Vierville sur Mer
As it has always looked.
Tall stone walls of sun-bleached creme
Bending with each turn in the road
Urging one on.
Point du Hoc
As it has always been
Rest assured of itself,
Left bereft of life, the living.
What that this force does with our humanity;
Usurps the Soul
Morsel by brutal bleeding morsel
Until it breaks the spine of Spirit dwelling there.
Lets It swing from rafters
Dead to Mothers,
St Mere Eglise
As it has always stood,
Today like any other
But for the thin veil
That breathes its fabric
Between the worlds
And gives rise
To not just the living memory
Of the fallen
But to the Ineffable;
The unending sorrow
And blinding light.
Ten thousand of my sons came that day
Braced to die.
Just that day alone.
Fused by Spirit unbroken,
Could do nothing but press on.
There is but one light in us all.
Eternal in this soil, the sea,
And in time immemorial
That it will not ever happen again.
And yet it does.
The summer and autumn were full of finishing projects — to glow.
What you’ll enjoy most is the work you didn’t have to do!
With blood, sweat and tears, Liam busted his ass and brought out of the dark into the light of day, incredible spaces.
Then we took a break for a day of roaming in Normandy, from the cornucopia at the Cathedral of Coutances, to chasing the bread wagon delivery (avec un cheval).
We are wrapping up autumn in its final days of November, keeping the fire lit, and awaiting the first cold frost, and family at home in France, for Christmas:)
In France, all over the country, every village puts on their Vide Grenier in the summertime — their annual ’empty the attic’ flea market where you can find all kinds of treasures.
The streets are lined with fold-up tables spilling over with goods from knitting needles to clothes to collectibles, the MUSAK of Johnny Hollyday roars through loudspeakers, and the saucisse is on the grill by 8 am. BBQ smoke wafts through the streets full of locals dealing their wares, and hunger hits about 9.30. So we grab our galette saucisse avec dijon, and meander through the petite chemins of these old, stone towns taking it all in.
We go to the vides — and we find the off-the-beaten-track brocantes where tourists don’t go — to pick up the odd but to-be-cherished piece, to bring home (full house here…) or put up on our etsy site.
If we like it, we figure you might too.
Take a peek.
We’re at the end of August here…the pumpkin and corgettes have gone mad in their bed, the farmers are collecting their baled hay from the fields on camions way too big for these roads, and we press ahead with the west wing.
I think the pictures will tell their thousands of words about just what we’ve been up to…
For eight years we have talked about the west wing; the first floor (second by US standards) den/recording studio/tranquil space that looks out over the garden and setting sun in the fields of Normandy…
This summer we had the roof done with the big window to have the view…then we laid the subfloor so we could access the space, and NOW we are busy getting the incredibly finely ground 200 year old mud plaster out of our teeth.
Liam spent the last two days busting BACK through the wall from the west wing into the house creating a door-through. Well, he didn’t ‘bust through’ — it took two days to dismantle, stone by stone, avec very old mud plaster, the area of the wall that is now the doorway.
It changes everything!
We can walk into the west wing from inside the house.
The LIGHT that shines from the west, through the door, into the bedroom? All new!
Here’s the current state of affairs.
And it IS in quite a state — we’ve just opened up a very big can of worms…
As I embark upon property management and care, vacation rentals of homes of French friends and the like, I realize like a slap in the face I have to iron the sheets.
I have poo-poo’d all my friends who spend HOURS standing up ironing, saying to them rather fliply, I’m a Californian. I don’t iron.
Beyond that, in our own home, I have ONLY flannel sheets — and one can get well away without an iron on them.
Well, that is no more possible. Guests want sheets that squeak.
The GOOD NEWS is, our dearheart French neighbors told us about a brocante not far from here that we really HAD to check out.
There are plenty of brocantes — most of them either overpriced or full of junk. They assured us it was worth going to.
Liam and I went about a month ago and indeed — it was FULL of treasures. Once every two or three weeks, whatever the going price is gets knocked down incrementally if it hasn’t sold.
What a great way to do business.
In that visit, I stumbled upon an industrial strength made-for-the-home German mangle iron!
I LOVE mangle irons — childhood memories took me back to hours — weeks — months — years of sitting in front of a large and very hot mangle iron set up in the open garage of my parents’ motel in Santa Cruz, California…
I did all the sheets!
But buying one now? For old time’s sake? I don’t think so…
Today, reality bit.
I have 3 sets of sheets here sitting on the couch, per bed.
That’s four beds, so 12 sets of sheets. Wrinkled.
Today, I thought if that iron is still there — I’d better grab it.
THE BETTER NEWS IS, I tore myself out of the house on this rainy Normandy day, drove just a little north-west of Avranches through a small village called Sartilly — and voila!
Guess what was standing right in front of me?
Yep. Saved just for me, I’m sure.
I plugged it in; it worked.
THIRTY EIGHT EUROS.
I threw it in the back of the car and came home chuffed.
A good day in paradise.
There’s something about an abrupt weather change that is invigorating to the Soul…
Winter started late this year — the peony was in full bud the end of December, thinking Spring was on its way…
This morning I went for a quick, brisk walkabout — and here are a few photos to share with the morning brew.
Nothing serious, mind you; just a dusting but what a breath of fresh air it is!