Sunday, June 03, 2007

Sunday Scribblings--Town Mouse and Country Mouse

Chicago Skyline

I find the Town Mouse and Country Mouse reference amusing because Friday I was sorting through some old books and was trying to decide if I could bear to part with a couple of Town Mouse and Country Mouse stories I enjoyed reading to them. I have always been fond of rodents, so I have a lot of mouse story books. This comes of having had rats as pets when I was a kid. I know most people shudder when I say this, but rats are charming animals. I agree the tail is a little unaesthetic but they have lovely personalities. Really, they do!
I am having trouble parting with the toys, books and clothing of their babyhood and toddlerhood as if I would be throwing out the memories as well as giving away the evidence. I am slowly releasing items bit by bit but still find it hard.
If I have a child in particular to pass them on to it becomes a bit easier. For example, recently I met my cousin’s twin daughters and had the pleasure of passing on to them some baby clothes my grandmother (and his) had given to my first born.
My grandmother would have liked that. She made her living working in the wholesale children’s clothing business. When I was a child, she would send me boxes of clothing samples for my birthday. On my birthday we would open my box and I would be required to model my new clothes for the family. I remember going to the “mart” with my grandmother once and being allowed to pick out a dress for myself. It was hard to find my size and something I liked among the rows of plastic covered clothing.
This has nothing to do with town and country except for the original association. In reality, I am definitely a town mouse. When I think of the cities I have lived in, they are all big or moderate sized cities. I don’t count suburbs as separate in this accounting. My “homes” were in Los Angeles, Seattle, and Chicago. Then there were 6 months in a suburb of Paris during college. College itself was at Stanford. I guess that is a bit small town but college is different anyway.
My Tuscan vacation was the closest I’ve been to true rural living and it was vacation, not real life. Growing up, the “country” was something we drove through on the way to the wilderness. Farms and fields were the man-made scenery one had to endure before arriving at the mountains, forests or ocean of our destination. A few years ago, we stayed at a B & B on a working dairy farm. I had to explain to my kids that yes, cows are smelly and we would just have to live with it. I guess I’m raising “town mice” of my own. But at least my kids know that milk comes from an animal and not a grocery store.


Kathe said...

I guess I'm a country mouse, who would prefer to be a forest mouse. Or maybe a mole. They're interesting too.

Can mice become hermits? *grin*

tarakuanyin said...

My daughter had rats when she was younger. They were wonderful. We'd let them out and they'd wander through the house. I'd be eating breakfast and I'd feel little paws on my ankles, then climbing up my leg, and Dave or Kim or Melissa or whoever it was would head for a snuggle on my shoulder under my hair. They would climb on my Jack Russell terrier's back and groom her ears while she snarled under her breath and showed remarkable restraint. I miss them, but we stopped getting them as pets when we realized that they live only two or three years and usually die of cancer. I couldn't take the grief and neither could my daughter. I'm glad someone else appreciates rats! (And I'm looking forward to seeing that animation, Ratatouillie! Finally, a rat cast as a hero.)

Crafty Green Poet said...

I know rats have personality but I don't like to see them in the streets of Edinburgh or to know that I'm never more than 100 metres away from one! Pet rats are different, i know! I love country holidays and day trips but love to be in the city.

Re your comment on my post, the Firth of Forth is the Scots or Gaelic term for the estuary of the River Forth. It extend a bit further than the true estuary. I'm trying to develop a habit of adding links or explanations when things may not be clear to non Scots?UK residents. Sorry that i failed in that case!

Liza's Eyeview said...

In my post I said I am a Country Mouse but after reading regina's post I decided I am more of a Suburbian mouse. It's nice to read this post and get to know more a little but more.

gautami tripathy said...

I like that mouse story! Very interesting!

I never did rats!

Betty C. said...

I love your blog description -- "flailing about" -- that's what I'm doing on And So Forth. It's fun to have a blog that isn't too focused, though.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Great post!
I find it hard to let go of the past myself... I think we are holding on to precious memories more than the items themselves, and the items are not much more than a tangible connection to the memories that mean so much to us.

Frank Sinatra just started singing in my head... ;o)


Shelby said...

like the mouse story :)

Molly said...

It's strange how we all adapt to the scents and scenes of our homes... coutry or city! I love B&B's, though I think I'm more of an inn kind of gal.