Sunday, September 29, 2019


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Give us this day our daily bread or Donnez nous notre pain quotidien. The wooden plate, a vide grenier treasure, plus a loaf of home-made fig bread was the gift from a friend. You will notice I could not wait to take a photo before biting off an end. It has been disappearing quickly.

When I was six living in Bluefield, West Virginia, a bill board featured the Sunbeam Bread girl, whom I thought was the epitome of sophistication. Never mind the bread had the texture of cotton.

My grandmother used to make wonderful bread including Anadama Bread with cornmeal, a family oatmeal bread, johnny cakes,, and plain white bread.  Before putting the loaves in the oven, she would fry small pieces that we would eat with maple syrup.

I never really knew what good store bought bread was until I moved to Europe. Even Randall's bakery in Reading had bread that was cottony.

When I lived in Stuttgart, a bakery was on the ground floor. German brotchen and dark breads were my first discoveries.

Now that I live in Southern France part time when I walk the dog in the early hours, fresh bread cooking smells are considered normal perfume. It makes me forgive the pup for getting me out of bed.

When we buy our bread it is often still warm. Sometimes we have them slice it, other times we prefer it thicker and slice it ourselves. Once it was mainly baguettes available, but now there's many choices, pave, cereal, chestnut flour. Some have hard crusts and are holey. Others are thick. The loaves come round shaped, squares, in baskets, baguettes and twists. All are good with butter, olive oil, honey, jam, cheese or just plain.

When we are home in Switzerland we head for our  favorite boulangerie with a cow out front. They are open seven days a week, 12 hours a day so we never fear not being able to buy their many choices. They also have wonderful fruit tartes and cakes.

So give me my daily bread, fresh from the oven. Every now and then, I will make my grandmother's recipes...when I am really, really lucky, a friend will bring me a loaf of her fig bread.

Saturday, September 28, 2019


September has been bittersweet or maybe sweet bitter.

Friends from all over the world have been visiting and our days and evenings are filled with conversations and activities. We can't go for a loaf of bread or an ice cream without running into people we care about.

Now, one by one, they are returning to their countries: Ireland, England, Scotland, Denmark, US, UK, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, etc.

Most farewells are temporary. Inshallah, they will be back during the next year or so. One is leaving us to return to her roots after a couple of decades in our midst.

Living near the UN alphabet agencies in Geneva, most of my neighbors were there for some years. I had a choice of getting to know them, knowing they would move on. Many locals decided the pain of loss wasn't worth it. I felt that 1-5 years of pleasure was worth the loss. In some cases there is no loss. We remain friends who see each other, not as often. That is - see one another in person. Many are in contact daily, weekly or monthly over Facebook. The format of contact is different, but it is there.

We carry our conversations, laughter, stories, memories with us long after they depart...that is sweet making the bitter forgettable.

Within the next week Rick's and my daughters will be here, albeit for shorter periods than we would like, but time with our children is always sweet. We, ourselves, will head for Edinburgh, a favorite spot and then back to Geneva. Leaving Argelès is bitter, going to Scotland and Switzerland is sweet.

Some of our friends shared as farewell lunch at Château. 
Great food with the vineyards and Med in the background.

Friday, September 27, 2019


The world is a mess.

America has as a head someone mentally incompetent and Britain's PM is buffoon. Israel hasn't been able to form a government and Venezuela and Brazil have major problems. Never mind problems in Poland, Turkey and Philippines. Hong Kong demonstrations make the gillets jaunes in France look mild.

Forest fires, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes (many from fracking) abound.

Flint, MI still has poison water. Much of the earth's drinking water is bad never mind the oil being dumped into the Gulf of Mexico.

Mass shootings are much too regular.

Kids are in cages, Yemen kids are starving and the best spokesman for climate action is a an articulate 16 year old Swedish girl who has a better command of English than some Anglophones.

Just scanning the news is depressing.

Trying to sane and to live a life worth living is hard against this backdrop.

I am one of the blessed ones that are not suffering any of the ills, not through any action on my part but by being born in the right place at the right time and making some good decisions by accident.

I can wake next to my husband and dog. We can cuddle and read (not the dog, he chews on a toy), drink tea.

I can wander down the street for bread still warm from the oven and whatever fresh fruit and veggies. I will pass cafés where I might see friends from France, Ireland, England, Scotland, Denmark, Germany, Sweden and even the US and stop and share a cuppa and conversation.

I will be able to spend the day reading, writing, (no 'rithmetic unless paying bills which I have the money for), being entertained in a variety of ways. Household chores may about the only personal downtime. Oh darn, the dishwasher needs emptying.

When we go home to Geneva, I walk out our door and look at the Jura and Lake Leman. I turn the corner to see the Alps.

In both places the world problems are the same.

I do care about the ills of the world. I've taken on some causes and kid that I should be renamed Donna Quixote. I will never meet the little Swedish girl standard. I try and be a kind neighbor. We share what we can.

The secret is to try and find inner peace and gratitude for all that I have while not doing a ostrich-sand thingie. This balance can be hard to locate. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2019


Not just thread, matching thread.

Sherlock has many toys. He shakes and chews them until there are holes.

I put them into stuffed animal surgery.

I know, he doesn't really care if I heal their wounds with correctly matched thread, but I do.

Monday, September 23, 2019


For years Monday morning meant jumping out of bed, walking the dogs, eating, showering and getting to work. Sometimes it was a bus commute, an hour drive from Boston to the country or a walk down the street.

My attitude might vary. Some jobs I really enjoyed and although I might miss the relaxation of the weekend, I was looking forward to whatever project I was involved in.

One job I began dreading Monday on Thursday. It hung over me all weekend. I did the only sensible thing. I quit. That job was the benchmark against all others for unbearable.

Now in "retirement"* Monday came about six. It included tea in bed, reading next to my husband and cuddling our pup. I did shower and walked down the street to get bread still warm from the wood-fired oven. On the way back, (we are talking a couple of blocks) I stopped for fresh strawberries, potatoes and onions.

On the way I saw my Danish friend who is coming home today and passed mothers and fathers walking their kids to school. Most were chatting animatedly.

My day includes coffee with former neighbors and writing. I will make corn chowder and fruit salad for lunch.

Will go with my husband to his doctor's appointment and then stop at the garden store for a couple of things for the patio.

In between everything I will take reading and/or tea breaks or chat with my husband.

Mondays are great.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Retirada woman

In January 1939 over 100,000 refugees from Spain arrived in Argelès-sur-mer France. The tiny village didn't know what to do with the influx and set up concentration camps on the beach. No one talked about it until about a decade ago when oral histories, photos and stories began to emerge. This history has been captured in a museum and memorials throughout the area, thank goodness.

Fast forward to today. There is a man in Argelès that looks like my dad's twin. When I first mentioned it to him, he put up barriers, but little by little we are now smiley-chatty people. It helped when I showed him a photo of my dad and also when my daughter picked him out of a crowd as looking like her grandfather.

He is usually with a woman that seemed a good deal older. As a cougar myself I thought it might be his wife but it could be his mother. It was nothing I would ask, of course.

Then in a conversation the other day, she revealed she had come up from Spain in February 1939, in the second wave of refugees. That would make her somewhere in her late 70s or early 80s. She would have been too young to talk about the freezing walk over the mountains.

Growing up in America I read about history in many eras, but living here I've met people who experienced it first hand. Llara's German host who lived through the U.S. Bombing of Nürnberg, a co-worker whose mother was grabbed by the Nazis as they walked down the street in Evian are just two examples. The woman was destined for Auschwitz but the war ended before her deportation. I am waiting to be introduced to a man who fought alongside of Dany Cohn-Bendit in 1968 in Paris. That makes history real.

When I can stand in front of the tombs of William the Conqueror, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Elizabeth I, the place where Mary Queen of Scots was crowned, the battle field of Bull Run, the events of the past transcend time.

History should be real to us. As they say those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Justin in Brownface

Justin Trudeau did a dumb thing. The Canadian press is having a field day. Racism does exist in Canada as it does everywhere, but overall the Canadians are not as bad as their southern neighbors. It's a low bar.

Some American politicians wore blackface in their youth. Usually, they were from the south where racism prompted songs like Strange Fruit by Billie Holliday, about black men hung for being black. That is racism to the nth degree.

In the 50s in small town Massachusetts we had minstrel shows. Our racism was not so much as white men and women in black face as not allowing black Celtics star Bill Russell to join town organizations. He was welcomed at the White House but not the local country club.

Maybe it can be argued that little racist actions can morph into major racist actions. Maybe, maybe not. Inconsideration, insensitivity is far different from exclusion or worse murder.

I decry racism in all forms. But I also decry how the press goes on major attacks against politicians for some infringement not just of racism but some stupid thing. Howard Dean's scream was an example. Or Lyndon Johnson pulling his dog's ears. Mention it, yes, but let's deal with more important issues based on actions that actually can help or hurt people. Don't let the smaller issues, however real, drown up the major issues affecting our world.

It's okay to look at the strokes in a painting up close, but step back and look at the painting as a whole.

Friday, September 20, 2019


I do not like boring, computer backs, telephones, etc.

Our gray car has butterflies on it. So easy to spot among the thousands of other gray cars.

My laptop has snowflakes.

My first mobile phone case was a fuzzy Dalmatian dog. It's head, legs and tails stuck out. I try not to use a mobile if I can help it, but I did love walking down the street talking to a stuffed dog.

When I was in high school and everyone had white bucks that tied. Mine were the only pair that zipped.

For years socks were boring. Last year we found some unusual ones. I love the popcorn design (second from left above). Not shown is my Eleanor of Aquitaine socks. Not everyone can wear socks that pays tribute to a powerful Middle Ages Queen, wife and mother of kings, and influential in her own right. I like to think when I wear them, I am more powerful, a bit like a magic cape.

I needed new low boots. On the internet I found a company that made all kinds of non-boring boots. I had wanted an unusual pair since a good friend had found some spectacular non-boring boots in Freiburg when we were on an adventure in Germany.

It isn't because I want to stand out. I want to be able to look at things and think it is pretty or interesting not boring same-old, same-old.

Thursday, September 19, 2019



I much prefer women friends to men friends overall.

If I meet ten women, nine will have the potential of being real friends.

It is different with men. If I meet ten men, one will have the potential to become a real friend, but their friendship could be stronger and more reliable than at least eight of the women friends.

Men and women don't have the same purpose as friends. A masculine point of view is not that of the women and vice versa. There is nothing wrong with that. 

Not to get all Sally met Harry about it, but adding sex to a friendship carries a price usually not worth being paid. It is possible to have friends of the opposite sex without a sexual relationship. Oh, I may look and think a male friend is anywhere from cute to drop dead handsome, but that does

Of course, as a happily married woman that possibility is off the table. And prior to being married, married men were not eligible sexual partners. Many reasons:
  1. I did not want to do to another woman what was done to me...sisterhood
  2. I want to be the main woman, not second best
  3. My good male friends respected the boundaries of the relationship
  4. The faithfulness of my married male friends was one of the attributes I respected.
Woman and men friends are different. The topics discussed may be different too. 

I realized that when I worked with a group of women and one man, I considered him a friend. He got really good at discussing women's topics. Then one day a man was in the office and the subject turned to the Boston Celtics. He grabbed onto that as a drowning man might grab a branch offered from shore. 

Friendship isn't just topics talked about. It is loyalty and consideration.

I just lost one of my good friends although because of distance we haven't seen much of each other. That does not negate the decades of sharing and support. Another is described as the brother I always wanted.

My husband is also a friend with whom I can discuss almost anything. But that doesn't mean we don't deal with friends of our own sex differently. He is the married man that I will sleep with, make love with a reasonable exception to the no married men rule.

An anthropologist friend once said it is not reasonable to expect your spouse to meet all your needs. She added that is what women friend's are for. I think that is true in cross-gender friendship. No one person meets all our needs. Too much pressure. As long as the loyalty, consideration and the cheering of well being is there...we are lucky to have friends...male or female.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Bill Venter 1937-2019

I inherited the artist Bill Venter from Muffy Wheeler, my predecessor at Polaroid Credit Union. I thought since he'd done good work for her, I should give him a chance. Little did I know, not only would we produce some really good materials, we would have decades of friendship.

I'd walk down to his studio, past the caramel-smelling Necco factory. Often we go to lunch after a hunt for his keys. I bought him a locator, but instead of responding to a clap, it went off to a laugh.

We talked about everything. He coached kids' football. One of his three sons, all of whom he adored, went to Boston Latin with my daughter. His boys. Later he would have granddaughters.

When I changed jobs and was working in Maynard, rather than have him spend a couple of hours in the car, he stopped off with projects on his way home.

There was the night my roommates and I served him a Shepherds Pie, only we forgot the meat. Or the night he dropped artwork off during the last episode of Mash. We'd turned the house into the Mash site. Years later he gave me a poster of the Mash crew that went with me to Europe specially framed and originally matted.

My daughter's cat adored him. Pumpkin wouldn't leave him alone. Sometimes she had to settle curling up in his hat.

There was the night my daughter and I were putting together the new microwave table. He speeded up the process considerably (although there was much discussion) and enjoyed the first cocoa nuked in the new machine.

Whenever I came back to Boston from Europe where I'd moved, we would meet up for lunch and catch up. It was as if we'd seen each other a few days before.

When I met my now husband and told him, he said that he'd have to check him out and give his approval. In Cambridge we shared a meal. Fortunately, he gave Rick the okay, and Rick understood why I valued Bill's friendship so much.

Tonight, Facebook carried the message of his death. As a writer I should be able to do better than the cliché "a punch in the stomach" but that's what it felt like.

We were coming to Boston for Christmas, and I hoped to see him. Now I wish I could tell him, how much his passing hurts. He'd tell me not to hurt.

One of the things about aging, is we lose we people care for. I will never get good at it and yes, I can be grateful for having such wonderful people, wonderful men, like Bill in my life.


Our cleaning lady was upset that she broke one our mugs. I wasn't. I buy them from the potter around the corner and she always has them in stock to counter my frequent breakage. Once I even broke a new mug before I'd walked ten steps from the store.

For a crazy moment I thought, maybe I should buy three for a total of eight. Then I thought why? We've never, ever had to use more than six at a time.

We often entertain for breakfast and when we do, we serve coffee we use the 10 Euro demitasse set found at a vide grenier.

Our champagne glasses are six. I love them.

Those two items would be hard to replace. I handle with extra care.

When we entertain large groups say for a tree-decorating or some other reason just to get together, I find pretty paper dishes and napkins (we use cloth for everyday and under four people for dinner or breakfast.)

I do like pretty entertaining, however, there is no way I would ever want my cupboards stocked with dishes I bring in out infrequently. Give me less.

And as for entertaining it is the company, conversation and food that is important.

Monday, September 16, 2019


Sometimes when one hears a song, it stays and replays in your head.

I loved the folk singer / song writer Bob Franke. In the 70s I listened to him sing at coffee university in Harvard Square. I bought a CD and didn't listen to for a few years. The on the trip from Geneva to the south of France, I played the song.

The URL is for the sign "For Real."

The words kept playing in my mind, but not the melody, but the words on what was said between lines. I started thinking more as a writer than a music lover.

The details of the observations revealed how the widow copes. The writer sees the pain.

Death took the husband of a neighbor of mine, on a highway, with a drunk at the wheel. She told me "Keep your clean hands off the laundry he left, and don't tell me you know how I feel." She had a tape that he'd sent her from a Holiday Inn, and she never played it much in the day, But when I heard him say he loved her through the window at night, I just stayed the hell away. 
The same song talks about his relationship with his father. It is easy to imagine how they disagreed during the childhood. 

My father never put his parachute on in the Pacific back in World War Two; He said he'd rather go down in familiar flames than get lost in that endless blue, And some of that blue got into my eyes, and we never stopped fighting that war, Until first understood about endlessness, and I loved him like never before.

He talks about his current relationship with his wife and daughter. 

It's lucky that my daughter got her mother's nose, and just a little of her father's eyes, And we've got just enough love that when the longing takes me, well, it takes me by surprise, And I remember that longing from my highway days, though I never could give it a name; It's lucky I discovered in the nick of time that the woman and the child aren't to blame

He takes the three stories and then goes into his own feelings both good and bad.

For the hole in the middle of a pretty good life, I only face it 'cause it's here to stay: Not my father, nor my mother, nor my daughter, nor my lover, nor the highway made it go away, And there's too much darkness in an endless night to be ashamed of the way I feel. I'll be kind to my loved ones, not forever, but for real. Some say that God is a lover; some say it's an endless void; Some say both, and some say She's angry, and some say just annoyed, But if God felt a hammer in the palm of His hand, then God knows the way we feel; And love lasts forever, forever and for real. Love lasts forever.

As a writer myself, I often use music to start a writing day when I don't use a writing warm up myself.

I have no idea how long at night when I close my eyes at night will Bob Franke's song go through my mind as I fall asleep. Maybe another song will take its place. Maybe it will be a passage from some book I'm reading.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Memory tastes

My husband could have brought me something back from the states such as a bracelet, a ring, etc.

He brought me something far much more precious. Two ears of FRESH corn on the cob and two raisin cinnamon bagels from Dunkin Donuts. He threw in a couple of muffins too.

My idea of corn on the cob is to have the water boiling as it is being picked. The longer the time between picking and eating reduces the wonderfulness.

In Europe we don't have road side stands selling freshly picked corn: local veggies and fruits yes, but not corn.

The last "REAL" corn I had was the very end of the growing season three years ago when we were in New England. Canned corn is as much like the freshly picked U.S. corn as a Elephant is to a Fly. Most of the time I don't even bother.

As for cinnamon raisin bagels, I can get them at Morrison's in Edinburgh, but Scotland is a long way to go for a bagel. I can make them, but they aren't as good as store bought.

So, keep your blitz and bangles. My husband knows what makes me happy beyond reason.

Saturday, September 14, 2019


I joke that I take enough medicine in the morning to consider it breakfast. It's blood pressure, anti-cancer and anti-acids.  You can also add in vitamins and calcium making a total of six to swallow.

Also, it has been years, make that decades, since I've seen one of those horrible-to-open little orange bottles. We don't have children in the house, but in case one visits, I keep the medicines out of child reach.

I don't miss the bottles at all.

I still would like to live a pill free life.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Dog Walk

 Sherlock had a few disappointments on his two-hour walk this morning.

 The seven o'clock church bells were followed by Sherlock kissing me. Normally, Rick would then get up and take him for a walk. Rick is visiting his mom in New York. I dressed quickly.

Outside the sun was still yawning. Sherlock knew where he wanted to go -- the allotments. I followed.

He loves being loose. However, this morning, as we went to the grassy area, just after the vegetable gardens, where he loves to do zoomies, a big black dog was laying there in wait, not to hurt him but to play with him. The dog's head was the size of Sherlock, and he was afraid. The owner did get his pup, and she was a pup, under control and Sherlock could start his zoomies (running in crazy circles).

Part of his ritual with Rick is that at the end of each loop, he gets a treat. His look at my treatless pat was disbelief.

On the walk home there was a gate he could not enter. Then he wanted to use another path, that I suspect Rick takes him on, but I offered a walk along the river. River is a loose term. It is dry most of the year. Sherlock happily trotted along until the embankment by the boules court, decided he wanted to cross the bridge and up the hill toward home.

He did take a left by the boys (L'Hostalet) where we were surprised to see two friends with their son, who is flying back to the UK. Sherlock accepted his compliments.

Once home, I thought he would be tired, but no...I was presented with a toy. About five minutes of playing, he turned around and went to sleep. So did I.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019


Around 3 p.m. (15h) every afternoon I would check the news on the Internet. My office, across and down the street from the Geneva UN, looked on a tree with a bird's nest. The fledglings had flown away to make their own lives.

That day, 9/11, CNN reported that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. I chocked it up to pilot error until a few minutes later, a second plane went through the second tower.

I worked for an international organization that wrote standards. We had over 30 nationalities on our 97-person staff. There were two other Americans, one a man in the next office. I ran next door. Then I took the elevator to the Secretary General's office where his secretary who was a dual American and Swiss, looked up.

Trying to get through to any news organization on the net became almost impossible. The man next door succeeded with the newspaper El Pais. Information was scanty at best, although it was obvious that it was a terrorist attack.

I ran home less than 20 minutes away from the office,  turned on CNN and called back to the office to let my cohorts know what was happening.

I lived in what I called the international ghetto. The apartment complex was so close to the alphabet international organizations that I had not met a native Swiss for the first few years I lived there. Most neighbors worked for those agencies.

Some neighbors had become close friends, but others were of the Bonjour or Bonsoir greeting level. We had a vague ideal of our nationalities other than to be aware they were from every continent. Over the next few days almost every one of them expressed their condolences to me.

On the bus a few days later when I was talking to a friend, a Muslim woman came up to me, and asked if I were American. I said yes. "I am so, so sorry," she said. There were tears in her eyes. She was not the only Muslim who expressed their condolences to me, one nationality, feeling the pain of another nationality.

My neighbor and good friend, a Syrian, had an American staying with her. She could not get home until the travel ban was lifted. It was strange for me NOT to be able to get home. Always, I thought if my daughter or step-mother needed me, all I had to do was cross the park to the airport and get the next plane to Boston.

That Logan, my airport, had become the airport of choice for a terrorist attack did not compute.

There were the revelations over the next few days that the brother of a coworker was in one of the towers. I learned that a friend who worked in New York was safe. An Israeli writer friend had sent her son to New York a week before because she thought he would be safer there. He lived within blocks of the towers. He, too, was okay.

My relationship to the attack was, at best, as an outsider with inside connections.

So many years later, we go on with our normal lives, but their are families in 62 countries for whom the loss was personal and is personal and will always be personal.  9/11 was not a political event for them. If only the hatred that caused the attacks, all attacks, all war would go away.

Here's the list by country of victims.

  1. United States 2,605
  2. United Kingdom 67
  3. Dominican Republic 47
  4. India 41
  5. South Korea 28
  6. Canada 24
  7. Japan 24
  8. Colombia 18
  9. Jamaica 16
  10. Philippines 16
  11. Mexico 15
  12. Trinidad and Tobago 14
  13. Ecuador 13
  14. Australia 11
  15. Germany 11
  16. Italy 10
  17. Bangladesh 6
  18. Ireland 6
  19. Pakistan 6
  20. Poland 6
  21. Israel 5
  22. Peru 5
  23. Portugal 5
  24. Argentina 4
  25. France 4
  26. Lebanon 4
  27. Romania 4
  28. Brazil 3
  29. Ethiopia 3
  30. Guyana 3
  31. Malaysia 3
  32. Bermuda 2
  33. China 2
  34. D.R. Congo 2
  35. El Salvador 2
  36. FR Yugoslavia 2
  37. Ghana 2
  38. Haiti 2
  39. Hong Kong 2
  40. Jordan 2
  41. New Zealand 2
  42. Paraguay 2
  43. South Africa 2
  44. Sweden 2
  45. Switzerland 2
  46. Belarus 1
  47. Belgium 1
  48. Chile 1
  49. Honduras 1
  50. Indonesia 1
  51. Ivory Coast 1
  52. Kenya 1
  53. Lithuania 1
  54. Moldova 1
  55. Netherlands 1
  56. Nigeria 1
  57. Russia 1
  58. Spain 1
  59. Taiwan 1
  60. Ukraine 1
  61. Uzbekistan 1
  62. Venezuela 1

Friday, September 06, 2019

He's back

Friends joke we are the most romantic couple in Argelès, although now there is a rival couple. Considering how much I like the woman and how pleased I am that she has found happiness, we will happily share the title.

We were in danger of losing the title not for any bad thing.

Although allegedly retired, Rick has many clients for projects he enjoys. Unfortunately several major projects all came due about the same time leaving him strapped for time. I wanted to support him the best I could. This is not to say, that it was bad. It was different for reasons beyond our control.

I am jealous of his ability to concentrate. I imagine when he's involved and I'd warn him that the world was ending, he would barely look up. I suspect he would still be working as the world lay crumbled at his feet. Sometimes a leaf against my office window will distract me. If he could give me a concentration transfusion, I'd hold my arm out in a second, I don't care how hard it is to find my veins.

When I break through he is almost all there with me. His attention when I had an emergency room (I'm fine) to the hospital was there. I feel badly I delayed his projects, but we did have books to read and time to talk and even laugh.

And he kept the romantic feeling more than alive when he and our florist appeared with this bouquet.

He met his deadlines a couple of days ago.

His next project was/is to visit his mother in the States, something, I encouraged with all my heart and soul. It made sense that I stay home with the dog, my decision. Yesterday, I hugged him goodbye as he left for the Barcelona airport.

Last night he returned just a few hours later. His flight had been cancelled, and he drove the two hours back home. He has rebooked for next week.

The morning I realized that without the pressure of deadlines, the old line of communication is there again. We shared a breakfast at LaNoisette. We chat as we did before the pressure.

It is hard to explain exactly the difference. I certainly don't want to be 100% in his mind or have him 100% in mine. I like that we each have independent interests, some of which we share verbally. If he ever gave up even one golf game because of me, I would be upset. His passion and ideas make me as happy if not happier than they do him.

In a couple it is impossible to have the same level of romance as when they are first together. Life becomes reality. Each person sees each not at their best. There's nothing romantic about watching your loved partner vomit or even stagger back from the bathroom at 3 a.m. Daily chores, unforeseen problems crop up and need to be dealt with. Certainly not as much fun as a romantic dinner, a play or even a walk holding hands but part of the building blocks in a marriage.

What is much better is the comfort of rolling over in bed and the sense of security that he's breathing, to be able to touch him and know all is right in my world (in today's crazy world all's right with the world is impossible).

After being happily single for over 40 years, it still amazes me some six years on, that I can connect to this man, the way I do. That he connects back is almost an electric current. Or maybe he connects and I respond. I don't understand the bond, but I celebrate it.

If this blog sounds like a complaint it is not. It is an observation.

I laid down to read and fell asleep a little while ago. When I woke, he had a box of memories he'd found some dating back to his childhood and he showed them to me. Those few moments on connectedness meant more to me than a jewel.

Monday, September 02, 2019

Clean underwear

My grandmother, a very proper Victorian lady told me to always wear clean underwear in case I met Rock Hudson. That always confused me, because she also told me how to keep a boy from touching me when we danced And I doubt even if someone said Rock was gay, she would have understood.

Most of my friends were told to always have clean underwear in case they went to the hospital.

The other day I went to the hospital, but I was still in my PJs, a very pretty pair given to me by a friend as a joke. We were planning a PJ coffee hour sometime.

The PJs could be mistaken for regular slacks worn in this beach town and the top was like any plain black t-shirt.

My underpants were brand new.

Before the medics put me in the ambulance I put on my sneakers. Thus I looked as if I could walk through the village.

Some nine hours later, I left the hospital with no medical problems and dressed properly in a way that would have pleased my mother and grandmother, Rock Hudson not withstanding.

Sunday, September 01, 2019

French village life

We have a vacation home on a tiny street in a French village. We know our neighbors both permanent and holiday.

Thursday, I was rushed to the hospital with chest pains (it was not heart). The SAMU (emergency team) arrived and took me by ambulance to the hospital. At the end of our street, our neighbor Chrissie watched.

Husband Rick went around the corner to Chez Elisabeth, the green grocer, and asked her to contact friend Lydia to walk and feed dog Sherlock.

Some nine hours later I was home with a clean bill of health.

Here's where the community comes in. The marché had been set up. Naturally Elisabeth wanted to know how I was but so did Rosemarie, Julie, Franck, Arnaud and about everyone else I passed. Keeping secrets, not that I wanted to, would not be easy.

It is lovely that people care. I kept apologizing that I had worried them.

Being part of a community makes life much, much better.