Thursday, January 11, 2018


Back home from Hawaii and enjoying the first really drenching rain of the season, I decided to do some laundry and to change out our holiday napkins and placemats for something cheerful and bright. Digging down through the drawer that holds our table linens, I came across these, a gift from My Beloved's daughter Sarah's semester abroad in France. To me, they speak of the bright skies and sunflowers that Van Gogh found when he moved south to Arles.

Sarah was a International Studies student at the University of Oregon in 1997 when she elected to spend a semester during her Junior year in Provence. I admit to a teensy flash of raw envy when she would email her accounts of the wine tasting class she was taking and the relaxed and sunny time she reported having in Aix-en-Provence. Not a bad location for foreign study, huh?

Sarah started college a year before her parents divorced, and both she and Katie were kind to me but understandably a bit aloof when I came into his life around the same time. We had what I'd call a cordial relationship from the get-go, but a year later when Sarah brought us these beautiful placemats, I took them as an overture of true friendship; she knows how much I love setting a pretty table.

After she graduated and moved to Boston, she started her career, met Mr. Right, married, had two beautiful children, lost her mother to cancer, and moved back to the Bay Area, all in what seems in retrospect like a whirlwind, but really was about 10 years. Through all that time, whenever we used her placemats, I got a warm feeling as I decorated the table with their bright patterns. The edges are a little frayed these days but I won't give them up until they are so thin and threadbare that they no longer protect the table. They have meaning for me.

Thank you, Sarah.


Anonymous JanN said...

From Hawaii family memories to your Provence presents, you post the loveliest of blogs.
Nice to see you back.

Thursday, January 11, 2018  
Blogger Katie Zeller said...

My s-i-l sent me some very similar (in colors) placemats - from Hawaii!
Welcome back!

Saturday, January 13, 2018  
Blogger nancy namaste said...

these are so beautiful. I covet ones like them but too expensive for my budget. What a lovely gift and what beautiful memories.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018  
Blogger Zoomie said...

JanN, thanks for the compliment. I do love getting comments on my posts!

Katie Zeller, thanks, it feels good to be writing again.

Nancy, even after so many years, they have retained their color and, especially, their meaning,

Thursday, January 18, 2018  

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