Sunday, August 10, 2014

Journeys: Hundred Steps and Others

Yesterday was one of those rare, almost perfect days.  It began with a  morning of writing and getting all my grading done for my online class.  Then I went to a wonderful spin class.

My spouse has been in North Carolina for a meeting, so we thought we might do a quilting group session, but the date turned out not to be good for many of us.  Instead, one of us suggested that we go see The Hundred-Foot Journey.  I hadn't heard of the movie, but my friend assured me that it would appeal to our joint love of food, cooking, French scenery, Indian movie stars, and Helen Mirren.  Well, to be honest, I don't follow Indian movies the way that some of my friends do, but I'm always up for a movie about cooking and beautiful scenery--finding a window of free time is the difficulty.

One of our group suggested that we go to an all-you-can-eat Indian buffet for lunch before the movie, and we did.  It seemed appropriate, given that the plot of the movie revolves around a group of Indian immigrants who opens a Indian restaurant across the street from a traditional French restaurant that has 1 Michelin star.  I'd have preferred an all-you-can-eat French food buffet, but if such a thing exists, it's a well-kept secret.

The movie was a delight.  It's a glossy, beautiful movie, with characters who overcome their flaws, flaws which aren't dreadful in the first place.  It made me miss my maternal grandparents, who grew amazing gardens.  Sigh.

The last shot of the movie made one friend say, "We have to move to the South of France."  It made me say, "What would happen if I moved my dining room table outside?"

In the movies, the table magically appears.  The heirloom tablecloth stays in place.  There are no mosquitoes.  I know it wouldn't be that way in real life.

In the late afternoon, I headed over to the parsonage.  My pastor hosted a gathering of people who take an active part in planning the more participatory worship service.  We all brought food and wine and gathered around the huge dining room table.  It wasn't outside in a beautiful French courtyard, but it had its own charms.

I felt so lucky yesterday to be part of several different friendship networks.  I felt lucky to have the jobs that allow me to live here.  And late in the evening, I headed over to the airport to pick up my spouse.

Often, I travel with him to these meetings which are held at church camps.  This year, I decided I needed to stay where I could be sure of Internet connectivity, since grades for my online class are due on Monday.  I'm glad that I did.  I needed connectivity several times yesterday.  And again, I felt lucky as my first year of online teaching comes to an end, and I begin the 2nd year.  What a wonderful opportunity!  And I'm blessed in having some students who have told me that I've been effective as an online teacher. 

I picked up my spouse, and we came home to share a glass of wine, as we marveled at the mostly full moon.  It's not the French countryside, but it's beautiful nonetheless.

And if I had to choose between no friends and a life in France or a life full of friends here in South Florida, I'd choose my friends.  It's been a long journey mentally for me to get to this place of appreciation, much more than a hundred steps.  I'm glad to be here.

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