Alternate reality no. 1*

I live in the English countryside in a farmhouse. I have an old fashioned bike (with a basket on the front) that I ride into the nearby village on nice days. I have several animals (dog, cat, cow, chickens) but the details are hazy so I must not take care of all the grueling chores--just enjoy them and pet them and leave the milking and mucking to a helper named...Fergus (hey--it's my alternate reality!). I have a huge scrubbed pine table in my kitchen and a red Aga stove and a dutch door to the garden that is painted blue. I am a writer and artist but not struggling--I do just fine, thank you very much. I live alone but have hilarious and lovely friends throughout the village who stop by (popping their heads through the top of the dutch door of course!) sometimes for a chat. My social world is small but, very Austen-like, it is filled with characters and relationship intrigue so it feels plenty full.

I have time to notice details: the slant of a beam of light, the slow progress of a flower's blooming season, the sound of different times of the day. I have time to listen and do it well. I have a wicked sense of humor and act in the local Gilbert and Sullivan productions. I read a lot. I sleep in if I want.

Basically, I guess I am Beatrix Potter of the 21st century. Kind of corny, I know.

How this shows up in my actual reality: I just bought a red cruiser bike with a basket.

*I am content with my life. Really, I am. I helped to create the life we are living here in Boston, made many of the decisions that placed me here with G. and three kids, doing what we do, where we do it. I love it. But that doesn't stop me from wondering what if..., along the lines of the movie Sliding Doors (remember that great short haircut Gwyneth had? I tried to copy it but it didn't turn out the same). Let's just say there are parallel possibilities in my head...different ways I would try out living if I had the chance, questions about where the road would have led if I made different decisions here and there. Maybe I'll let them loose now and then by describing them here. But let me just make clear that I am happy with the one I have...did I already say that?