2007年12月2日日曜日

only in the country

You miss out on a lot of stuff living in the middle of nowhere:

English conversation
Montessori schools
REAL cheese
Multilingual libraries
frequent public transport
(etc etc. I could go on but this is just depressing me!)


But there are some things you only get in the country:
neighborhood association onsen trips
apple tractor rides at the kinder festival
apples in general
big yards for playing
incredible starry nights
and Christmas illuminations away from it all, pitch black all around you and the feeling you've got the place to yourself.

I went to the Marunouchi illuminations in Tokyo in 2005. It was amazing. A huge long street that was arched over with intricate geometric arches with stars and christmas trees and bells. Beautiful. Breathtaking. And so crowded you literally couldn't move forward until the person in front of you did and you couldn't stop and take a picture or a staff member would remind you (politely) to move on and not stop traffic.

Last week we went to the illuminations at Alps Azumino National Park. A 20 minute drive north. The lights were spread out over the whole park. There were Christmas trees and a star tunnel, a rainbow arch, lights in the real trees and gardens, lights ringing the ponds that were reflected in the ponds, and little litup animal sculptures. It was beautiful. Magical. A jumped and giggled and grinned her way around and M kept exclaiming at everything "LOOK mummy! A RED Christmas tree with a STAR!!" And the park is tucked away in the foothills of the Alps so there were no other lights around but the stars and the moon.

It was cold. Bitterly cold. And there was no starbucks at the end of the walk, but I wouldn't swap it.

Sometimes it's good to live in the country. :)





We have...



a place to cut wood.............


a wood pile...

and a wood stove complete with tile base and some spare heat bricks. Just because they were there at the hardware store and well, you never know, we might do something with them some day. :)
Only thing missing is the chimney. :)
The stove was a tad $$ but within what we expected. The chimney however was @_@ oh my god!!!! in the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ range. Us being us though, it had passed the 7 day cooling off period for returns before we even contacted a contracter about chimney quotes so there was no going back. With free wood and the price of kerosene going up I will be back in the black on heating costs just in time to heat my wake. :)
I am looking forward to a heat source you can leave on when you're asleep or out or go for a walk etc etc.
Priceless.