Don't ever tell me that I can't do something. That is just an invitation to prove you wrong. And if things aren't going my way, I will generally have a tantrum and then MAKE things go my way through sheer will and a small helping of delusion. Maybe the scenery doesn't look like the postcard. Maybe the people aren't as nice as the people on "Murder She Wrote." But don't tell me I can't have that because it would be really helpful for me to have that right now.
So I outline the New England fantasy and then I go about making it come true with some clever camera tricks and liberal use of selective hearing.
Yesterday, I rode my bike to the beach - "pedal to the sea", if you will (I've been waiting SO long to use that!). I pass Sea Road and turn right at Perkins Farm (est. 1805), coasting downhill until I get to the general store across from the beach.
They have coffee drinks, a lunch counter, ice cream treats, beer, a few grocery items and a dime store-esque collection of beach toys and souvenirs. It has so much potential - but the food is crappy, the staff is neglectful and ambivalent, and the hours change hourly (ME: "But the sign says open from 6am to 7pm." GS: "Yeah....that's not right."). So it's not perfect. But I pretend it is.
Then I walk my bike across the street to the beach where I collect shells and watch surfers. I also see a decapitated seal but I pretend that I don't.
On my bike ride home, I stop at a roadside stand for a mason jar full of fresh flowers. Last week, I stopped but only had a $20 bill. So I dropped the $20 in the honor system bucket with a note that said, "I only have a $20 bill, so I'll pick up some flowers next week to make up the difference. Today I bought 2 jars of flowers ($10), and a bowl of heirloom tomatoes ($5). Thank you! -Kristin."
So now I'm stopping for my "free" flowers. I put them in my bike basket and smile all the way home; there are few things that make a bike ride more pleasant than looking down and seeing flowers in your basket.
So we can check these boxes on the New England fantasy checklist:
1. Pedal to the Sea
2. An early American farm to use as a landmark
3. Old-timey general store
4. Walking on beach and collecting shells (not decapitated seals)
5. Roadside stand with honor system bucket
6. Flowers in bike basket
7. Rock Wall! Notice that I leaned my bike against a rock wall for the picture so I could check one more box!
I like my checklist. It keeps real life at bay just a little bit. Real life is just never going to measure up to the postcard. Once you get inside the postcard and start living your daily life, you'll start to see the picture fading a little bit. Real life has a way of doing that; there's no Home Depot in the postcard but everyone has to go to Home Depot once in a while.
Even the people on "Murder She Wrote."