Paris in the Springtime

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PARIS – It makes me happy to feel how quickly my brain brings French to the front when I arrive here. Suddenly, seeing something, the thought forms in my mind of the word in French, or an exclamation pops out, without my thinking. The nice man pushing my wheelchair at de Gaulle airport, when I said in French that I didn’t consider myself a tourist, said reassuringly, “Ah, non. Vous êtes à la maison!” (“You’re home!”)


I’m contentedly resting, reading (another Ann Bridge), looking At Hester’s Facebook posts. It’s 5:25 here, a bit rainy outside. Busy trains going by steadily. We came home from à long wonderful day about 4; Hes went out and bought me supper makings, had a little rest, and has taken off to go to the Pompidou and have supper out. It’s open till 9.

We went from the Rodin Museum to St. Sulpice where we happened on the obsèques for a nun, and then coming home emerged from the Metro to find the entire Denfert-Rochereau place empty, all the streets but one going out of it cordoned off, police everywhere. La “manifestation” came in AT the far side from us as we scooted down our street, hearing all the shouting and booms behind us. According to the TV News Hester saw in a cafe two hours later, it was still going on.

There were lovely Cambodian dancers practicing in the bandstand in the J. De Lux. when we were there.

13263704_10205948056132846_3567263612556374399_nFrom Hester
To Rodin’s home, now museum today. Form and posture of his figures so powerful and moving. Lunch in the gardens, bread, cheese, cucumber, ham and wine. Mum did some sketching in her journal. Then a long walk through narrow and increasingly chic streets until we came to St. Sulpice cathedral where we rested while listening to organ and choral music accompanying the funeral of a beloved Nun. Getting off the metro in our neighborhood we came up into a forming “manifestation” (protest march) with closed streets and heavy police presence. We did not get swept up. All’s well.

Hester and I make a good combination as travelers, it turns out. We have taken Métro trains all day, to St. Denis and back, visiting an old friend, who has a sweet Norfolk terrier named Teddy. Between my experience and Hester’s sharp eyes and agility, We arrived just when we said we would.

Upon Arrival Sunday

Chères amies! We are here, ensconced in our sweet little studio apartment with a nice maple tree right outside the window. We even managed to get a good night’s sleep although the seats were not spacious. The RER train quit half way between Charles de Gaulle Airport and Paris, so we and about a hundred other people waited for a while. Finally Hester called from a pharmacie down the street, got us a taxi which we shared with a young man we’d met who was going right where we were, and here we are.

Readying – Friday Before Departure
There are some good reasons to keep on with normal life right up to the day of departure on an unusual journey. Yesterday, our “writing in the outdoors” class spent the morning at the beautiful Leach Botanical Garden, a garden I’d always wanted to see. It lies on some wooded hillsides over a stream, far at the other side of Portland from our house, and somehow we’ve never managed to get there. They did say they’ve recently put up new, good signage, and others who’ve lived in the city for years, not knowing of it, have recently discovered it apparently.
Whatever the case, and partly because our son and friends came for a picnic (his college roommate and his wife, in town for a conference,) I didn’t start to pack until the afternoon before our departure: our daughter Hester and I heading for a week in Paris, just the two of us.

One thought on “Paris in the Springtime

  1. oh a mother-daughter trip to Paris!!!!!! What fun!!! ENJOY and I’ll enjoy thinking of you…
    Margaret, now a third time grandmother to little Daphne Stathopoulos Goldberg, one week old today! George and I are in Santa Clara.


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