Thursday, March 14, 2013

A False Spring & Maison de Retraite

False springs: March is schizophrenic (weather wise)! Last weekend, in a burst of unexpected warmth, the weather made a sharp turn-around towards spring- reaching up to 15 degrees centigrade! The "hot flash" was only to be shot down by HEAVY snowfall this week... however I spotted flowers budding through the snow in Luxembourg just yesterday (as seen below). Thus, the Springish, non-scarf-demanding weather proved false--at least for the time being. But I am seeing glimpses of the beautiful spring to come!

 Regardless of the temperature yo-yoing, Paris under the snow is a magical, quieting, beauty that the city wears majestically. I would welcome it gladly anytime of the year. False or not, Spring is inevitably on it's way and I cannot wait to decide where, as Hemmingway put it " be happiest."

"When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest." - Ernest Hemmingway, Paris: A Moveable Feast

*Click on pictures to enlarge
Pan qui danse in the Luxembourg yesterday (violets in bloom below)
Not your typical promenade through the Lux

Last Saturday I enjoyed the *warm* weather with my Rotaract Club, in one of our bi-monthly visits with a Maison de Retraite (retirement home, en anglais). This Retirement home is beautifully located just across from the Seine River, in the posh suburb of St. Cloud. This week, we took our older friends outside, engaging in a lively game of "Srab-bleh"  (French pronounciation of the game of Scrabble.)

 It proved to be a pretty formidable challenge for me to play in French, as, despite me only speaking French with my partner, (and everyone else!) my first instinct was still to play English words! Thankfully, I had a champion teammate with my friend Monsieur RenĂ©, who plays frequently on their computer in the home. M. RenĂ© and I took the cake! (And, he let me eat some of his pain-au-chocolat during their gouter (snack time). Clearly, we were fast friends!)

Enjoying some sunshine and company: Maison de Retraite
Scrabblin' (aka Anne's French vocab practice!)

Les Gagnants! (The winners!)

It's great hearing the stories of the older French people, learning of their perspectives from all over France, and sharing an afternoon made better for all by age and cultural exchange. Plus, I love their look of surprise when I tell them I am from the United States. Looking forward to our next visit, perfecting my "Scrableh" game, and more sunny days ahead (literally and figuratively).

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