Browsing Archives for The Country Doctor

As I sit here typing, it is currently 9:41 pm in my part of Kansas. It is 3:41 am in London. It is today in Kansas, but it is tomorrow in England. When we get on our flight headed towards Heathrow airport, it will be noon in Kansas City. After thirteen hours of travel time making various connections, in assorted airports, we will arrive in London in the pre-dawn hours on Saturday morning according to Kansas time, but it will actually be mid-morning according to the English. Somewhere during our flight, we fast forward six hours. I am not really interested in fast-forwarding time! I would much prefer to rewind time! In particular, I would like to go back to my seventeen-year-old self with the flat stomach, the skinny thighs and the constant compulsion to fix my hair. But I would like to keep my forty year old brain… even if it has four holes where the babies came out.

The Country Doctor has been busy devising various schemes for our family to avoid a wretched case of jet lag. Here are a few of the scenarios he has suggested…

Scenario 1 – We stay up all night, the night before our flight, so that we will sleep on the plane. We then wake up well rested having just landed in London and immediately tackle The British Museum, the Museum of Natural History, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace all before anyone gets to have any lunch.

Scenario 2 – We get up at 3:00 in the morning and just goof around until it is time to drive to the airport to catch our flight. We sleep on the plane. We wake up well rested having just landed in London and tackle, museum, museum, abbey, palace, lunch.

Scenario3 – The minute we set foot in London we cease to sleep for the duration of the vacation and instead museum, museum, museum, palace, museum, skip lunch because clearly, abbey, museum, museum, cathedral, museum, etc, etc, etc…

Scenario 4 – Somewhere around museum, museum, museum, skip lunch, abbey, museum, I cease speaking to the Country Doctor.

Scenario 5 – I wander away from my family and ‘accidentally’ get lost.

Scenario 6 – I find a little bakery with a nice view of a pretty garden.

Scenario 7 – I stay there for the rest of the vacation.

Scenario 8 – I meet up with my family on the return flight.

Scenario 9 – I get back the six hours I lost on the return flight, but I never lose the twenty pounds I gain at the bakery.

Scenario 10 – Hmmmmm… maybe museum, museum, abbey, museum, skip lunch, museum, museum, is not so bad?

11. Scratch that… I’m finding that bakery.

This story was originally posted on August 25th, 2007 during the construction of our house.

Yesterday, the country doctor and I spent almost an ENTIRE morning together running errands in Manhattan, Kansas. The van needed a repair, so he was forced to pick me up – on his day off – and I then forced him to walk through several furniture stores, pick out paint chips at Sherwin Williams and buy a cup of coffee at Bluestem Bistro, my favorite Manhattan coffee shop.

The Country Doctor does not like to shop…and he likes to buy stuff EVEN LESS. The only thing the man ever purchases with ease are trees. He loves trees. He loves to buy and to plant trees. But everything else – no.

Needless to say, as I drug him from from shop to shop he was basically writhing in agony. He was also practically sweating drops of blood in fear that I might actually BUY SOMETHING. He begged me to allow him to get a cup of coffee at a gas station, but I took him go to a very nice coffee shop instead where he stared in horror as I purchased a latte, a cinnamon roll, AND a piece of baklava along with his large coffee. He watched me from the edge of the shop looking like he wanted to hang himself, while I waited for my latte’. The man is just unbelievably unable to cope with any hint of consumerism – especially hoity toity coffee shop consumerism.

We had this conversation while I waited for my latte’…

Me – I feel like the gap between us is widening.

Country Doctor – Why?

Me – Because, you are not mellowing in your old age. You are becoming an even more pronounced version of yourself… more intolerant to shopping, more intolerant to changes in your routine, and even more intolerant – if that is possible – of hoity toity coffee shops!

Country Doctor – I just have a hard time buying things…

Me – I KNOW!!! The only things you can buy, without going into cardiac arrest, are trees!

Country Doctor- There is a reason for that! You see, furniture should be bought in the future. But trees should only be bought in the past.

Me – What?

Country Doctor – Furniture should be bought in the future because styles are always changing. Trees however, should have been purchased and planted years ago…in the PAST… so that they would already be growing! Not buying trees is a crime!

How can I argue with this logic? We bought nary a stick of furniture that day and as we passed the Garden Center on the way home, we pulled into the parking lot so that the Country Doctor could look at trees for a while and get his tree fix, but we didn’t buy anything. It was too late. We should have bought them in the past.

This story originally ran during on August 19, 2007.  


We were just East of Goodland, Kansas on Interstate 70, when the Country Doctor spied a crop duster flying low over a field of corn. The plane was bright yellow and zooming back and forth across the field. The boys were spellbound.

“Hey boys,” the Country Doctor announced,”you think we could race that plane?”

Now my boys are not idiots, and they have been through this type of scenario with their dad before. Plus, they are being raised in the safety generation… the generation that insists that we tie seven year olds into car seats, refuse to let kids climb trees or run on the playground, and that smoking a cigarette is the same as murdering someone. I remember making ashtrays for art projects in kindergarten!  If my kids knew that – they would have apoplectic seizures.

So when their father suggested racing a crop duster, my boys reacted as proper members of the safety generation…

“No!” they cried.

“Dad!    No!    Don’t do it!” they pleaded.

“Please Dad… NO!” they begged.

But their father ignored their stark white faces and their quaking fear and said, ”HA! I will race that airplane and what’s more – I will BEAT that airplane.”

The speedometer on our minivan rapidly climbed from 65 mph to 95 mph.

The boys were screaming

I was sitting in silence in the passenger seat knowing that there was nothing I could do to make it stop. 

Seconds later – red lights flashed behind us and the Country Doctor pulled the car over to the side of the road.

“Well sir.” said the highway patrol officer, ” you were doing just fine at 65 mph when out of nowhere for no apparent reason – your speed shot up to 95 mph!?!?!?”

“Sorry.” the CD replied.

He did not attempt to explain that he had been racing a crop duster. He did not mention that he was trying to beat an airplane. Some things are just too dumb to say out loud.