Wednesday, March 28, 2018

March Primrose

Well, Monday gave me a night short on sleep. Late dinner with friends, late writing, late night communicating with home (confused? I mean the one in Wisconsin) and an early wake up. In Tuesday's morning hours, I had to do a bang up cleaning of the apartment, have one last coffee with a friend, and then a bus to catch for the Warsaw airport (with my sister along for that last conversation).

I will not be back to Warsaw until early fall, but friends whose own apartment will be undergoing a renovation, will be camping out in my Tamka home. I cannot allow for there to be a speck of dust when they move in!

On this cloudy and somewhat cool morning I really appreciate the cafe Stor on the ground floor of my building. It's extraordinarily popular among hip young people -- all day long they sip coffees and infusions and later -- wine, and during more recent trips I've never seen it uncrowded. But in the wee hours of the morning, it's tame and so this is where I meet my friend for our last (all too short) review of life as we have known it in the months we've lead our lives on separate sides of that darn vast ocean. 

I wait for her and to the amusement of the hip young people, I set the camera for the usual...


And when my friend comes, we momentarily take out our cameras again...


... and we drink our morning brews and eat our terribly decadent but very good apple berry cake...


And puff! The hour is gone.

I sometimes wonder how it is that an hour can feel so short...

Up to my place, pick up suitcase and backpack and pajak. What's that?? -- you ask. Well now, my younger daughter has for a very long time requested this piece of Polish folk art. It's made out of paper and it looks like this:


I've laughed it off. Where could I possibly find something that so belongs to another era? But, when my girl suggested that she might want it for the baby's room, well, I got serious and I asked Karolina for help. And now I am lugging (ha! It's actually incredibly lightweight) this ungainly (that it is) pajak and I am hoping against hope that I can tote it on board, along with my suitcase and backpack. I will love Air France forever (well, at least until they cancel on me due to a strike) if they will allow me to sneak this on.

Apartment in order. My sister and I leave for the bus. One last Warsaw scene, of school children, on an outing...


You can't really see them? How about this closer shot:


When you think of the ways in which these kids are set apart from my generation (when we were that age) -- well, it's mind boggling. Possibly the only thing they have in common with my classmates their age is that when our class went walking, we were as bundled up against the coldest temperatures (even as it's not that cold outside) as they are. It's a Polish thing.

But where are they heading, these Warsaw kids? These youngsters, they're going to speak out some day soon about how they would like to see themselves: as Poles, looking after Poles, or as Poles belonging also to a wider European community. (I'm told somewhere between two and six million Poles work in Western Europe, though most say they probably will return to their friends and family back home. Eventually.)

Bus comes, then leaves. Airplane comes, leaves, lands.

And several hours later, I am in a soggy but warm Paris.

As always, on my way to the hotel, I sidestep into the Luxembourg gardens.

What a difference a day (or four) makes! Chestnut buds are fully unfurled. And there are primroses everywhere!


I'm given a lovely room that has both the street view and, on the rear end, a courtyard view. I know it's supposed to rain and rain and rain today. But is that sunshine?


It's wet, it's sunny, it's raining, it's not. Families, children, girls, strollers. My mind wonders to home.


I pass my favorite bakery. A chocolate egg covered with macrons? I must call Snowdrop!


And I do. Motorcycles roar past, people rush in their usual urban pedestrian way, and then the drizzle comes, but still, here I am, standing under the awning of this pastry shop talking to Snowdrop on Facetime about macarons!

But in reality, my attentions, as all our family's attentions are focused on my younger daughter.  She is in labor. Ten days ahead of schedule.

I walk through the Luxembourg Gardens -- so much more vibrant now than four days ago! Trees with leaves, grass -- greener than green, and the flowers! Oh, the flowers! It's all so sudden!


Dinner now. All the while texting, texting. I tell the world why I am texting so much!


Walk home. World's in love. Yeah, it's spring. In love.


Night time. I try (with little success) to sleep.

I sometimes wonder how it is that a night can feel so long.

At 10:18 a.m. Chicago time (so on March 28), nine days ahead of schedule, Primrose is born.

Primrose. Latin for first rose.

A quote from those who know their blooms: primroses are some of the earliest flowers to bloom. In fact, they often bloom when mornings are still dark and the ground is still frozen. Desirable for their tolerance of cold temperatures and for their bright, cheerful flowers.

Mother, father, and exquisite daughter are doing fine. I'm exhausted.


is it Tuesday? no? well then, what happened?

Dear Ocean readers,

I'm sure you thought I could not/did not write yesterday. So crazy busy, she just lost it! Ha! Skipped a day! Had to slow down!

In fact, I did write a post, but I did not publish it. I just didn't like the ending and could not fix it.

Worry not, I'll get back to it in a couple of hours.

In the meantime, enjoy the sunshine if sunshine there be in your home town, village or city!

I'll be back shortly.