A New Year, An Old Me


A New Year and a New visit to the old ABOUT page.

Revisiting is good.   Reviewing is useful.  Taking stock can be instructive.  It shows us where we have been and asks if we want to keep on in that direction.

So, looking at my first ABOUT page…August 2012.  A lot has happened.  A lot has changed.

And at the same time, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

I am still supremely devoted to Journey. Culture. People. Food.  I still believe in the transformative and introspective capacity of travel.  (And I still have that green sweater and I still enjoy cooking classes while visiting other countries)

Having not posted in a while, in spite of many hours and miles logged in new adventures, I want another look at About Me…where it all started.

Looking back, the premise hasn’t changed…I am at my most open, most engaged, most hopeful and happiest…when traveling.

I get renewed by the people I meet, the vistas I see, the cultures I devour.

So I put this forth…

This is a blog about journey…could be near, could be far.  It could involve new stamps in a passport, or maybe not.  The goal is not to tick off countries, the goal is to experience.  This blog is about a collection of moments that when pieced together, fashion a life.

Whoa, who knew reflection sounded so serious?

HOWEVER, she said lightening the mood, reflecting on five weeks spent in Portugal last summer, there were many moments that looked like this and that’s a                        Journey. Culture. People. Food Wonderful thing!


Many moments, many Pastéis de Nata

We learned a new word in French…FLOODING…INONDATION!

The weather in the south of France has been spectacular…gorgeously sunny and warm…until yesterday.

Yesterday a ‘système’ moved in over the departement we are in…Hérault…and is sitting on us.

And I mean sitting…St. Jean de Buèges is deep in a valley…sitting.

Pas de probleme…we are on holiday and this is all part of ‘living in place’.

…so we close the alarm, go back to sleep, have a leisurely breakfast and watch the torrential rain through the open shutters.  Watch and listen.

Today when the rain stops and fog lifts we and the other townspeople go outside to investigate what 24 hours of downpour, thunder and lightening have done to the village.

The stream bed, which has been bone dry for the past 2 weeks, is now running in a torrent with white caps through the center of the village.

There is no school today…the buses were told to stay off the road because of ‘inondation’.

Young children in plastic slickers and colored rain boots lean over the railings lining the town, over small bridges, to witness the torrent of water coming down from the mountain and rushing through their town.

The Buèges river has overflowed its banks and the soccer/camping field is under 7 inches of water.

And there is a wonderful earthiness in the townspeople coming out to see how much water has fallen in the last 24 hours.  They gather in the center of town and the talk is of the flooding and the grape harvest which was to begin this week.  Only meters away from where we stand are rows and rows of vineyards with big, ripe black grapes waiting to be plucked and churned into wine.   Yes, how the weather affects the grapes.

So we watched the cascading torrent through the stream bed in town, we walked just outside the village to see the Rivière Buèges rushing and flooding its banks; we stopped into the Bar du Chateau for a hamburger and frites lunch; we walked some more after lunch and we came home to watch François Hollande give a press conference.  a good day.

And on our way home, we watched as  two young girls played in the (new) stream that was running down the front of their property.  Dressed in boots and raincoats, and accompanied by big sticks and their big black dog, the girls were playing in their front yard, in the stream…playing…together…outside…make believe…playing.

Please click on the gallery below to share  what we saw!