room or reading room or use the closet for our seasonal coats, but when it is time for traditional family get togethers like the holidays, birthdays, graduations and anniversaries, that’s when the big old house comes to life again in the way a condo, apartment, or some smaller place just is unable to do.

The old place has the advantage of all those great memories of past celebrations, or the feel of that special chair or sofa or just sitting around the kitchen table talking or maybe playing cards that the new “downsizing” place can never match.

There is no warmth in the new place, but the big old place is nothing but warmth and memories. So we fight, we resist, we put off for as long as we possibly can, the inevitable — “downsizing.”

Boarding houses

While traveling down the roads of memories the term “boarding houses” cropped up. One OF asked the question, “Does anyone even remember boarding houses?”

He stayed in them for a while in college. And then later, when he was out of town on a job and needed a place to stay until his work was completed, he would find a boarding house.

When asked how he found out about where a boarding house was, his answer was he would go to a local diner (and you thought they only fried eggs!) or tavern or pub and ask the question. There was always someone who knew of a lady who had some extra rooms who would take in boarders to help make ends meet.

Some of these places would also serve one meal, usually dinner, and they were always less expensive than a hotel by far. Sometimes he would get lucky and the boarding house would have a TV. That was a fancy one!



Somehow that conversation morphed into timeshares and the subsequent pitfalls that sometimes followed that experience.

Some stories of near misses and of making use of the law that deals with “Buyer’s Regret” where, in the cold light of the next morning, after you have said to yourself, “Why on earth did I do that?” you can void the whole thing and escape with a whole skin, or bank account.

On the other hand, another OF said that he thoroughly enjoyed his sister'’ timeshare in Hawaii!


Waiting to win

Finally, one of those memory roads led one OF to recall a local radio station, WGY, that ran a promotional contest in which people were encouraged look at their one dollar bills to see if they could find a sequence of numbers in the serial number that matched the radio station’s broadcast frequency of “107.”

If you found a one-dollar bill that contained the “107” sequence, you would win a prize. The OF never won, but he sure had a bunch of one-dollar bills!

The OMOTM who were traveling down these memory roads at the Middleburgh Diner (including one who, to this day, still pays for his breakfast with one-dollar bills) were Harold Guest, Wally Guest, Miner Stevens, Roland Tozer, Frank Fuss, Jake Herzog, Pastor Jay Francis, Bill Lichliter, George Washburn, Herb Bahrmann, Lou Schenck, Gerry Cross, Jack Norray, Dick Dexter, and me.