Monday, December 29, 2008

We're Going to the Country

Anyone who is familiar with Sufjan Stevens' Christmas album will recognize that song title. Here are the lyrics:
If you seek a pillow for your head
Or a fitted sheet for Christmas bed
If you see your shadow on the snow
Is it from the baby Jesus glow?
He's going to the country.

Find a tree and put in your house
Put a mistletoe upon your mother's blouse
If you see woman dressed in black
Give her up a song and then ask for it back
We're going to the the country
You're going to the country
We're going to the country
The country.

Anyways, for Christmas we did go to the country. Ruth, Joe and Sariah flew in to London, and we drove up to the Lake District the 19th. We stayed until Boxing Day (the 26th). It is the most glorious place on Earth. I'm hardly exaggerating.

19 Dec:
-Drive up to Grasmere in the Lake District. Mom had to drive a car up. She was so scared that she'd crash; it was her first time driving on the left side. We made it in one piece. Although once we were in the Lake District, the afternoon of rain had caused all of the roads to flood. That was a little nerve racking.
-Dinner at Tweedie's Bar. We arrived in Grasmere at 6:30ish. It took us a good hour to figure out how to unlock the door and unload everything from the two cars, but as soon as that was done, we drove into town and ate at the Best Westerner's restaurant Tweedie's.

20 Dec:
-Ruth, Katherine and I took a morning exploratory hike before anyone else was awake. It was our first time seeing Grasmere- we arrived when it was already dark. Grasmere is so beautiful. I can't even describe it. Not even pictures can accurately portray it. We wondered around, did some hiking and made some friends with some lovely sheep, and a ram or two.
-By the time we got home Mom, Dad and Joe had come home with groceries.
- We spent the rest of the day kinda lazy. Eating, lounging, playing games. We played Charades for nearly three hours and got some pretty good laughs from that.

21 Dec:
- We drove down to Kendall for a Church service in the Kendall Branch. It was so simple and so lovely. There Branch choir was two men and four women. I'm pretty sure nearly each singer was off note. It should've been yucky to listen to, but it wasn't because they were singing to praise God, not to sound good. That fact made their voices beautiful.
- We spent the rest of the day playing games.

22 Dec:
-We did an early morning hike up Helm's Crag, the peak behind our house. The view was spectacular! We could see all of Grasmere, Grasmere Lake, and a little bit of the neighboring town in Kendal.
-After the hike, we walked into town to do some really, really last minute Christmas shopping. Dad then picked us up and drove down to the Lake. We walked around the lake until it started to rain. Nothing good lasts forever.
-That night we did a murder mystery party set in Cairo. Since the murder mystery characters are evenly split between guys and girls, I had to play a guy. It was really fun. I drew pork chops and a mustache on my face with eyeliner. Mom had fun being creative with Dad's tie. It really was a blast! I decided as a man, I look like a mix between Nicolas Cage and Napoleon Dynamite's brother. It was an interesting combination.

23 Dec:
- More hiking! This time we hiked up to our waterfall. I only say "ours" because we can see it from our house (Little Parrock). It's real name is Sour Milk Gill and Sour Milk reservoir. Again, beauty beyond description.
- The girls walked down to Dove Cottage, where the poet William Wordsworth lived in for eight or so years. Then we toured the Dove Museum that highlighted poets and essayists of Wordsworth's time. It was an interesting museum, but the layout was a little crowded.

- Even more hiking! We hiked up Greenhead Gill where Wordsworth composed "Michael." There was no real path, so we had to ask some passing hikers where to go. They suggested we hike up to Alcock Tarn. We followed their advice and were rewarded. Alcock Tarn (or lake) is like an infinity pool. It looks like it just drops off the edge of the mountain. We then hiked down the back trail that led to Dove Cottage. This was the Wordsworth's favorite trail.
- We went to the Anglican Church for a Candle light service and carols. It was different from what I'm used to, but it wasn't bad. I learned a lot about the first Christmas card.
- We returned home and had John play carols on his guitar. In between each carol, we opened our gifts from our Ostler Grandparents. It was really fun. I got pajamas that are so snuggly!

- We woke up and had our traditional sugared toast and orange juice. It was my first day of eating sugar, so mom and dad made a slightly less sugared one for me to eat. Then we lined up on the stairs, how we always do.
- We opened stockings and presents. As always, Father Christmas (Santa) was good to me!
- We then went on a hike, again. Sariah and I walked down Far Easdale Gill, and Katherine, Mom and Ruth rehiked Helm's Crag. The sun was setting, so Sariah and I turned back discovering that Mom got paranoid we wouldn't, so she sent Katherine with a flashlight after us. Silly mother.
- We then had a big Christmas dinner!

- Unfortunately, we had to go home.

Grasmere is the loveliest spot on Earth. Dorothy Wordsworth, William's sister, wrote a poem about it. William composed his most famous poems while living there. He also composed the majority of his poems while living there. After touring all of the Lake District, he decided that Grasmere was heaven on Earth. He moved there when he was 28 and didn't move out of a ten mile radius until he died at age 80. (He lived in a large estate in Rydal for the last years of his life).

1 comment:

Calandria said...

That does sound like heaven on earth! That's how I felt in Basque Country, Spain. I know what you mean about pictures not being able to convey the beauty of a place, but the pictures on Facebook were incredible!