Traverse City Record-Eagle


Summer Here and There

Jo Anne Wilson, Letters From FranceI’ve just completed a four-day writers retreat at Interlochen.  Guilt washed over me like an unexpected rain storm, as I realized how little I’ve written these past weeks, and how I’ve neglected my blog.  Sorry.

As regular readers know, I often compare and contrast my life in France with my life in Michigan: weather, food, activities, people, and pets, just to name some of the topics.

The weather topic has taken a front-row-center seat these past weeks, both here and in the Luberon. I don’t need to describe the here. You live here (well, most readers do) so you know how miserable it has been.  For those more distant readers, suffice it to say that spring almost did not happen, and summer has moseyed in like a toddler just learning to make his way around the house. Two steps forward … bumping into an obstacle … righting himself and tottering off, only to fall face down on the carpet. As I write, summer does not yet seem to be steady on his feet.

In the Luberon, the opposite is true.  After several weeks of rain and below normal temperatures, summer arrived with provençal vengeance. It has been scorchingly hot. My friends, who do not have a swimming pool, are daily calling those who do and begging to take a dip.

The poppies are in full bloom.  So much attention is given to lavender that we forget the stunning beauty of the poppies.

The lavender is beginning to show its color.  The latest online issue of Bonjour Paris newsletter has an excellent article on lavender.   The article serves as a reminder that not all lavender is created equal (to paraphrase a saying).  It all smells luscious, but the Fine or True lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is what is used in cosmetics and fragrances.  It is also said to have medical properties.  The hybrid, Lavandin, is used in other products such as soaps.

My longing for those endless fields of  lavender in bloom is only somewhat assuaged by daily looking at my small gardens and touching and smelling the little lavender plants therein.  Sigh.

Although I miss the poppies, lavender, and my friends in France, I am happily enjoying my family, friends, and pets on this side of the big pond.  And, there’s no place quite like the Grand Traverse area in the summer.

  • Evelyn

    Beautiful pictures–they say so much and illustrate your love of both France and our area.

  • Jo Anne

    I’m very fortunate. It gives meaning to “having the best of both worlds”. Thank you.

  • Jo Anne

    I’m very fortunate. It gives meaning to “having the best of both worlds”. Thank you.

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