Thursday, August 29, 2013

taking a place with you

If you like a place, inevitably, you want to carry some of its charm back home with you. Souvenir is a French word -- to recall, remember. That's what we want, no? Ocean is a souvenir of a life, a fabric is a souvenir of Languedoc, vinegar is a souvenirs of the wonderful cuisine that you'll find there.

This post takes us from Barcelona to the farmette. When I step off the plane after the long transatlantic flight back, the feeling of being away quickly recedes. A trip begins gradually -- you plan it, think about it, engage in it before it even starts. When it's over, it's pretty much over. Except for the memories and the souvenirs.

Let me go back to the moment when I am still in Barcelona, eating a croissant  breakfast at the bar.

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I got a message that my flight will be delayed and so suddenly I'm not in a hurry to leave. The walk to the bus for the airport is equally unrushed. There's certainly enough time to take a photo of a traditional balcony...


...or another, with the (Spanish) Catalan flag.

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Or of the fantastic square, where I always get off after the airport, and now, on the return, catch the airport bus back.

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Yeah, such a city!

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The flight back is rocky. A ride over the clouds, but really through the clouds. I work during most of the nine hours. In Atlanta, the wait is manageable. Finally, I'm in the air, on the way to Madison.

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And home. Which looks like this, from up in the air.

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My daughter is there to pick me up and take me to the farmhouse (Ed is still up north). I stumble in, do right by Isis, go to sleep.

...only to awake to a warm summer day. Morning's the time to take stock, to reconsider it all.

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The flowers are fading rapidly, but they fight on, for another last set of days.

Here's my anemone -- the trooper that carries the banner all the way into September.

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And garden strawberries for a breakfast on the new tablecloth...

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A souvenir. How remarkable it all is! I install the fabric for the chairs and suddenly it's as if I am in Uzes.

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Yes, the colors of Languedoc and Provence.

I work all day, but I have two more photos for you -- one of a quiet dinner on the couch (there's  a new cover for the cushions. Yet again a very useful souvenir from the south of France).

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It all brings such color to the spaces in the farmhouse that need color. One more then. The last one -- chairs, table, all of it, out on the porch -- you've seen it just seconds ago, but now it is in the evening light of one of the few remaining summer days.

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