Remember the tale of Town Mouse and Country Mouse? A recent email exchange between my sister and me offered a reminder of how her life (married with no children, painter, and working at a wolf sanctuary in Washington State) and my life (married with four kids in Orange County) couldn’t be more different at times.
After spending the winter down here, and then returning home, she wrote:
“Immersed back into natural, slow-paced, cyclical rainy blooming beauty Pacific Northwest life of spotting bald eagles in the air and deer-browsing roadside. Frogs are jumping everywhere in our yard and the night is noisy with their antics.
The big news at Wolf Haven is we have an endangered red wolf pup! (Yes, just one) but so far it’s strong and healthy.
And two of our endangered Mexican wolves appear quite pregnant – so hopeful we’ll have more pups!
I take breaks at Wolf Haven and walk on the blooming prairie, so brilliant with a blanket of camas, golden paintbrush, shooting stars, blue violets, strawberries and buttercups, with the sound backdrop of screeching ravens, shouting bald eagles, and the intense flapping wings of coopers hawks, and of course howling wolves!
I’m painting and putting my work in a new gallery this Sat – in Shelton – (Dad, the small farming town that one of the wood turners you like lives)
Kevin is well – we’ve been meeting up with friends for coffee and baked goods at the San Francisco St Bakery.”
“Sounds like everything is awesome up there. So glad you take full advantage of your surroundings. There’s nothing natural or slow paced happening here, unless you are talking about the pace by which the kids get out of bed each morning–a snail’s. And definitely no rain. We are having a heat wave and it is total Santa Ana, dry, off shore HOT weather. My eye sockets are dried out and even at the beach it’s almost 90. Too hot for me!
We too have nights noisy with antics, but not frogs….
While you have a backdrop of screeching ravens, shouting bald eagles, and intense flapping wings of coopers hawks, we also have a daily backdrop of screeching or shouting about who wore whose clothes, borrowed a charger without asking, or ate the last piece of gum. There’s also intense flapping… of adolescent mouths, who believe they know more than me. Apparently, I’ve become embarrassing and lack a lot of knowledge.
The only painting happening here is on toenails and fingernails.
I’m happy for the endangered Mexican wolves, but thank God, unlike them, I’m not pregnant.
We too have Spring fever blooming more and more everyday as it’s almost summer and the countdown till the last day of school has begun.
Your walks on the prairie sound wonderful. I like to walk along the beach but to be honest, most of my miles seem to be back and forth between the laundry room, and kitchen or from the front door to the car to drive somebody somewhere.
As for wildlife, there’s been a spider in the kids’ shower for three days so they are all getting ready in my bathroom. Does that count?
Love and miss you!”