It has taken longer than I imagined it would to get this blog going, but ta da! Here we are!
SEEING RED. I wrote the last post a month ago, and I’m happy to report that the poppies have been eye-popping this spring. I’ve never seen anything like this show they’ve been giving us, and it just keeps going. We have had a rainy and cool spring, and the poppies appear to be quite pleased about that. A short distance from Bize, there’s a field that I drive past nearly every day. It has looked like this for about three weeks:
The flowers around here are bursting forth in an ecstatic springtime dance.
It began quietly enough in January, when tiny blooms began to appear on the wild rosemary bushes that dot the hillsides near where I live. This was good timing: I’ve learned that an infusion made with sprigs of rosemary—especially when there are flowers—is beneficial for the respiratory system, and about half the town had the flu this winter. And beyond that useful tidbit, the lovely periwinkle flowers brightened the landscape through the grey, windy days of winter.
I grew up in Reno, Nevada, home to deep blue skies, over 300 mountain ranges, and legal gambling. My childhood was dotted with the special family dinners when my grandparents would take us out to eat in casinos. This was back in a time when casino owners were local businessmen, usually well-known in the community, and my grandparents knew a few of them.
We played Keno during dinner. (I don’t even know if this still goes on; maybe someone from Reno can tell me.) Every table had a centerpiece holding blank Keno tickets and thick black crayons. Each of us would take a ticket and mark our numbers, then we’d watch the electronic Keno boards that were mounted throughout the dining room, and compare the official numbers with those on our tickets.
I never saw anyone actually place a bet. We did it for entertainment, and probably to keep us kids busy; during the course of one dinner, there were several rounds of the game. And that was Keno, in Reno, in the olden days.
I had another “does this guy know me?” moment the other day, when my daily email missive from Brian Andreas had this to say:
That thing you want to do with your whole heart? Yeah, go do it. That thing you kinda want to do if it ever works out? Let it go. Free your mind for something great.
I’m relaxing on my last night with my friends Sophie and François; they’ve hosted me in Nice and Antibes so graciously for nearly a week. Tomorrow I set off on a new piece of this adventure: I have leased a car for four months, and I’ll be picking it up tomorrow at the Nice airport. I’ll drive to Bonnieux to spend one night in the town where Dale and I and a lot of people we have loved celebrated Dale’s 50th birthday ten years ago.
The next day, I’ll pick up Katie from the airport in Marseille, and we’ll drive to Nîmes for a few days’ exploration in the region. And then on Saturday, I’ll move into the house I’ve rented in Bize-Minervois!