Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Everything Old is New Again: Leaving The County for The Country

I am sitting here, thinking I should be saying something holiday-ish.  Right now, December is feeling very slow and long.  I know that not everyone feels this way (especially not the people in the mall parking lot), but I am ready to have Christmas.  I'm tired of waiting.

We travel away from our home every Christmas.  We leave a nice housesitter to enjoy our decorations and our home, and we rush away towards Christmas Part 2.  This year, Christmas, The Sequel, is taking place at the cottage in Canada.

Sequel?  Yes.  We've decorated and celebrated and partied and Nut Crackered.  We've already eaten too much, drank too much and surpassed our set budget for holiday spending.  The bags are mostly packed, the presents mostly bought and there is only danger in shopping from here.

More importantly, when we go to the cottage, it is a lot like Country Mouse and City Mouse.

Let me explain.  We live in Marin County.  Sometimes it is referred to as "the bubble" in the Bay Area.  Everything is clean, green and manicured--both lawns and men and ladies.  Oh, and dogs and little toddler girls, too!  Vegetables are freshly picked and prepared at local restaurants.  Northern California wine flows like water.  Gournet grocery stores beckon you from every corner.  A fresh, open air farmer's market can be found daily.

Then we separate from our reality and get on an airplane to experience another reality.  We will arrive to a hopefully snowy, deep freeze of a landscape and then it is time to decorate and bake and re create Christmas for the second time in December.  I'm looking forward to it, but on the Wednesday before we travel, frankly, it sounds like a lot of work.  All of our Christmas is in about 6 suitcases and duffel bags.  Not all of it, we have plenty of decorations  awaiting us in the country.

I have travel anxiety.  Like I've said before, I'm not afraid my plane will crash or anything, I just am not very good at transitions.  Once we make it to the airport, check our bags, get through security, get on the plane, realize we are all in middle seats scattered throughout the plane, get delayed, frantically race to our next connection, arrive and our bags do not, get the rental car and begin our coutry road trip and drive two hours away from civilization, I will be fine and feeling on top of things.

City Mouse:
Oops, forgot the organic, locally sourced buttermilk.  Grab the keys and hit the corner market.  Back home in 5 minutes.

Country Mouse:
Uh oh, forgot the organic buttermilk, look in the Betty Crocker cooking bible for a substition that includes cider vinager that's been in the cupboard for 10 years.

City Mouse:
Oops, running out of underwear.  Look in clothes basket.

Country Mouse:
Uh oh, only got one bag at the airport, my underwear is not in that one bag.  Wash the underwear I'm wearing every night until my bag is dropped off at the local combination post office, fishing license, putt putt golf and grocery store a half an hour away.

City Mouse:
Oops, the cable is not working.  Call Comcast.

Country Mouse:
Uh oh, the electricity is out.  Better build a fire, get snow to melt for water and hit the sub zero outhouse.  It could be days until a work crew gets out our way.

City Mouse:
Oops, we are out of Merry Edwards Pinot Noir.  Once again, 5 minutes to the local grocery. Buy it and stick it in the sub zero fridge.

Country Mouse:
Uh oh, we are out of Merry Edwards (not hard to do what you are only allowed to bring in two bottles of wine per adult).  Now we must brave our local LCBO and be at the Canadian Government's mercy. Bottles of wine that we pay $5.00 for in California are $17.99 plus tax.  On a positive note, it does curb the wine consumption--$5 wine is still tasting like $5 wine no matter how much you charge for it.

Whether you be in the city or the country, happy holidays to you!

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