51 ans comme le pastis! + Come paint in Provence!
Marquer le coup (A hike, swim at Parc du Mugel) + Do what you want to do

Bon bout d'an! + What is an adult? (Surprising answer by one of France's most famous philosophers)

Sunrise in la ciotat (2)
For this last post of the year, my mind is a scramble--une bousculade. As with the beginning of any essay, there are so many possible directions in which to set out. This is when a writer must hone in on a subject or, at the very least, un thème.

Because everything is bubbling up inside of me in a good and sunny way, it can't help but overflow onto this page. Whether this positive energy will last until lunchtime--or carry on through the end of the year--peu importe. What's essential is to go with it. If I had to sum up 2018, I would say flow of life is where it is (or was). This past year (the tears come as I type this) I have, once and for all, not fought the changes. Come what may are the words on my lips this morning, and these 3 words offer a willing and ready nod to the future.

QUOI QU'IL ARRIVE. Come what may, I will (live, advance, deal, love, hurt, heal). Come what may I will try hard to swallow my pride, forgive myself for missteps, hug the one who's rattling me. Sometimes I need rattling. I thank God those that rattle me also love me, forgive me, and practice short-term memory when it comes to offenses. I'm thinking of my Mom and my husband, two very strong characters whom I have struggled to live with in 2018. But if I have had a revelation in the past décennie, it is this: others struggle to live with me too!

So if you are like me, don't feel too bad about your idiosyncrasies. Continue to smooth them out in the coming year and, in the meantime, take heart in a famous writer's words: Qu'est-ce qu'un adulte? Un enfant gonflé d'âge.*

(An adult is only a child blown up by age!)

We still have our meltdowns, we still, as a little girl screamed in the park the other day (MAMAN! LES BRAS! LES BRAAAAS!), want to be carried when we can no longer soldier on. We are still goofy, awkward and inadequate--creative, silly, and sweet. We are snotty nosed brats and innocent as newborns (we don't know what is coming next and we are at the mercy of it).   

All we need to do from here on out is to be considerate of others and gentle to ourselves. I wish you, Dear Reader, un bon bout d'an and  I will see you here in the new year quoi qu'il arrive.... 

With lots and lots of love (oh, les larmes sont revenues!),


Smokey and Kristi Christmas tree

gonfler = to bore, exasperate, get on somebody's nerves
une bousculade = rush, scramble
un thème = theme
peu importe = whatever, it doesn't matter
quoi qu'il arrive = come what may, whatever happens
la décennie = decade
maman = mommy
les bras! = your arms (I want you to hold me!)
bon bout d'an! = Happy end of the year!
les larmes sont revenues = the tears have come back
*Simone de Beauvoir

Doves by the sea in la ciotat

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