Editor’s note: This story is part of the Eat, Play, Live special section.
It was a little more than a year ago that I moved to Centre County.
Time flies, huh?
I think that may be why I was chosen for this assignment, the why behind the how of me becoming the go-to-guy for taking life in Centre County and tying it up into a tidy little bow.
That or I’m pretty sure I parked in my boss’ space.
Please don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed living in Boalsburg and coming to work in State College. I’ve got plenty of nice things to say about the county and the people who live here — big thumbs up to all of you.
It’s just that when we talk about “life” in any particular place it starts to become a little nebulous.
Imagine you’re at a party. There’s a rousing game of charades going on and you draw the word “sky” out of a hat.
What do you do?
This is a little like that — except that your host is paying you to play the game and you’re all out of vacation days.
I think we understand each other.
So anyway, yes, this is a little overwhelming — much like moving to a new place (thank goodness, I was running out of ways to stall until the metaphor arrived).
Setting up shop somewhere new is scary. There’s a lot to figure out and not always a lot of time to do it.
That’s why I’ve been asked to present you with some “reader recommended” (TM) tips on getting by in Centre County.
For example, let’s say — in purely a hypothetical example that should in no way be misinterpreted as an admission of guilt by my landlord — that I accidentally spilled a glass of cherry cola on my living room carpet.
I try dabbing the stain with a wet cloth. Nothing.
Due to an unexplainable dearth of cleaning products in my apartment (I care deeply about the environment — I’m also very lazy) I turn to a bottle of shampoo in a desperate attempt to remove the brown splotch slowly taking root in the fibers of my carpet.
This treatment is largely ineffective, because as it turns out, cola stains and dandruff have very little in common.
Fortunately in this scenario, I am also a Centre Daily Times subscriber where I can turn to — I’m not supposed to call it a poll for fear of confusing it with, you know, science — where I can turn to our “reader recommended” (TM) tips for carpet cleaners and see that the majority of voters preferred Stanley Steemer.
I successfully remove the cola stain from my carpet — in what is once again, a purely hypothetical example. I would like my security deposit back, please.
Easy, right? Let’s try another one.
OK, I’m sitting at my desk one day when my boss walks up and says, “Frank, great job with that story on the State College Area School District board meeting. Here’s $1 million to spend on home repairs/improvements” (side note: I would not be able to get out of bed in the morning if I didn’t think that there was a strong chance that this could actually happen).
Now that I’m well-funded, I take a look around my home and decide that it would, in fact, look much better with floors. Once again, I decide to consult this handy reference guide and pay a visit to Carpet One and Exterior Doors and Windows.
I’m starting to get a good idea of the work that’s going to be required here and I realize that I could either do it myself — by paying a visit to ACE Hardware of State College — or by reaching out to contractors like Veronesi Building and Remodeling Inc., GT Painting and Contracting or “Other,” who I hear is actually quite good.
Of course, what would any daydream be without curb appeal? I take my remaining budget and use it to hire qualified professionals like Green Horizon Landscape or Scott’s Landscaping Inc. to get my yard up to snuff. A call to Total Tree Service Tree Removal wouldn’t be misplaced either.
As we depart my fantasy home, it seems only fitting that we head back toward reality, the cold, hard truth of which is that I’m not getting any younger.
Old age is coming, people — and more often than not that means more regular doctor visits, which has been tricky ever since my pediatrician stopped returning my calls.
As I branch out into my journey toward adult health, it’s comforting to know that at least I have options.
Mount Nittany Medical Center. Penn State Family Medicine. Bellefonte Family Dentistry (do overbites come back?).
From there, I figure it’s a graceful slide into old age at Foxdale Village, Graystone Court Villas or any one of Centre County’s many retirement communities.
Let’s skip over the funeral homes.