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SBD/April 26, 2013/People and Pop Culture
Neal Pilson's Weekend Plans: Spring Cleaning Around His Western Massachusetts Home
Published April 26, 2013
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OLD MCDONALD: We live here year round. It’s so different from even the suburbs. There are farms nearby, they’re raising milk cows. Just down the road from us people have horses, chickens. It’s country. We actually are zoned for a farm; we have a barn. We have a large amount of property. Our property is actually zoned for all animals except pigs. But we don’t have pets. Even though we are 140 miles, I can easily get into the city. I often come in for meetings. I’m teaching a class at Columbia University, the graduate school, and have been for the last five years. During the spring semester I come into New York every week, from usually Wednesday through Friday.
HONEY DO LIST: I have a list of about 20 chores that we have to do during the spring season. Everything from turning on the outside water, cleaning the tennis court, cleaning the garage, putting air in the bicycle tires, cleaning the kayaks, ... shoveling out the drain down at the bottom of the driveway that gets clogged during the winter, changing the storm windows to screens, moving the BBQ. I have a long list of chores that I usually accomplish over the weekend during the spring.
SPRING IS IN THE AIR: Saturdays in the spring are usually chore time and then if we have time we usually take a walk either on the pathway near our house or into the hills or on the dirt road. We live on a gravel road and it’s about five miles from one end to the other; it’s a nice walk. There are bicycle paths throughout the area. We don’t ride too much on the road, but we put the bikes on the back of the SUV and go off to a number of different bicycle paths. What they’ve done up here is they used to have a lot of trains running through the county. That doesn’t exist anymore, but they’ve converted those to bike paths.
PROUD GRANDPA: This Saturday night I’ll meet my daughter and her kid and husband for dinner. They live in Williamstown, which is only 40 minutes away, so we see them frequently. I also have children and grandchildren on Long Island and in Westchester County, so quite a few weekends we are visiting them or they are visiting us. I have six grandkids, three are away to school -- two in college and one going away next year -- so we try to attend some of their events.
MAKING A RAQUET: Usually we have a tennis game Sunday morning. That’s a regular event from late April all the way to October. We play on my court or someone else has a court, so we go back and forth. Mostly doubles. It’s kind of a -- I won’t call us geriatrics -- but we’re of a certain age. So I still enjoy playing singles but most of the guys and a couple women who play, we generally play doubles. Nothing organized, we just pick sides and play.
LITTLE SLICE OF HEAVEN: I take my kayak and I go out in the middle of some of the beautiful lakes that we have up here. I’m without cell phone or any other form of communication. I’ll just put my feet up and bring in the paddle and just coast. Let the wind take me from one end of the lake to the other. The only thing you have to be careful of is thunderstorms because they come in pretty fast and the lake can get a little rough. I’ve never been caught, but I’ve seen them coming. At that point you head for shore. The lake is called Stockbridge Bowl. It’s a very pretty lake just near Tanglewood, which is the music center here in Western Mass. During the summer we probably attend 20 to 25 Tanglewood concerts over the eight-week season.