Life on the Triangle

We built our home in Worthington on Williamsburg Road, which forms a triangle with two roads, Clark and Capen. It’s heavily wooded and the wild animals control the inner part of the triangle. Williamsburg Road is also Route 143, but it is just a good paved road. A river follows the length of Capen Street, which is dirt.

Worthington, a small town in western Mass., requires new homes to have 400 feet of road frontage and at least two acres. Some people say it is snob zoning because it limits how many homes can be built in town, but the rule hasn’t changed in decades. Except for the villages, which were settled long before zoning, and the senior housing, the homes are spread out.

So, I see more of Willy’s truck than Willy, our neighbor across Williamsburg Road, as his pickup goes in and out of his driveway or it stops next to the bank of mailboxes we share. After every storm, he plows out the mailboxes. The woman who lives next door to him is a walker, and I’m more likely to see her going at a full stride in some other part of town than ours.

Dave, who lives at the bottom of our hill, used to be a carpenter and the town’s part-time building inspector. He and Hank have worked together. Then, Dave went back to college to get an engineering degree.

We often meet Bob, a single guy who keeps cattle, when we go dancing at a local bar. He’s a fan of country music and wears cowboy hats.

Sometimes we catch a glimpse of the neighbors when they walk the triangle, which is two miles, or work in their yards. We give each other a wave. Sometimes we make small talk. Occasionally we hear power tools when someone is doing a home improvement project or the engine of a snowmobile.

Last count, we had three divorces on the triangle, five deaths and seven births. People move in and out.

I like the Millers, who moved to the old farmhouse on the hill from New York and had two of the seven babies. I felt the same about Maura and Jerome, but they moved to be closer to his work as a lighting technician for films. They tried holding onto the house by the river Jerome built, but it got to be too much. They sold it to a woman who doesn’t leave it often.

But just because you live near someone doesn’t mean you like them. I’ve already written about the neighbor who went nuts on us. I didn’t care for the man who put rotted meat in the woods so he could pick off coyotes from his porch. One time he found a fawn along a road and brought it to our kid’s school. After he got in trouble with the law, he got divorced from his hard-working wife and left town.

The same thing happened to another man, whose home was where the walking woman now lives. He was an okay guy. But one night we heard metal crashing into metal. Then again. He was ramming his pickup into the door of the steel garage he had built. His wife called the cops and that’s the last we saw of him on the triangle.

In the center of this Google Map is the triangle. Capen Street, which is a dirt road, is designated by a gray line. Williamsburg Road is also called Route 143, which is just a good paved road.


One thought on “Life on the Triangle

  1. David says:

    Thanks, Joan. Glad to see that I got an honorable mention. The triangle was always a great walk, especially along the dingle (aka Capen). Being able to walk a short loop rather than an out and back was a nice feature of the neighborhood. I’ve enjoyed reading your posts, reminding me of life in Worthington now that I’ve moved down to the valley

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