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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Lovely Cabin in the Mountains of Belgium

My brother and I are just a little over a year apart. Until we were about 10 or so, we were basically the same height, the same weight -- there was even a brief time in there where I could beat him arm-wrestling.

He will deny it.

Don’t listen to him.

And while my brother has the ability to make me swear in imaginary languages until I'm red in the face, he also has a way of making me laugh until I go weak and have to cover my face for fear of frightening the pets, whereupon I am forced to regain my strength and assume a defensive posture, as next will come him sitting on me and offering to tickle me until I pee my pants.

We don't do that (much) anymore, by the way.

At one time our favorite argument involved what to do if we were required to go into hiding. Looking back, it may have had to do with the continual moving we did as children -- did we see ourselves as refugees? Dad said we moved a lot because it was harder to hit a moving target, but that was just clever talk for "there must be something better over there"; and we moved on a yearly -- and sometime half-yearly -- basis.

Kevin swore that we could always hide in the mountains. Never mind that we were born and raised in Minnesota. He was sure there was mountains around here someplace.

"What if there aren't any mountains?" I would say.

"Every country has mountains," he would say, dismissively. "You have to have mountains if you're a country."

I wasn't so sure about this, but hey! at eight years of age, it did make a kind of sense. As the years went by and our knowledge of the world grew, however, we developed grave concerns over where we would hide should we inexplicably find ourselves in, say, Belgium.

Kevin was sure that, somewhere in Belgium, there was a hidden mountain range.

To this day, we have this argument, although he now asserts that there was never such a discussion, that he was just pulling my leg.

I know better.

And if I ever go missing, you'll know where I am: I'm in the mountains.

In Belgium.

30 comments:

powdergirl said...

When you're in Belgium, will you become Belgian? Or will you be Belgish? My neighbor lady is from Belgium and I like to think of her as Belgish. I don;t know why.
"You have to have mountains if you're a country." My kinda logic.

Pearl said...

powdergirl, I shall remain Minnesotan, clinging to my heritage and plastering my vehicle of choice with American flag stickers.

:-)

I do like the sound of "Belgish", though. Hmm. You've given me something to think about.

Magpie said...

There is a whimsical charm about this. What other countries might have no mountains?

Jude said...

Now I'll be wondering about mountains and such :)

Symdaddy said...

Pearly, my dear, In 1981 I went skiing on a Belgium mountain.

The locals called it a mountain ... we called it an upturned b-cup!

Pearl said...

Magpie, thank you. And hmm. Does Ireland have mountains? I can't think of any. The UK? Egypt?

Jude, have a beer with my brother. He'll fill your head with questions for DAYS. :-)

Symdaddy, :-) Very funny!

Kate said...

Oh, I'm totally hiding at Gooseberry Falls. Well - that's always been the plan if the world was coming to an end. I'd go there. I made that plan when I was eight.

a Broad said...

Hmmm.. my son worked for a band that did all the European Music festivals and we were always hosting some nice young person from another country when he would return.
One year it was The Girl from Belgium. Actually, she was the only one I did not like. I think she lived Under the Mountain :(

Sam Liu said...

Ahh Belgium...I've never been there myself, but I have heard a lot about it. And the things I usually hear have been, how shall I say this...not entirely pleasant. It just seems to have nothing, even the mountains are less than extraordinary. But I'm sure it's a delightful place, and, hey, if nothing else - they make great chocolate, so you shan't go hungry whilst in hiding!

Sarah said...

Make sure you stock up on chocolates when hiding in Belgium mountain. They don't have much other stuff right?

Sweet Cheeks said...

How could the people that make such great waffles not have a mountain?

If I were looking for a mountain in a foreign land, I'd listen for yodeling. People always yodel in the mountains...that's how you can tell where they are.
=]

Sharon Longworth said...

I always run away in my head to a cottage in the woods - don't know which cottage or which woods, but it always seems like a good idea.
And as for countries with no mountains - I think Holland (The Netherlands)is the flattest place I can think of.

Kelley said...

I love that you have a brother you love so much! There is nothing quite like a sibling relationship- a close sibling relationship. I love my sister so, so much! I am sure it is lots o' fun being around you and your brother in a mountain range in Belgium or anywhere!

Jon in France said...

Holland indeed has no mountains. I can vouch for that. The UK and Ireland certainly do have mountains, as does (incidently) France.

Belgium has some quite nice hills, but mountain is stretching it. A lot.

A common Dutch surname is Vandenberg, which means "from the mountain." I'm not sure if they are being ironic or if they are just baffled.

The Vegetable Assassin said...

Belgium is quite hilly in parts, if not quite mountainous. I think the Netherlands have a treaty saying no one can put a mountain on their land because bikes have trouble with mountains and so do wooden shoes...

I'm from Scotland originally and we have great mountains to hide in. And easy access to whisky.

Vintage Christine said...

Way down here in southern Mississippi we ain't go no mountains and hardly any hills, but we DO have some fine swamps to hide in! Lucky me, I had three younger sisters that I got to beat up every so often, at least until they tattled on me and then of course I got the wooden spoon across my butt. You'd think we'd learn . . .

KleinsteMotte said...

Why Belgium? Does it have the best hiding places?? I think they have some hidden hi tech joints but who wants to be nearby? Risky.. Or maybe the chocolatiers are of interest? charlie did find an amazing factory but not in Belgium.

GYPSYWOMAN said...

as the child of a wandering father myself, i come by my gypsy blood and wanderlust genetically i am sure - although there are no historical records of our family ever having been part of a real caravan - or a camel train - however, my wanderlust continues and i cherish it - your brother-stories remind me so much of my own brother-stories with my younger brother [who is no longer with us here] - one day when i am of sound mind [at least sounder than i am at the moment] i will share a few of those brother-stories with you as i am sure you would truly appreciate - in the meantime, thank you so much for your own beautiful brother-story which made my heart smile! ;)

and although i am "away" from blogland for a while, i could not resist visiting your special place here where smiles are in the waiting! :)

Gigi said...

Pearl if you are going to hide in the mountains I hear the Appalachian Mountains are the place to do so successfully. The perks? You get to stay in the USA and you are only a couple hours from me! The cons? Well, it IS the Appalachians..... ;-)

Kevin Musgrove said...

One of my friends has joined the Lincolnshire Mountain Rescue Service. Lincolnshire makes Holland look like the Himalayas. His brother-in-law is chairman of the RNLI (the charity that runs our national lifeboat service) in his town forty miles from the sea.

HumorSmith said...

Well, the longest hill climb begins with the first step(brother), so perhaps there's another sibling in your future. I'm just sayin'.

Herding Cats said...

Hey, that's not a bad place to be!

Cloudia said...

Hit those heights!




Warm Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral

Tempo said...

Clearly...your brother has not been to South Australia. If the world comes to an end there will be a few VERY crowded mountains hereabouts... I'll save you a few spaces Pearl.

Symdaddy said...

I think you think I was joking about skiing in Belgium.

Nope!

We actually found a hill! So did about 300 other people, so the snow was a very short-lived thing. It mushed-up pretty badly after only a few hours.

lgsquirrel said...

Belgium is a wonderful place to be if you have to hide somewhere. No mountains but lots of beautiful dark forests .....and delicious dark chocolates for passing the time. Oh and did I forget to mention the dark beer?

Irisheyes said...

I think I am just going to build a shelter by hand with some scrap materials I recently found in the garage. I will build it directly below my house with an underground walkway that leads to Caribou Coffee. If that doesn't work, I'll track down Tempo in South Australia. Save me a space too!!

A girl needs 2 Talk said...

:D :D This is cute! I like this kid-talk post!!

gayle said...

You are very lucky to have had such a fun relationship with your brother!!

Ann Imig said...

I love this post. My brother and I looked like twins for a time--in toughskin jeans, satin "Wisconsin" jackets, docksiders, and medium length hair.

Of course it was always "Who are your boys?" or "What are your girls names?" leaving one of us mortified.