Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse

I went to a family reunion last week.

It was fun seeing all my relatives in the country.

But it was hot and tiring and felt good to get back home again.

It is interesting how just a small vacation can help one appreciate home again.

It gives a new perspective on things.

I learned that I am a town mouse.

Oh, I love ducks and geese and flowers and big country kitchens and quiet afternoons strolling the open prairie.

But country life is a lot of work.

And ironically there is not much food on the prairie.

But there is a lot of hay fever.

Two hours after arrival, my son began sneezing so badly that his head swelled like a balloon, then he broke out with the most severe case of hives I have ever seen. For a moment we thought we were going to make a trip to the emergency room, but thankfully, he is okay now.

I envision the conversation that may have taken place:

Nurse: What's he allergic to?

Me: The country.

Things have been a bit stressful lately, and we were tired and looking forward to this trip.

But one weekend in the country with meals of nothing but meat at my brothers home ... and my two kids and I came running home so fast it made our heads spin.

So much for the country life.

We barely lasted a weekend.

Tired, sunburnt and hungry, we hit Tulsa late Sunday afternoon and headed straight for Whole Foods, where we ate like pigs and picked up enough produce and groceries to last a nuclear winter.

Warning: never go to Whole Foods after spending starving weekend with relatives in the country.

Even though our weekend in the country wasn't as spectacular as we had hoped, it did do us good to get away.

It is nice to visit another persons world.

It allows us to reasses our own values and learn more about ourselves in the process.

When I was a little girl, my grandmother used to read The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse to me.

I always became giddy at the part where the town mouse takes his friend the city mouse, back home for an elaborate feast. And felt sorry in the end for the lonely, scanty existance of the poor country mouse.

Ironically, I no longer feel sorry for this penurious mouse.

Sometimes, I have discovered, that simple is good.

But in the end, I always admire the the city mouse.

Someday I will invite my brother and his family to my home in the city where we will share a great feast.

It will be a grand time.

But something tells me, in the end, he will scurry back home to his safe haven in the country, while I remain happily in the city.

Contented mice we will be.

 Which are you?

A Town Mouse or A Country Mouse


Linda said...

This was so fun and enjoyable to read :) I too enjoyed that book as a child, and I've learned that I'm actually a bit of both. I always prided myself on being a "Chicago girl", when in actuality, many of my childhood homes were located in what were originally small towns, near Chicago. All of those towns have since mushroomed and are cities now as well.

I moved downstate Illinois (2 hours south of Chicago) smack dab in the middle of corn and soybean fields 14 years ago this summer. We sort of have the best of both worlds, with the very large University town within 1/2 an hour. But I kind of like our quiet country town now, to the point that when I go back to Chicago, I find it all too rushed and needlessly stressful. :)

Coffee Maker said...

Geese are a real killer in the yard, and ducks aren't much better. Too many these days - we need more hunters so we can cook more geese and share with some coffee we make with our single cup coffee maker.