Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Nearly three weeks home and I still feel a peaceful distraction when I think of my time in France. That feeling doesn't usually last this long and that's just one of the many things for which I'm grateful. Regardless of my work environment, I still have two paychecks; a comfortable and safe home; my mobility; and my family. Oh, there are things that annoy me, plenty of them. This morning our two mini-macaws began to screech; I reminded them that today is roasted bird day. They stared back, perhaps considering.

No wishes today, only thanks. Many thanks.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Return. Me: 2/8, Dallas: 2-7

There were no new responses in my mailbox when I got home, over a week ago, and none since. I’m still at 2/8; same as when I left for France.

All last week my coworkers (those who’d counted the days until my departure for France) said my face showed a peaceful distance, despite the turmoil I felt inside, returning to perform the work of three people with just one body and mind.

Pressured once again with deadlines that feel like threats (by those who weren’t counting down the time to my departure) I’m pleased that at least some people see the peace I acquired on the trip, although I’m once again beginning to lose sleep, not from familiar jet lag but from the familiar pressure.

At 2/7 I wonder what my Dallas Cowboys feel. Talk about pressure.

This is a first, as far as my experience with agent responses – nearly four months and still 6 SASEs outstanding? Part of me wants to jump ahead and re-evaluate; yet, for now I’ll remain patient and continue to feel that peace I acquired in France, for however long it lasts.

Until next time, beloved France!

- PJ

Friday, November 5, 2010

Wrapping it up

The Chateau tour was to be all in French; my friend, travel companion, and translator wasn’t present; and the girl in the tourism office didn’t know if video or pictures were allowed. So I didn’t go. Instead I wandered the village, in the Provence sunshine.

Goodbye, Luberon.

November 1: Hello, rainy Cote d’Azur. Weather forecasters said they were “optimistic” for the following day. All Saints Day, however, is never a good time to try to shop or dine in France or Italy -- much is closed. Afraid to lose our hotel parking space, we walked heavy rain in search of dinner, about 2 1/2 miles round trip, with leaky umbrellas. The kind owner of a bar that was serving only drinks offered to make us two ham sandwiches before he closed, saying they’d “calm our hunger.” Back at the hotel we wrung our socks in the bathtub, skipped the hotel restaurant and raided the gift bag – items we purchased to take home to friends. Voila! Appetizer: California pistachio nuts we’d brought with us to give as gifts. Main course: “Pot au Feu” bouillon cubes from Paris and sesame toast from the Luberon. Aha! Candied fruit from Apt for dessert and then….I felt like I’d eaten a plate of appetizers. I didn’t want dinner but I wasn’t satisfied either. My bad mood returned, so I opened the window and listened to the ocean.

Weather forecasters were correct: the following day was "optimistic" and the next was clear blue skies.

Now back in Paris for a day, we return home to Los Angeles tomorrow.

Last count for agent responses to Half Italian was 2/8; what’ll be in my mailbox when I return tomorrow night?

- PJ