Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A Comfortable Mess - 20 Years Together

      "When I was interviewing couples, a single word kept coming up again and again. So many people said it that I actually started to worry about the couples who didn't say it. The word was "comfortable."I feel a sense of ease with this person that I have never felt before. I feel like I'm totally myself. I don't feel worried. It feels natural." Comfort doesn't mean there aren't sparks and butterflies, too; it just means that underlying all of it is this sense that you've found a person you can let loose with, the way you are with friends and family. You don't have to suck in your stomach. You can be your most unkempt, crazy, neurotic, imperfect self." - Ellen McCarthy, interviewing hundreds of couples about their relationships.

 20 years ago Dave and I did the easiest thing we would ever do in our relationship:  get married.  We got dressed up in our fancy clothes, promised each other some things we didn't really know anything about in front of our closest friends and family, and took a lot of pictures.  We opened some gifts like a quilt made by his grandmother and some white dishes my brothers and sisters all pitched in to offer us.  And then we drove away from all those people that we love who had gathered to wish us well on our journey.

Today we are off in a foreign land, exploring and experiencing something new together.  I am so grateful for 20 years of time - paying bills, doing chores, changing the diapers of our babies, crying over our failures and mistakes - and laughing, watching movies, dancing in the kitchen, visiting foreign lands, listening to music together on the couch while the sun shines-or doesn't.  So much music, so many songs that take me through the minutes, days, months and years together to remind me of this beautiful mess we are living together.  

For Dave, my mess is yours, and your mess is mine. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Vacation Rental South of France July 2015

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"Wisteria" is for rent this July!  

Are you or someone you know going to take advantage of the weak euro and head to the South of France this summer?  Our house is available for rent!  3 bedrooms, 2-1/2 baths and great views over Cannes.  Watch the  fireworks from the front porch or upstairs windows!  Walk to the Old Village for gastronomique delights and fabulous artwork.  

Head over to St. Paul de Vence, Eze, Gourdon for an amazing view.  Check out Valbonne on Fridays for the market, or the 1st Sunday of the month for the antiques market.

Take the ferry to the Iles de Lerins or drive to Saint Tropez

Head to our favorite Lebanese restaurant in Golfe Juan or have a picnic at Les Grottes de St. Cezaire.

Visit my favorite little beach next to the Chateau La Napoule or rent pedal boats at the Lac de St. Cassien.

The list of things to do in the summer is a mile long . . . a month should just about cover it.  Art museums, cafes, beach or fancy restaurants and night clubs--it's all here!

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Send me an email at stasha@gmail.com if you're interested...

The house is actually available from Saturday June 27-August 1st.  Weekly rate is 2200 euros (or 2,363 dollars ;) for July. Much better rate available for stays 2 weeks or longer!  Monthly rate is your best deal.

Located in Mougins, France.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Secret to Life

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Yesterday I was texting with my friend.   Once, a long time ago, he was my boss--the guy who counted on me to get some things done for him at the office so he could focus on being successful at what he did to make a living.  My days were spent making spreadsheets, answering the phone and occasionally getting rice pudding for our afternoon snack. His were spent making tons of money.  But that was a long time ago--luckily now we can just be friends.  It was the afternoon in France and practically still nighttime in California.  He couldn't sleep.

"I'm having coffee with Laurene Jobs today," he wrote.

My friend is going to make a career move, and maybe it will involve Laurene Jobs, or other people seemingly blessed with wealth and standing.  Slightly awestruck, but not jealous, I countered with,

"Can you ask her if she paid off Phillipe Starck the $3.5 million they still owe him for designing her yacht?"

And there it is, the secret to life.

Once we were in Phoenix at my sister-in-law's house.  She also has four children, and let's just say hers are slightly more rambunctious than mine.  One day she put some frozen chicken out on the patio to thaw.  It was a logical choice--why bother wasting hot water or microwave energy when the warmth of the desert sun would do the job quickly and for free?

Later that day, she went to get the chicken to prepare it for dinner.  Mysteriously, it was gone. She asked everyone if they knew where the chicken had gone.   She asked her eldest son.  She asked her eldest daughter.  She asked her youngest daughter.  And in desperation, she even asked her youngest son, who was just a toddler at the time.  Nobody had seen the chicken.

The next day, the phone rang.  It was the neighbor calling.

A cheerful voice said, "Do you know why there are chicken breasts all over my backyard?"

And there it is, the secret to life.

Just before Christmas, my friend got her heel stuck in the mud while she was going up some steps outside in the dark. When she heard a "crack!", it wasn't her high heel.  It was her foot.  It swelled, it bruised, and then it sat in a cast for weeks and weeks to try and heal.  A couple of weeks into the treatment,  I went to her house to check on her.  She was sitting on the kitchen floor, a dustpan in one hand, and little broom in the other.  I asked her what she was doing.

"I'm cleaning up," she replied.

And there it is, the secret to life.

My friend started to perk up by the end of our conversation, and I was happy to have shared a few minutes of our day together.  I had an observation.

"Life goes by really fast and nobody really knows what they're doing-especially me!" I typed out.

"Felt by all except wild egomaniacs and the truly clueless," he countered.

And there it is, the secret to life. 

(Take a deep breath, and enjoy it.)


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