A Castle in the Country

This is the true tale of a disillusioned city dweller who opted for a remote castle in the country.


| March/April 1981



068 castle in the country - spiral staircase

A circular stairway leads form the dining room to the two second-floor bedrooms


PAMELA PURCELL

People often fantasize about trying out different (and usually, at least in the imagination, far better) lifestyles, but few actually change the way they live. Social commitments, habit systems, and inertia stop most such dreamers cold. They just don't know that all it takes to realize a fantasy is a small amount of money, a bit of luck, and a whole lot of courage.

I was "old" when I came into a modest inheritance which amounted to a monthly income of around $100. I was pretty much alone, too, with my wife gone and all of my children grown up.

Furthermore, my house was no castle in the country. I lived in an old mansion in a decaying residential area that was more like a mausoleum, a tomb requiring care, cleaning, and endless costly repairs. I was plagued with taxes, light bills, gas bills, water bills, heating bills, and the helpless feeling that resulted from watching my old neighborhood disintegrate into an urban ghetto.

Security Gone Sour

There were other factors prodding me toward a life-changing decision, too. I had a "good job" as an associate professor in a medical school, so I received a salary raise each year, but—of course—it was always more than swallowed up by inflation.

And as time passed, the medical students grew more unruly and less interested in learning. The standards of the school steadily dropped, and my department became a hotbed of "office politics," backbiting, and resentment.

As soon as I got home each evening I'd change into my old (and not too clean or mended) jeans and muddle about in the garden, finding there the only real moments of satisfaction left in my urban life. (I was even pleased when the city's wildlife, the rats, drank from my garden pool at night! )

ron
1/23/2014 9:49:51 PM

Amazing Article. Answers so many questions that I've had for many years about the castle and mr. scudder. I would like to know who found and posted the diary or mr. scudder.


ron
1/23/2014 9:49:48 PM

Amazing Article. Answers so many questions that I've had for many years about the castle and mr. scudder. I would like to know who found and posted the diary or mr. scudder.






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