Tuesday, August 06, 2013

#164. or, City Cousin, Country Cousin

  Over the long weekend, we attended the 2nd annual camping/casual family reunion held by my mom's side of the family. This year my cousin, who lives in Vancouver, and his son were able to attend.

  It occurred to me, over the course of the weekend, that my city cousin lives a bit of a different life than I, his country cousin does.

 City cousin jetted in from Vancouver, country cousin arrived by pickup truck. Granted, his flight happened as the result of saved up air miles, routed him through various airports, and included multiple planes, and a rental car. I realize he probably had to jump through way more hoops than I did to get there, but he's a seasoned traveler. I've been to 3 destinations by airplane in my life and whenever I have to go somewhere far flung, my first thought is still, "wonder if I could drive there?"

  City cousins favorite coffee comes from Starbucks and has a title five words long, none of which happen to actually be the word "coffee". Country cousin drinks whatever is in the tin can his wife brings home with the groceries.

  City cousin likes to sample various hard liquors, on the rocks, can detect subtle nuances and flavours, then instantly devise a list of  possible drink combinations out of his head. Country cousin needs a beer. And maybe, after this weekend, a Gin & Tonic.

  City cousin knows the proper pronunciation of all of the cigars that country cousin has in his humidor. The ones that country cousin chose because he liked the way they looked when he was buying them.

  City cousin, will occasionally take a job editing a book, is schooled in proper punctuation, grammar, and sentence structure, yet doesn't write. Country cousin writes, yet is dismal at proper punctuation, grammar, and  sentence structure.

  City cousin, while unusually pale, has exceptional skin and looks much younger than the years he has under his belt. Country cousins skin looks like a belt.

  You would think, with all of those differences, my city cousin and I would have nothing in common and would be hard pressed to find something to actually chat about. Yet, it's quite the opposite. We spent more than one evening, talking long into the night. Which goes to show you, it doesn't really matter where you come from, or what life you happen to be living, there's connections to be made everywhere. You just have to let them happen.

  He's quite supportive of me toward compiling some of these ridiculous posts into some sort of a book or something. Who knows? But I won't say it's never crossed my mind.

  I suspect, that if I were to visit the city, in my pickup truck, I may not blend in so well. I don't know how many good 'ol boys they have in Vancouver. Or, maybe I'd do fine? As long as I didn't draw any attention to myself by trying to get into the backseat of  a pickup by crawling over the front seat, instead of just using the back door.

  ............don't worry, Roland, I won't tell anybody about that, your secrets safe with me.

elleroy was here




52 comments:

  1. I live in a fairly large city now, but I'm actually grown up on the countryside and never feel really at "home" in a city. Some things just don't make sense, but it's the opposites in people compared to yourself that's interesting :).

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    1. Hi Annika,

      I think you're right. If everybody was the same, it would be for boring times. And a lot more arguments I believe. :)

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  2. Great post, Ken. Truer words have not been spoken. Except the time my girlfriend said I kissed her city cousin. She was bang on with that statement.

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    1. Thanks Chris,

      I thought you were going to say said you were bang'on your girlfriends cousin. As long as it wasn't your cousin, I guess?

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  3. Loved this! So funny and I really liked how you approached it. It's also really sweet. It does show you how we can make connections with people you would think you would never have anything in common with. I've really learned that in blogging. Some of the people I've built friendships with have a completely different lifestyle than me...but that's probably exactly why the friendships are so interesting.

    I know you would be a huge hit in the city, Ken! And I also know that any book you write would be a hit as well. You have an irresistible personality :)

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    1. Hey Kianwi!

      Thanks so much! I've always gotten along quite well with him. It's funny, because on the surface, we're not so much alike, but when we get together, we connect on so many different levels.

      I've been giving the book a lot of thought lately. My cousin suggested polishing up some of my favorite posts and using those. I also have a few stories I've been saving for something like that, so I'd have new material as well. I'm not sure though, I don't know if I'm popular enough to make something like that fly?

      City Ken might feel a little out of place. It would take a little while to get used to that. :)

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  4. I'm glad you're the writer instead of your city cousin. I always enjoy your posts and look forward to them.

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    1. Thank you Stephen!

      Very kind words indeed.

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  5. When I was a kid growing up in a one-horse prairie town in the middle of nowhere, we had "city cousins" who were oh, so sophisticated. They drank A & W root beer which we'd never even heard of and knew how to ride on a city bus, which we had never encountered much less ridden on. They were from the Big City of Regina, LOL! which of course at that time (45 years ago) was a pimple on the ass of the world but hey, who knew?

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    1. Hey Debra!

      Isn't Regina still a pimple on the ass of the world? Just kidding! ;)

      Once when I was a kid, my brother and I went in to the city to stay with my Aunt who was in university there, for a weekend or something. I'm pretty certain that was my 1st time on a city bus. 1st time on the LRT was only a few years ago. So I guess, even my city has new surprises for me to find.

      Your thought on A&W root beer made me remember the times when my dad would take us into Edmonton and we'd stop at an A&W where they would bring out the tray and hang it on your car window. I haven't seen one of those in ages! :)

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  6. Love this!!! The majority of my Dad's family lives in a small town in Indiana. I have visited once when I was 19 for a family reunion. The entire time, all I heard was "You're our cousin from California?" Felt like an alien, our upbringings were so different. But yet,they weren't.

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    1. Hi Jules!

      I wish I had a cousin from California! I'd probably visit them quite often! :)

      I wonder, did you think they were a bunch of hicks?

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  7. I have a terrible confession. In that I go to a Starbucks. Except that I don't drink coffee and just get a plan cup of hot tea every time. But I still feel like an urban yuppie every time I have to commute to the city and end up at a Starbucks because they are the only thing open at 6am.

    They're convenient okay? Don't judge me. :)

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    1. Hi Holly,

      Honestly, I've never been inside a Starbucks. I was unaware they made something so mundane as plain tea. Doe it have some sort of flourishing title?

      We have Tim Hortons here in Canada. I suppose it's a bit like Starbucks, in that they sell primarily coffee as well. They have donuts too! :) I always get the double double when I stop, and I have to admit, I do get a sense of belonging to some club or something when I'm holding that paper cup in my hand. I may have to visit a Starbucks sometime.

      I'm not judging you.......not so much. ;)

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  8. Country cousins skin looks like a belt.

    The laugh out loud part of the post for me. There's always at least one every time you post. :)

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    1. Hi VV!

      I'm so happy you said that! Thanks so much! :)

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  9. Ken friend!!

    My computer has been restored!!! I just got it back about 15 minutes ago. Oh my gosh, I am so relieved! AND it didn't lose anything off the hard drive! Yippee!

    So about this post...I LOVE IT! The comparisons between your city cousin and your country self...and I have to agree with V2 above - that line is PERFECT and classic Ken. This whole post is excellent!

    You've inspired me. I need to make this writing thing a priority if I'm ever going to do with it what my soul longs to do! I am going to make use of my little notebook that I carry around for jotting ideas and then DO THEM. Thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. Hello, my friend!

      I'm glad that you're back up and running! I was in a terrible location for data over the weekend, when you posted about losing your laptop and didn't even try to comment. I was happy that I even got enough signal to read your post!

      This post just happened. I knew I was going to do a list post of sorts. I try to avoid those a bit for some reason, but I thought in this case, I could make it work. The rest just fell out of my head. Start to finish, with very little editing. In fact, my editor (wife) had only an apostrophe to suggest I add. That's pretty rare!

      My notebook has become a staple and goes almost everywhere with me now. I think it's turning into what I have always wanted a notebook to be.

      I wish I could write more, but for now, am content to work on it in whenever I get the chance. At least, that's something. I'm certainly not giving up on this. I've never considered myself very inspiring, but if it's helping you, I'll give you hand and pull you along with me. We can help each other. :)

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  10. I loved the line "City cousin...the years under his belt...Country cousin's skin looks like a belt." haha Excellent post Ken. I'm glad you're the writing cousin too. I really enjoy your stuff!

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    1. Hi Linda,

      Thanks so much! I enjoy being enjoyable. :)

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  11. This post has caused many of my friends to laugh far too heartily. At my expense. For which I'll be invoicing you. Tomorrow. =)

    All I can say in my own defense: at least this time I left my briefcase and three-piece suit at home, laid off the cologne and made not ONE wailing siren sound. That's progress, right?

    I had a great time camping with you guys; thanks for your outsized contribution to making it so much fun. I'm glad I could reciprocate with fodder for your splendid blog. At the end of the day, I hope I still vaguely resemble the cousin who once lived just 20 miles up the road from your farm.

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    1. Hey there City cousin!

      Other than that little front seat episode, I thought I painted you with a rather favorable brush? So in turn, I will be invoicing you, for contributing to your increased time in the spotlight. Tomorrow.

      Of course, I suspect you don't need my help with that!

      I enjoyed having you there, and quite like who you are these days. Not that the little kid who lived down the road was so bad, he just had rather unique qualities for a 10 year old.

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  12. Good people are good people no matter what coffee they choose.

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    1. Absolutely!

      You've said a mouthful there!

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    2. Love that dbs - you need to put your name on it.

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  13. "somewhere far flung" I bet your country cousin doesn't say that. LOL! I really hate to fly because of all the hoops but driving to the places we go isn't really fun either. There's nothing scenic on I-10 from NC to Louisiana. BORING.

    I'm somewhere between you two with the coffee. I don't do fru fru coffee at Starbucks, and I don't buy the tin can stuff.

    Love the skin reference. Do you have any tint on the windows of the pick up truck?

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    1. Hi Kenya,

      We have one of those terribly boring drives that we occasionally have to take when we go to the mountains. At least the destination makes it somewhat bearable.

      We do the canned coffee during the weekdays. On the weekend, we grind up beans of different coffees that we feel like trying.

      Um....yes on the window tint. But no Truck nuts for me! Even I think that's a bit over the top! :)
      http://www.trucknutz.com/

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  14. Replies
    1. It was a good time for sure. Even better than last year. :)

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  15. My favorite line: "Country cousin's skin looks like a belt."

    Did you make city cousin that yummy looking giant sausage breakfast thingy that you posted a few weeks back?

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    1. Thanks!

      I did in fact make him that breakfast thingy! Apparently, it's more food than he usually consumes in a week.

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  16. I have a t-shirt from Vancouver. I wore it today! My husband says it's his favorite city, but I have yet to visit it. And I agree with the commenter above who said everyone is basically the same. The important part is attitude and openness.

    Thanks for a fun post!

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    1. I really need to go there and just have a visit. Every time I've been there, it's been a sight on the way to someplace else. I think spending some time there would give me a bit more insight to the hustle and bustle of the big city.

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  17. Ha! Fantastic post, Ken. Your comparisons made me think about the differences between my AB childhood and my Vancouver adulthood.

    That belt skin - did you mean like a leather belt or something from your combine? One of them may suggest a trip to the doc is indicated.

    I think I'll be a Vancouverite forever, but I'll always prefer Tim Hortons. And you'd do just fine at my house.

    Picked up a book recently about blogging a book, maybe you'd be interested (I think you should absolutely do it): http://www.amazon.com/How-Blog-Book-Publish-Promote/dp/1599635402

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    1. Hey Reanna,

      Mostly a leather belt, but there are days, when I get really tired and run down that I could see myself resembling a combine belt.

      Well, if I ever get down to visit my cousin, I'm going to have to put it out there so we can meet up for a cup of the Tim's coffee someplace.

      I was went to the site and looked at the book. It looks pretty interesting, I think I'll try to get myself a copy. Thanks! :)

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    2. We're definitely getting together if you come to town. After the Timmy's, I'll share some of the home brew, but only if we come up with a good label for the bottles. ;)

      I'll do better next time I wander through Alberta as well. You're not so far out of the way.

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  18. I always enjoy hanging out with family that has an entirely different upbringing than I do. Makes for interesting times and conversations.

    Really enjoyed this post.

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    1. Thanks, It really is interesting how we can all come from a common background and set our lives off in different directions. I suppose that's why I enjoy that weekend so much.

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    1. Thanks! I think I will.....maybe. :)

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  20. This was so good in so many ways, and I love how city cousin responded in comments. I am always so happy to see your face peeking out at me from the weekend grid, and this one was a wonderful Sunday read.

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    1. Hi Erica!

      I was as surprised as you were to see him pop up there!

      I didn't even check to see if my word count would have been enough to submit to the weekly challenge, but I'm pretty comfortable on the moonshine grid. Maybe in the winter, when I can commit to reading and commenting on more posts, I won't so feel bad about posting in the challenge, and not feel like I'm not holding up my end of the deal.

      Thanks so much! :)

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  21. Sounds like you and City Cousin are quite a pair!

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    1. Hi Michelle,

      We do get along quite well together. :)

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  22. Funny, funny. Love the comparison, and the fact that you both get along so well at the end.

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    1. Hi Dawn!

      Thanks! I suspect, even though we live dramatically different lifestyles, we're pretty similar inside.

      Also, congratulations again on being published! Well done! :)

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  23. I would like an autographed copy please :-)

    This was such a lovely post. So full of humor but then you touched on something sweet at the end. It's the essence of Ken :-)

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    1. Hey there!!

      Well, really the only thing about the whole project that I have right now IS my autograph. Guess well see what happens.

      Thanks so much! :)

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  24. I'd buy that book! Sounds like City cousin and Country cousin had a great time. Differences make life and people interesting! Hope you had a great summer Ken! :)

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    1. We had a really good time.

      Our summer was pretty non-existent this year. We did find a few good days but there's only been a few weekends that have been alright to get away, and there was quite a bit of rain early on. I'm hoping for a long fall.

      L

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  25. Our summer here in BC was the exact opposite! 30 degree weather pretty much the whole time. Which sounds awesome. and it was for the most part. But I'm over it. I need some rain and wind, maybe a good 10 degree drop in temps. LOL.

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