I went to a family reunion last week.
It was strange seeing all my relatives who live in the country.
It was fun, but also hot and tiring, and it felt good to be back home again.
Travel, it seems, brings 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.
Also, 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 have to make a trip to the emergency room. But thankfully he is okay now.
My son is a city boy. If we had went to the ER, I envisioned a conversation something like this:
Nurse: What's he allergic to?
Me: The country.
Things had been a bit stressful lately, and, as a family, we were looking forward to this trip.
But one weekend in the country ... with meals of nothing but meat ... and bugs and chiggers and hay fever ... and my two kids and I came running home so fast, it would make your head 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 was nice to visit another persons world.
It allowed us to reassess our own values and learn more about ourselves and who we are in the process.
When I was a little girl, my grandmother used to read The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse in order to lull me to sleep for an afternoon nap.
I find it interesting that I always became giddy when the town mouse took his friend, the city mouse, back home for an elaborate feast, and always felt sorry for the lonely, impoverished existence of the country mouse.
Ironically, I no longer feel sorry for this penurious mouse.
Now I have discovered that simple is good.
But still, in the end, I always admire the city mouse.
Someday I will invite my brother from the country to my home in the city where we will share a great feast.
And it will be a grand time (!).
But something tells me, that in the end, he will scurry back home to the country, while I remain happy and contented in the city.
Each to their own.
So which are you?
A Town Mouse or A Country Mouse?