City Cousin and Country Cousin

September 16, 2013

The story of the city mouse and the country mouse came to my mind a bit this weekend, as my Seattle City Cousin and daughter came to spend the weekend with us.  The great thing about cousins is that they have known us and our family (duh) forever.  The Seattle City Cousin kept muttering “I still can’t get my head around that you live in Ellensburg…in the country.”  This is a bit of a double ‘whammy” for her, she’s known me all my life as the So. California cousin who lives in a suburb of LA with curbs, traffic, smog, Disneyland etc.  As a Washingtonian she ‘knew’ Ellensburg…well, not exactly…she’s driven by it on the highway and stopped at Dairy Queen…but learned to her surprise…”Oh, who knew, Ellensburg is cute”… oh, yes it is.

I do not know, if it is all Seattle City people or just my cousins, but in order to get them out of the city and over the hill/mountain to the country takes a lot of careful planning.

1.  The weather must be cool, not hot, rainy is okay (they are used to that), but they tend to melt in hot weather, so they waited for a beautiful September weekend to come and it was…not hot…it was scorching and sweaty.  The only thing that wanted to move about this weekend were the flies and there were plenty of them, we were on them with the battery-powered fly zapper, rejoiced at each sizzling zap, but still barely made a dent in the disgusting population.

2.  They are prepared.  Four pairs of shoes each…slippers, sandals, boots (well, rain boots), sneakers… and a light jacket.  My Seattle City Cousin and I went into town so I could show her how cute it is and she brought her jacket.  She wanted to be ‘prepared’…I said…you really are from Seattle…it is 95 degrees…it is not going to rain…and we laughed…because that is what cousins do.

3.  They stop at See’s.  ♥  Not only do they stop, but because they are planners, they called… and said important stuff like…’exactly what kind of See’s candies are your favorite?’  They get it.  We live far away and things like See’s candy should not be left for a random selection.  (Dark chocolate..chews…uhmmm!)  They came with an empty egg carton to take away full with our fresh eggs.  Brought an ice chest with a beautiful salmon they caught in it for us and left with it full of fresh vegetables each delighted with the shared bounty.

They got here just as we’d unloaded and revved up our new tool.  I told her to jump on the back and I’d take her for a spin and since the sticker on our tool that says do not ride passengers is now worn off, it must be okay.  We went zipping around the yard, squealing with fun like the kids we used to be, imagining our mothers (sisters) shaking their heads.  The timing was pretty good on our end as well, as they’d been here about 20 minutes before they were handed a pair of gloves and invited to join a ‘fire brigade’ as 2 cords of wood were delivered and needed to be stacked in the wood shed.  Welcome to our life.

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There was croquet where they not only came in second and third (darn Number Two is on a roll), but earned the straw hat point as well.

I took the young horse lover on a trail ride, while my Seattle City Cousin took pictures.  As I tacked the horses and got all ready, I said, if you want to be amazed that I live here and drive tractors, be even more amazed that I have learned so much about the horses, (I am).  I was glad to take our younger cousin on a long trail ride, as when I was a child it meant so much to me when given the chance to ride.

The City Cousins saw that we tend to go to bed early, and it has been awhile since we Country Cousins stayed up late playing cards.  The card playing is a family tradition, that perhaps will return in the winter, but for now…

I have been wanting to share the farm with them, grateful that they are just over the hill and able to share fish, veggies and See’s!  We share grandparents, Uncles and Aunts and a host of other cousins.  We share a history, knowledge of parents now gone.  With this Seattle City Cousin we share a faith…a deep belief in the grace of our God (who loves us with all our goofiness) and over all the things we share…for me this is rare in my family and it is this that I am most especially grateful for…

  • Diane Wallace

    Write on!!

  • Amy

    Ellen, I just started getting your blog again recently. Have been wanting to tell you what a very bright spot it is in my hectic, stressful life right now! But when I read this I couldn’t NOT respond. I got all teary eyed too!! And after moving so many times, I understand the value of having someone sit in your kitchen (or stack fire wood, as it may be) who has a clue where you came from and has known you for more than 2 minutes. (Not that I don’t appreciate the 2 minute friends!) Anyway, thanks for taking the time to share your life so beautifully. This is one more city cousin who appreciates it, and God really uses you to bring me a country sized dose of joy every time! ( I did get jealous about all those blueberries you got to pick though!)

    • Ellen

      Ah, Amy thank you so much. I appreciate the connection and the feedback, it means a lot to me as I wonder sometimes…do I keep doing this?
      My Loving Spouse who wondered what in the world we were going to do with all those blueberries, now thinks that I didn’t pick enough!
      hugs cousin,

  • Pam

    Oh, Ellen….you made me get all teared up! All of the above is precious to me, too!

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