Thursday, December 31, 2015

Quelque chose cette semaine (Something this week) part 4

In which I share a short snippet each week throughout 2015

WEEK #52 (24-30 dec)

There are a dozen definitions of the word grace in The Free Dictionary by Farlex. For this final post of the 2015 edition of "Quelque chose cette semaine — something this week," I choose this meaning: 

A disposition to be generous or helpful; goodwill. 

The past year has included some alarming events. For me, the deterioration of the political discourse in the United States may be the most discouraging trend of all. There seems to be nothing but hate spewing from the mouths of those on the right. There is no hope, compassion or peace in what they say. No goodwill. No grace.

I am not pessimistic enough to think that they will win the presidency, but the majority the Republicans hold in congress and in many states, is terrifying. (I am not scared of Isis or immigrants, Mr. Trump, Mr. Cruz, Mr. Rubio, et al. I am scared of racism, sexism, religious fervor, climate change, ignorance, hypocracy ...).

I resolve to show a little more grace this year. And lose 10 pounds. Bonne année et bonne santé à tous!

We find a little grace on a Christmas Day hike in Monbahus.

WEEK #51 (17-23 dec)

It's been surprisingly busy for this time of year. We took our friends to the airport in Limoges and hosted two dinner parties. The days have been unseasonably warm and we try to walk or ride bikes (well, I ride) each day. The fields are plowed and ready for spring planting providing a different kind of landscape. On this day, the field provides a canvas for a shadow selfie.

Un baiser à la campagne

WEEK #50 (10-16 dec)

Well, we're good for another year in France. After picking up our visas in Agen, we head south and visit four villages in three departments in five hours. The village of Auvillar in the Tarn-et-Garonne dept. is described as "small but perfectly formed/" A haven for the arts in the summertime, it is nearly deserted on this late autumn afternoon. 

Christmas decorations and this little sentinel on a brick building in Auvillar

WEEK #49 (3-9 dec)

First week back in France and I have a new friend: a fellow writer, cyclist and North American who is house-sitting for les canadiens. We took at late-afternoon ride to Serignac-Peboudou and were greeted by a brand-new colorful mural. One of the villagers stopped and explained the significance of each panel. 

Une vache
Récolte des prunes

Un résident de notable

WEEK #48 (26 nov - 2 dec)

Our last week in the U.S. and we celebrate my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, with the family in Windsor, Calif. I have taught myself to knit this past year so I am delighted to give scarves to each of mes six belles-soeurs.

I'm grateful for my sisters-in-law Janet, Mary, Karen, (me) and
Lesia. (Janine and Chaaibia weren't there but received a
une écharpe anyway.) 

WEEK #47 (19-25 nov)

There could be nothing I want more than to spend my birthday with my most favorite three men. The youngest accompanies me on a walk through the Wilbur D. May Aboretum at Rancho San Rafael Park in Reno, Nev.

WEEK #46 (12-18 nov)

Ken and I visit the place where it all began ... for him and for us. He grew up in Sausalito, perhaps one of the most beautiful towns in the U.S. I lived there and met him in the 1980s. 

The Sausalito seal, with San Francisco in the background.
The next day, we hike out to Tennessee Valley where Ken's grandparents used to live, and beyond to the Pacific Ocean. Our guides are Ken's sister Karen and her husband Jack.

Ken, Jack and Karen, "the Mod Squad."

WEEK #45 (5-11 nov)

We've left France for a month long visit to the U.S. This is the view from just up the street where our sons live in Sparks, Nevada:

And this is the amazing macaroni-and-cheese (made with Irish cheddar, truffle oil and apple-smoked bacon, which our dear friend Chef made for us:

WEEK #44 (29 oct - 4 nov)

Bonbons et carrottes for these trick-or-treaters.

WEEK #43 (22-28 oct)

It's citrouille season. On Sunday we checked out the market in Issigeac. Lots of people, lots of pumpkins. Wonder if we have enough Halloween candy on hand; last year we nearly ran out. Costumed kids who knock on our door here tend to say "des bonbons, s'il vous plaît" and are confused/amused when we say "trick-or-treat."

Une personne fait des citrouilles et des courges at market in Issigeac

WEEK #42 (15-21 oct)

Two highlights of this week: We renewed our visas in Agen — an annual event. On Saturday we went to Toulouse for a short visit with a couple of Ken's old Sausalito friends.

Ken enjoyed spending time with some old and new friends from California
in Toulouse.
J'adore this sign outside an Agen disco.

WEEK #41 (8-14 oct)

Feeling fallish.

Autumn colors in Castelmoron-sur-Lot

WEEK #40 (1-7 oct)

Maybe it's my ankle that's making me "crane-key," or maybe it's this huge monstrosity that has been parked in the middle of downtown Lauzun for nearly a year. Quel dommage!

There's no good excuse for our beautiful little village's
rue principale to look like this.

I've been publishing quelque chose chaque semaine (something each week). See Part 3 here.

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