Ah, Warm


So good, having heat.

Simple things, like heat, electricity, hot tea.


I was not a happy girl last night when I could not figure out how to get the electricity back on.

I was an even unhappier girl when I realized the radiator’s were all electrical.

Fuck me.

I went to bed wearing tights, socks, a turtle neck, a scarf, a fleece blanket, and a top quilt.

Of course around 4 a.m. I was so hot I thought I was going to die, but for a little while there, I was freaked out.  In the dark, literally, figuratively, and alone.


Worst nightmare ever.

However, I did not die.


I woke up crabby though.

No coffee.

No hot oatmeal.

I got dressed, I made my bed, I lit up some candles.  I actually managed a little makeup.

Then I got annoyed.  I went out and I started knocking on doors.  Barnaby had not gotten a response back from the land lord and I was over it.  I found the guardian for the apartment and he came in and flipped a bunch of the fuses I had and nothing.

He went back to his apartment and got a flash light.

He found the problem.

He fixed it.

Sort of.

There is one fuse that does not work.  He told me I would discover it whenever I was to turn on the item that was connected to the blown fuse.

I was in a hurry to get out and late for my Sunday morning commitment, so I just fled.

Only to come back later this evening, cold, hungry (I had an apple and a banana for breakfast) and ready to eat some lunch and start my day over.

I filled the kettle and turned on the stove.




Fuck my mother.

It is the stove that blew out.

I burst into tears.  I  just wanted to make a coffee and a fucking pot of oatmeal.  That’s it.

Like that’s all it takes to make this lady happy.

Fortunately, the microwave does work.

I scrambled up a couple of eggs and made my oatmeal in the microwave and blasted a cup of water for tea.

I got happy.

I ate hot food.

It really is the simple things.

Warm bed, roof over the head, electricity, heat, hot food.

Simple, really, really basic.

There is a part of me that does not want to admit this, but really, I do not need a lot more than this.  I need companionship, that I do need, and I can forget that quickly and get isolated, especially in the land of I don’t speak French that fast.

I went out today and hung out at the cafe and had good check ins with folks and also met a new face and reunited with a friend who was away in India over the holidays.  It was good and I am pushing myself to continue to go out and fellowship even when I don’t want to.

It is necessary.

Because I am not alone.

I am not in the dark.

I have candles just in case.

I am being taken care of and I can pause and breathe any time my head says otherwise.

Once I had that hot cup of tea and some eggs and oatmeal I knew it was time to get back out there.  I had not gotten to take any snow pictures that had made me happy.

I took a nice long, cold, walk up around Sacre Couer.

There were quite a few more people out than I thought there would be.  I was not alone in wanting to take photographs of the neighborhood.

Plus, as I heard the peels of laughter drifting down the hill intermingled with six o’clock bell tower striking, I realized that there were children sledding down the hills of Sacre Coeur.

Not one of them was on a sled, mostly plastic bags and sheets of cardboard.

Yet, the unmistakable sound of a child careening down a snow-covered hill blew right over me and through me and suddenly I was in Warner Park in Madison, Wisconsin, and I was on a sled and it was a moment of pure magic.

Standing in Paris at the foot of Sacre Couer covered in snow listening to children laughing with abandon, sliding down the hill.

Snowy Sacre Couer

Snowy Sacre Couer

“If you feel like you are falling down the hill, then you are in God’s will,” her voice came to me.

That is the kind of attitude I am going to cultivate.

Instead of screaming and shrieking with fear, I can choose to a laugh and squeal with delight as I fall down the hill.  There’s a fence at the bottom, I am not going to fall through the cracks, I am not going to be dropped.

Enjoy the free fall.

Enjoy the wild abandon.

Follow your bliss.

I trampled through the snow and slipped behind the cathedral to the other less travelled side, I took photographs and I smelled the delicious tang of wood smoke lacing the air and got pelted with snow balls as I inadvertently got caught in between a couple of kids tossing snowballs at their father.

Who was probably glad for the respite.

Je m’excuse madame!  Je susi desolee!

No worries kids, I smiled, I breathed in the air, I climbed the stairs and revelled in the beauty of the city sprawled out cold and snow-covered.

I transversed the slippery streets back to 36 Rue Bellefond and happily warmed up inside, a house with electricity and heat and made a cup of tea.

Barnaby offered a dinner at Odette & Aime and I said, “oui!”

Hot bowl of soup.



So good.

After dinner, back to the flat, still happily electrified, and into the hottest shower.

Ah, warm.

Happy, joyous, free.

Not in the dark at all.

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