And then Cindy, my brother's dog, put his head on my lap. I would have jumped but I would have fell out of the jeep. So I sat there in shock and held in fear. A dog on my lap. Wonders never cease!
My mother searches for antiques for her shop in nearby and distant shops though out northern California. I love the hunt, especially with my mom. My mother loves rustic, country pieces, and well I like most everything... and none of it will fit in my suitcase which is a good good good thing, France nor I need another antique.
Out of nowhere, least expected this comes along reminding me that French Husband is nearby in spirit. A teddy bear in a window peeks out worn and true, his smile makes me smile.
Those of you who read my blog know that French Husband has a soft spot for old loved stuffed toys.
Thousands of miles away and yet right in front of me there he is...
his love, his smile.
Ah so good.
A symbolic peek a boo fo sorts.
A few days after I left France for California to visit my family, French Husband set off on his motorcycle to explore in solitude the Pyrenees.
Tent, backpack and a few other things...
He sent these photos.
I can tell by that smile he found what he was looking for:
Peace of heart and mind.
Solitude in the wilderness.
Pathways that have lead to now.
Trails that let you rediscover yourself.
Earth, wind, fire... an evening sky, the heavens above, the stars that talk of somewhere, somehow and allow your dreams to float without question... A place where the space does not crowd you.
Today “le 14 Juillet" is brought to you by David + World Blog. You gotta know this guy. If you want to learn more about France follow his blog, or click here: Ask a French Man.
David + World wrote,
"I guess that July 14th is the perfect day to tell you a little bit about Bastille Day, especially because there are a lot of misconceptions about it in the English speaking world, or rather about how Bastille Day is celebrated in France.
So, here are a few debunked misconceptions, details revealed, traditions explained (or not).
Every Monday since the first grandchild was born twenty five years ago, my mom has made Monday a day for her grandchildren, and dinner for the entire family.
The grandchildren help... and play, and hang out, and eat homemade cookies hot from the oven.
I love Mondays.
Cooking lessons full on.
Home sweet home.
Last October I mentioned to my brother Zane that if I had a daughter who was a teen, who adored her cousins as sisters, and who LOVED One Direction as they do ... Well I said as a cheerleader, "How often does a boy band come along the rocks the teen world for five straight years and during the same time you have a teen-aged daughter and nieces? You should buy tickets and be the Hero Dad/Uncle."
And he did.
He bought enough tickets for all the nieces plus me! In the end our niece Marie had already a ticket so she went with a friend. Chelsea could not come, as she is coming in October for my mother's birthday. So my brother Zane gave the extra ticket to our brother Mat (with one T).
We left for the concert around noon, drove three and a half hours to One Direction's Concert the music blasting in the car. My nieces had barely slept the night before, the excitement was so great. I woke up three times as I had dreams I misplaced the tickets.
"I have waited for this my whole life."
"What will I have to look forward tomorrow?"
"I have butterflies in my stomach."
"This is the best day ever."
"I am one in a million fans, and yet I feel special."
What I saw:
Forty-nine thousand girls with beautifully coiffed long hair, smiles a thousand miles long, giddiness galore and maybe one thousand guys, their bathroom line was non-exist.
The band was easy going, likeable, young, delightful and aware of their fans and gratefully humble.
I admired them.
I was in a love feast, a wave of unbelievable energy.
At the end as we walked back to the car and listened to One Direction's music until the girls were fast asleep, my brother Zane said, "I would go again." Now that is music to the heart.
Colorful bouquet of friendship, my cousin grows it abundantly, she waters it with her steadfast love, effortless is her giving. I am blessed an hundredfold by her generous spirit.
Her kindness is bountiful, her encouragement overflowing, she bags up sunshine that brightens my way. My hands come in empty, my heart leaves full.
This is Judy my cousin, who is an angel. Who shows me the path to loving kindness in her every move.
photo: Zinnias from Judy's garden.
I have been fortunate, very fortunate to have such kind, generous, thoughtful, loving, all good things, including smart, pretty, fun holy, good cooks, seamstress, artists and all around wonderful genuine friend, well actually angels in the blogging hemisphere... that I am certain I am a better person because of you.
Thank you each and everyone of you for everything you had given me by your friendship. I am eternally grateful. xxx
The latest of kindnesses came from Lana who picked me up at the airport with her husband Steve and cousin Hoover (who lives in Willows!), then took me to dinner and drove me home.
When I arrive home the first thing I do is kiss my mom, and admire the home she has always carefully created.
Then I eat a cookie because my mom always has homemade cookies in the house.
And usually I eat a burrito too.
But this time, there is a new first, a new thing I have to tend to other than the above mentioned...
The reason I came home in July is that my brother Zane bought tickets for all of the girl cousins to go see "One Direction".
My list to do:
And as my nieces have been doing for weeks now, sending me "snaps" of possible outfits that they are going to wear to their favorite boy band ever... I gotta decide what to wear!
I am thirteen you know.
AND the concert is tomorrow!!! Can you hear me screaming.
Thank you for bearing with me. Between Annie's death, friends and family visiting, preparing to leave for California to see my family, I haven't had the head space to think straight.
The backside of a rose is also lovely.
I hope to start writing soon.
Repost from 2007
Yesterday I called home to confirm to my parents our flight information. My little nieces and nephew where there. I had already bought gifts to bring for them, but I thought I'd ask them anyway what they might like me to bring for them.
Chelsea shook her head, "Mom, why did you ask them what they wanted? When are you going to find the time to buy these things. What if you don't find what they want? Mom, you do remember we leave tomorrow?"
My daughter thinks before she acts. I've said many times before, tha she should have been the Mom and I the kid.
My niece Gina (8)
simply asked for a fancy doll to put on her bedroom shelf.
"As in breakable?" I asked. I love carry-ons. Especially fragile, odd shape ones.
Gina told me that Marie (8) wasn't there to say what she wanted.
I asked her if she had any ideas. Gina offered, "Sure I do, Clothes! Something sweet and pink. But not fou fou Aunt CoCo."
"Pink and not fou fou? Pink and yet not girly?" I asked nervously.
"Yeah pink and pretty, but not girly." I could see her pink cheeks glowing, "Oh that is easy like a pink tee-shirt?"
Gina replied, "Oh no that is boring."
I am doomed.
Next came May-May (6),
she told me she wanted a horse.
"A HORSE! How am I going to stuff a real horse in my suitcase?" She reassured me, "Silly Aunt CoCo. It doesn't have to be real horse. Just soft and blue."
"Soft and blue."
George (4) my Godchild, asked for Spider Man. "Hum. That is going to be a challenge. Tell me if I can't find Spider Man, will Superman, or Snoopy, or Mickey Mouse do the job?"
"No not really." He replied. "I like Spider Man."
Hum, Chelsea was right.
Molly (4) thought the longest. After awhile she said, "I cannot make up my mind. I'm going to tell you two things and you can surprise me. I'd like a seashell and Jesus."
Oh God help me. We leave today.
Every time I prepare to return to Willows were I grew up and my family still lives I recall this memory.
I forgot to mention in yesterday photos of Chelsea and Mr. Espresso, that Alice, my Australian friend's daughter is in France. Alice is doing an internship in Paris. She arrived three days ago and will stay four months.
This afternoon we had lemonade, instead of taking a photo of her, I took a photo of the lemonade... I tell you I am kind of a ding dong these days.
photo by my friend Leigh Elliot
I went to your house today.
And stood amongst everything that was you
I can hardly think of you without crying,
so I try not to think of you,
though there I was in your house...
Your loving son told me I could take something of yours.
I took your yellow tin sewing box that had the scissors I use to cut your hair with, also your beret and your house key, that you gave me years ago.