Saturday, January 1, 2011

"You must at least take the time to dip your toes into Lake Seneca..."

These are words spoken by my Aunt Mary who lived in New Jersey when I was a small child growing up on a rural farm in Upstate New York during the 1950's. When Aunt Mary visited she would insist on at least a quick visit to some area, public or private, so that she could do just that...take a little swim if there was time, or to at least dip a toe in ...just to say that she did.

Growing up here was sort of an average existence for a child, as I saw it back then. And, since my family lived between the lakes and did not own a boat or cottage like some of my friends, my focus was more in my own backyard. I could hardly understand what she found to be so fascinating about a lake. But then, I realized that the beauty of our pristine glacial lakes, lush green rolling hills, abundant vineyards, and quaint serenity was appreciated by visitors who did not live here. The truth is, visitors from all over the country and the world had come to see this area for many years before to spend summers at a lake, or travel through the area en route to Niagara Falls or Canada. Those coming from the West would stop on their way to New York City or elsewhere on the East Coast.
My brother Bill and I circa 1959

I would have never imagined returning to find that over the years more and more people agree with my Aunt Mary. Tourism has grown tremendously each year due to a number of factors. Our wine industry has been achieving international recognition and the area is among the top three in the nation for fruit production, just to name two reasons. Mostly though, it is the area's never-changing beauty, along with its clean and healthy spaces that still attract old comers and new ones alike.

I left my only home located in the little hamlet of Altay, New York and the Finger Lakes Region shortly after high school graduation to pursue a (hopefully) more exciting life in Northern New Jersey near my sister Joan, brother Ray, and other family members. Once I saw the city, they could not "keep me down on the farm." I will fill you in on how that went in other postings over time.

After 29 years, I returned to my home area and gained back a huge appreciation for the beauty and clean, simple lifestyle here. I bought this house in 1999 after being totally amazed by its 1920's Arts & Crafts architecture, authentic woodworking, stained glass windows, and lovely view of ....yes...Lake Seneca, from either side or level of the double wrap veranda porches.

So I have created this conversational space to share with you all of what I am passionate about in the Finger Lakes and in my daily life experience here at the 1922 Starkey House Bed and Breakfast. The doors are not opened for guests yet but soon will be this Spring of 2011...offering the best in fresh air, country walks, lake views, sleep-tight nights, and scrumptious breakfasts produced by yours truly.

Please feel free to read my pages and comment. Any and all thoughts and ideas are welcomed! I am sure that my content will evolve and gain a personality of its own with your help.  At this time I am especially interested to hear from anyone who has visited or lived here before. Or, if never? Then ...when will you come to dip your toes into Lake Seneca? Or any of the other ten lakes located here in Upstate New York.