Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Open the door




"I miss you too much," my Mom said and yet her voice over the phone crackled bright with excitement. She, along with her companion Leonard and my Sister, Robin, had a surprise for me. They had pooled their money together to make it possible for me to visit for the fast approaching Thanksgiving holiday and my Sister's birthday. There was no room for me to protest and why would I? To know that they were there to share with me what they could to bring me closer...as the realization sunk in, my eyes filled with tears. I looked down at my hands and they were trembling. 


Sharing is an incredible word, one of the most beautiful I know. 


Whether it is to share in a moment of joy or to share a burden...


...to share a life together...


...or to share a story. 


Sometimes it is just as simple as that.


I have an embarrassing confession. One that might surprise you. Initially, I really looked down my nose at the idea of blogging. I was a professional travel writer at the time and they just seemed...silly. Silly me. When my assignments dried up, it was Remi, my wonderful companion, who quietly and consistently encouraged me to reconsider my opinion. And so two years ago, I started writing Lost in Arles. And while I write and photograph for myself (and am nudged back in that direction whenever I stray), I quickly understood that being able to share my life here was really appealing. To know that it was going out and away but would also come back.


I still shout out the number every time a new member joins, as does Remi, who could not be more supportive in my efforts. My blog remains relatively small and so each person that signs on to read is especially precious to me. Often I joke about being the Little Engine that Could but I am certainly not alone. So, let me open the door on three blogs that you might not know of, for they are too wonderful not to share... 


Some of you might remember my previously mentioning Jennifer, whose wonderful blog Gustia (not to forget The Auntie Times), I consider to be one of the most under-rated on the blogosphere. Gustia, a food and lifestyle blog, has only 18 members and yet she prepares and photographs each post with all of the care as if it were going out to thousands. Take a look at her most recent effort (with its irresistible piglet photo) and you'll see what I mean. I love that she opens up the exclusive realm of Monaco, where she lives for most of the year, in the least pretentious way possible and often with a point of view that is ever so slightly off-kilter. Similarly, while she is a vegetarian, she is the truest foodie that I know (she just made her own olive oil, as in literally, in her kitchen) and she will open your mind without any preachy nonsense. I recently had the good fortune of meeting Jennifer and can promise you that she embodies the wonderfulness that her blogs exude.


And while I haven't met Nancy Kate, her hysterically funny blog, Bread is Pain, leaves me feeling as if I have, so pitch-perfect and immediate is her writing. She is also in the tiny zone, with about 30 members. Will you just trust me on this one, hop over, you won't regret it and as she only puts out a few posts a month, you won't be inundated either. So few writers can really nail the wacky intricate details of French life in a way that is capable of making you laugh until you hiccup without a trace of meanness. If anything, the joke is often on herself as in her recent post about the horrors of figuring out exactly how to properly give les bises. And if you aren't immediately tempted by the title of "Congratulations! You're having a cheese baby" or "Can bacon be a vegetable?", then at least take a gander at her very first post to see why bread is indeed pain. To top if off, Nancy Kate, an American living with her French husband in Grenoble, is a girl after my own heart, who loves her food and wine, to the point that she will eat anything, including having tried brain...twice. Wow. Chapeau!


Loree may have a comparatively whopping 125 members (as I did not long ago at all), but I still feel that she is not on the radar as she should be for her writing is as warm as the sun on the island of Malta, where she lives and sends out her Stories and Scribbles as well as dreamy Snapshots of an Island. Her phrasing is gentle and yet as fragrant as the mysterious Smell of Violets that she so beautifully evoked recently in a gorgeous essay that brought back the memory of her Nanna Rose. There is something about what Loree does that is so simple and yet I can never quite put my finger on it, which always keeps me coming back. We all need a dose of goodness now and again.


Speaking of, I would like to say yet again how grateful I am for all of you. In recent emails and comments, many of you have reached out to share too. Things beautiful and painful. Thank you for your trust...as well as your respect concerning my previous post regarding today's elections in the United States. While I have lost subscribers, they are relatively few and I was interested by all of the thoughts that were expressed. The irony that the only truly nasty comment came from a French person did not escape me either! Did it make me sad that so many of you applauded me for my "courage" to speak out? Yes, a bit, that our society is at that point but again, I just hope that all of my American friends will go out and vote! 


We all have much of importance to share and the future is right there in front of us. A new time, every day to make choices about who we are and where we want to go, no matter our age or where we live on this amazing planet. So, open the door and let the light in.





Today's exceptionally lengthy post was my contribution to this month's "By Invitation Only" series. The theme involved the concept of sharing and passing on the torch to under-appreciated blogs as a means of getting the gift-giving season started! The photos are my own, as always (so please no borrowing or Pinning), taken during my recent trips to the Luberon. More of that series to follow.

To discover the other participants of this International Blog Party, please click here. 



87 comments:

  1. Perfect... all I will say... For now anyway... :) And... When do you leave??? xv

    ReplyDelete
  2. Beautiful, heart warming post Heather, so happy for you to be returning to your family for Thanksgiving. And I will be checking out all the blogs you mentioned, there are now so many blogs that often real gems can be overlooked.
    XXX

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I couldn't agree with you more, pretty one. I owe you an email but I was a bit *ahem* caught up in today's events!!

      Delete
  3. I'm looking forward to popping across and reading these blogs by such talented ladies...thank you for the introduction.
    I LOVE your last paragraph...inspiring and how I try to live my life ;-)
    Have a wonderful week.
    Catherine
    xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tend to get caught up in the flow of things, Catherine so that was a reminder for myself too!
      Wishing you a wonderful week as well.

      Delete
  4. Such sumptuous photos, a photographic feast. Alliteration aside, I mean that sincerely. Indeed, it is your spirit of sharing that keeps us all coming back for more over and over again.

    I'm so glad that Remi insisted and that you finally listened!

    Interestingly, one of my oldest friends hates the word "blog" so much that she pretty much gags every time she is forced to say it. I don't think she has ever visited my blog, and frankly, it annoys me.

    Let's hear it for a smaller, more connected world. I was delighted this morning to see a comment from Jane and Lance Hattatt on my friend Cheryl's blog. Cheryl and I went to high school together.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, Les Hattatts. They are indeed, the bomb. It is rather like a star-sighting whenever they leave a comment somewhere--although what they leave are more like carefully wrapped gifts.

      Thank you Judith, that is high praise coming from such a fine writer like yourself.
      Gros bisous.

      Delete
  5. Heather. I'm so glad your family passed the hat and off you go back to the mother ship. Lucky you. I can hardly wait to read your posts about Thanksgiving and your trip. Please take some photos of the pumpkin pie - very important. Speaking of giving thanks... what can I say about all of those sweet things you said about my blogs. Holy cow! Or should I say, "holy piglet?" Knowing that you think so highly of them is reward in itself. xo Safe travels, Jennifer (Auntie)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Holy Piglet works for me. Just fine. :) And oooh, don't you worry, I will be soon inundating you with photos from Bob Evans and the like!!!

      Delete
  6. Thank you so much for the mention. Your words made me tear tear up. So totally unexpected. I truly appreciate all your kind words. And now I need to check out the other 2 blogs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BTW, your photos are positively awesome :)

      Delete
    2. I'm with Loree. The way you weave images and sentence fragments together is pure magic, H. And I'm also with you on opening a door onto Loree's blog. She is simply splendid.

      Thanks for profiling these beautiful voices!

      Delete
    3. You are welcome Suze but thank you, you are such a rock star! Go, go, go!

      And Loree, I wanted this to be a surprise. I hope that it brings you readers!

      Delete
    4. Leslie in Portland, OregonNovember 10, 2012 at 3:29 AM

      I want to heartily second what Suze wrote above regarding your weaving, Heather. Every one of your posts inspires me. And makes me laugh or cry, think and learn.... And today, you outdid yourself! Bravo and thank you, Heather.

      Since the recommendations come from you, I will make a point of visiting the three blogs you wrote about today.

      It is absolutely wonderful that you will be sharing Thanksgiving with your American family. Where do they live? How long will you be there?

      My brain is buzzed from the euphoria that started the evening of November 6 (and the cacaphony of effort and anxiety that preceded it). I hope to be a better communicator when I figure out how to keep the euphoria and delete the brain buzz. I couldn't wait, though, to respond to this post.

      Warm greetings to you, Remi and Ben.

      Delete
    5. Thank you so very much Leslie. I hope to send you an email this weekend...

      Delete
  7. This is such a beatifully written post Heather and the images are so provoctive... I just want to open doors and touch the old stone! I am hopping over to see the blogs you featured. Hope you have an amazing trip and that you make very special memories to treasure.

    It is awesome that you still celebrate each new arrival on yor blog and you perfectly echoed our feelings on blogging!

    Veronica ~ bad hair day here for my mop in this wind..hahah xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's alright my red-head Sista! We just have to go with the flow on bad hair days...Merci for the kindness!

      Delete
  8. Thank you so much for the incredibly kind introduction! I loved this post - I almost teared up at the beginning. I do love this time of year and the reminder to be thankful! SO - thank you! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh, you are so welcome--thank you a TON for all of the laughter that you have given me--the BEST gift there is!

      Delete
  9. What a wonderful family you have Heather and they must truly miss you to think of pooling their money to bring you home for the holiday and your sisters birthday. And what a wonderful way of giving back to our blog friends by introducing them to others. I'm off to give them a read.

    XXX
    Debra~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Debra, I think that you will really enjoy the happiness in these blogs--right up your alley! I need to get caught up with you and hoping all is well there!!
      xoxoxo!

      Delete
  10. Hello Heather

    Yippee you are USA bound for Thanksgiving. I can feel your excitement. How kind of your family. Speaking of kindness thank you for introducing us to new blogs, I am going to head over to each and no doubt will enjoy them and follow them as you do.

    Your images are truly beautiful.

    Helen xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Speaking of kindness, that would be YOU, Helen Tilston. Merci pour tout!
      xo,
      Heather

      Delete
  11. My blogs are small as well but I enjoy writing them. I am a scattershot photog so I usually post my husband's fine art photography on my "Empty Nest Evolution" blog. He's an artist! My other blog, "Women of a Certain Age" is political and feminist, for the most part. It is thought provoking. www.womenofcertainage.blogspot.com www.emptynestevolution.blogspot.com

    Your photographs are strikingly warm and pleasing to the eye. Love them. Are you familiar with Nicole's Little Brown Pen blog? She's a francophile and photographer and artist. littlebrownpen.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the heads up, Cali Girl! Yep, I do know of Nicole's blog--she is famous in these parts! Will look forward to stopping by chez toi...

      Delete
  12. Your blog is a gift to others. It always gives me pleasure - beautifully written with fabulous images. It is one of the very first blogs to which I subscribed. I feel privileged when you drop by Eiffel Tells and leave a comment. Bon voyage. Bisous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elizabeth, you have been with me here for a long, long time!! Thank you...
      Gros bisous à toi aussi!!!

      Delete
  13. You truly can master words in a way that simply makes them read as if they are being spoken over soft candlelight, each sentence is so beautifully thought through and eloquently put. Have been away, so have missed your voting post - shall go back and check it out though as I love this thoughts from an expat's perspective.

    And the small blogs are the ones I treasure most (and I hope that isn't just because mine is small too! hah!). But I treasure them because people are putting such care and thought into them, as a personal thing, not just as a commercial enterprise, and because they often express far much more opinion and reflection. I'll pop in to your recommended 3 too - just need another coffee first because it is early in the morning here and a mountain of work sits before me!!

    SO excited about your trip to see your mother and sister. My goodness, what a perfect gift! xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a gorgeous compliment, my friend, thank you. And I think of your blog as HUGE! The Big Time! Am I wrong?!

      I think that we both put all of our heart into our blogs (and you in your design work) and the three that I mentioned are the same.

      And yes, I am beyond thrilled.
      PS. Has your little envelope arrived yet?

      Delete
  14. Dear Heather,
    What a wonderful post for our By Invitation series .......... I think that blogging can be everything and anything that we want it to be. To me, itis different things on different days. Sometimes I share images of my holidays or my home or other times, I am very shallow and just show pretty pictures !!!! It really doesn't matter how many followes we have or how many comments we get, it is just a lovely way to write down our feelings and ideas.
    ..... and, many thanks for your lovely comment today. Much love. XXXX

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Merci beaucoup, Jacqueline. I am so with you that it is not about the numbers...at all...I feel so fortunate to be in contact with so many amazing people, they give me far more than I could give them!
      xo,
      h

      Delete
  15. Dear Heather,

    I'm am profoundly grateful that Remi coaxed you into the world of blogs. I so enjoy reading your words and hearing your stories. I'm hoping my vote for Obama seals the deal!!! Cheri

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looks like it did, Cheri! *sounds of champagne corks popping*
      Thanks for your kind words...

      Delete
  16. What a wonderful way you have with words, you write like I think, but unlike you I am not always able to write my thoughts.My blogging experience is still relatively new & I too don't have many followers, but enjoy what I do. I used to think 'why would anyone ever want to read anything about what other people do'. I wrote about this in my very first post on my blog http://barbaralilian-infrance.blogspot.com Like one of your other followers, I have not only friends, but my sister who cringe at the mere mention of the word blog, she never reads my posts, but her husband does & some of my so called friends I haven't even told I have a blog. This brings me to your last paragraph... I think it's time I need to open my door and let the light in. Enjoy your trip to spend Thanks giving with your mother & sister, family is such an important part of our lives, which truly shows what a bond you have with your family,for them to arrange & finance your visit to be with them. Your photos are wonderful I love French doors & windows. I'm now going to look at the blogs you mentioned which I'm sure I will like. Take care.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Barbara Lilian and by all means keep writing! These things take time!! I came to blogging from the professional world of the press as I mentioned, so I already knew that writing is a discipline. You go at it over and over again with all of your heart...that is what is wonderful. And no, not everyone will support you all of the time but if you do it for yourself, that is what will matter...

      Delete
  17. Whenever your new post comes to my inbox I always open it first thing in the morning before anything else because I know that I'll hear from a sincere friend, a few poetic inspiring thoughts, see beautiful images of faraway life. You have a gift to share soul nourishing moments in such a delicate way and your todays post is a joy.
    Thank you very much for new blogs introduction, sounds so promising, I'm definitely going to visit them. Recently my small group of 32 followers got smaller by 2 and that made me sad, can't hide it. Probably I still have to find my voice...Work in progress.
    So very happy for your upcoming trip home! You have an amazing Family. Have a wonderful safe journey, blue skies, no storms, million hugs and laughs.
    Natalie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Natalie, I am so sorry that you lost two followers! I know how sad it makes me when I lose them (even with the political post I don't understand). Please don't be unkind to yourself for you most certainly have a very specific point of view and I am very appreciative of all that you do and EXACTLY how you present it.
      xo,
      H

      Delete
  18. Heather - you just inspire and warm with your Blog - maybe a few years ago Blogs were not considered anything special - but girl I couldn't go past a day without the wonderful memories you evoke - the gasp of wonder at such beauty that you capture - both from your heart and your camera!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. Oh Wyn, you always give me a big blast of joy in your responses--merci, merci, merci!

      Delete
  19. I started to say I had shared you and Blogged you and then gotten side tracked in the middle of the comment moment - so keep it up we are all inspired!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. One of the things I like about your blog is your generosity, Heather. How kind of you to share your space with these other bloggers, and to introduce us to new voices! I look forward to discovering their sites.

    I voted this afternoon and thought of you. Wish I could send you a sticker :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooh, I wish you could have to, Ann! I love what you write--please know I am so happy to follow what you do and am glad that you are here! :)

      Delete
  21. There must be something in the air Heather. I woke up in Australia to a healthy little jump in facebook followers courtesy of an unexpected shout out from Renovating in Italy. I've just spent the last 20 minutes picking roses in the rain to take a photo to return the favour and say thankyou online. It's the best I can do. Then I saw this. Will definitely visit the girls's blogs. Hope today's election sees Obama reinstalled. Enjoy the time with your family.x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Margaret. How I loved the thought of you picking roses in the rain to say a thank you, clearly you are someone after my own heart! Yes, we do what we can in return. :) And I am one very happy girl today for sure.

      Delete
  22. Such exciting news, Heather. I am THRILLED for you that you are able to go home for Thanksgiving. How wonderful! Thanks for sharing so much of yourself here, and for introducing us to some new blog friends. You always make me smile - I can so relate to the shouting out of new members whenever that number ticks up! I appreciate the reminder that every day we have a choice about the light that we choose to let in, and give out, as we go along our way. Such a beautiful thought, and so well expressed.

    PS: More exciting news - we've been invited to Provence next August. It's months and months away, and a lot could happen between now and then. Mr. H. has given it a big eye roll, because it might interfere with some other travel plans we've had cooking for awhile. (I'm plotting a campaign in which whenever we discuss it, I look at him the way Ben looks when he wants food!) Keeping my fingers crossed that we can work it out. I'll keep you posted!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Waaarrghh!!! Oh my goodness! Jeanne!!! I am so excited that you might come to Provence next summer!!! Oooh, what can I do to convince Mr. H? Fill his inbox with my best photos? Promise to have you over for a killer apero? :) If it does work out, I will be happy to make suggestions. Ah, you would love it here and I would love to meet you...

      Delete
  23. Heather, I've just read this lovely post you did for us today. Thank you so much for taking all this time to make it perfect. And, it is! I'm going to visit with each of your other friends, whom I hope will become mine as well. Thanksgiving in the USA...WONDERFUL ! More later, I'm off to the spirits store as I will need sustenance to watch the returns tonight. xx's my friend....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who wouldn't want to be your friend, beautiful lady? :)

      Yes, I was a little late with this and I am behind on everything this week!! I still haven't even finished reading the latest of the BIO group! Bad me, bad! I know that you must be disappointed, Marsha. Time to keep moving forward the best we can...
      Bisous,
      H

      Delete
  24. Heather, this is such a wonderful post and I'm so glad you're going to be spending time with your family for Thanksgiving.
    Thank you for introducing your blogger friends to us today, I look forward to visiting their sites.
    Have a wonderful trip!

    x Sending hugs from down under xx Coty

    ReplyDelete
  25. Sharing is really precious and special isn't it? Thank you for the introduction to those blogs. I will check them out. I am sorry to here that you lost some subscribers. Your photos of these doors are so amazing! Blogging definitely opened doors for me to meet people from all over the world and learn about their own views, lifestyle, culture and as you wrote, sharing of experiences and knowledge. Just fascinating, blogging is!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Yes...this is the perfect post in every way...thanks so much for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Beautiful prose as always! Thanks for the introduction to these blogs, I will be sure to visit them. Keep well x Sharon

    ReplyDelete
  28. Heather, thank you for the introductions to all the blogs above and will be visiting them soon. I feel fortunate to have found your blog. Glad you took Remi up on his suggestions and opened the door to blogging. I can't imagine missing all these wonderful things you share with us and I'm very grateful!

    So happy you'll be able to spend the upcoming Thanksgiving Day with your family. Life will not be the same if we can't go home every now and then to get a refill of familial love.

    Amelia
    XO


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You understand so perfectly, Amelia. I am so excited, I could take the plane right this very second!!
      xo!

      Delete
  29. What a lovely post with wonderful door images! I see them as the entrances to the blogworld which we just have to open to discover each other.....!
    Well done Heather!

    All my best wishes for your coming up trip!

    Gros bis,
    xxxkarin

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hello Heather:
    What a wonderfully generous and thoughtful gift from your family. It will be a magical time for you all to be together and we can feel the thrill from this side of the computer screen.

    We feel extremely privileged to have found you in the labyrinth of the Land of Blog and to have been allowed to share so many aspects of your incredible life. We know Loree but the other blogs you feature here are adventures waiting to be discovered. How exciting is that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very exciting! Nancy Kate is just so very funny and Jennifer is absolutely your cup of tea. I think that you both might appreciate her other blog, The Auntie Times, as well. Very, very charming.

      Sending you gros bisous--you both know how much my family means to me!!

      Delete
  31. I really enjoy your blog.
    I read it most times without commenting .. but I do have a sense of you and your kindness and compassion. I also love Provence, having visited for the first time this year ... I have hundreds of photos of doors - they are works of art in themselves.
    A lovely genuine and generous post, thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a lovely surprise to know that you read along, I didn't know! :) Thank you for your wonderful response, it is much appreciated.
      And yes, once you start taking photos of the doors, it is hard to stop!! Perhaps you will just have to come back?

      Delete
  32. What a beautifully written post! You've captured the spirit of Thanksgiving and the season so beautifully. The story of your blog's beginning hit home with this freelance writer. And as a blogger who shouts out the numbers (small as they are), I think the "By Invitation Only" idea to recognize other blogs, is a beautiful and beneficial one. I am eager to visit those you've written about!

    ReplyDelete
  33. what fantastic news, Heather. There isn't a better gift, is there? I'm so happy for you.
    As for your recommendations, I couldn't agree more with Jennifer's, she is so lovely. And that Nancy Kate! I was really hoping to meet her because she makes me laugh like no other blogger living here in France. I love her conversations with France. They're what hooked me. And I am delighted to read Loree's blog. Thanks for sharing it.
    Thankful indeed. The door is open wide and the cool breeze is blowing out all the cobwebs!
    adore you,
    Aidan xo

    ReplyDelete
  34. Good Lord, Heather.....I haven't looked at the responses to your posting about the election here in the USA.....but do you really mean to say that some folks were so silly as to have unsubscribed?

    When I first read that posting, I thought (but decided not to post) "Dear Heather...any readers that you lose, simply because you write what you think and believe on YOUR blog, were probably not worth having".

    I hope you'll recall the Dixie Chicks' quite public response to the "Just Shut Up and Sing What WE want" response to their own "outing" of their political sympathies.

    All of which is to say that I also thought, when I read that posting, that I don't care what any blogger's political leanings are....as long as the postings are obviously sincere and devoid of "attacks" against the "other side".

    As my nobody's-fool grandmother used to say (and I'm obviously paraphrasing) "If you can't simply state what you believe in without attacking what you're against?.....then you probably don't have a a very good case. Just tell folks what you stand FOR, and leave it at that".

    I think last night's election (amusingly enough, I watched the results with,among some other folks, three neighbors who, between them, have about 25 Emmys for daytime soap-opera writing during the 80's and 90's) demonstrated my grandmother's point.

    Advisedly yours as ever,

    David Terry

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You could have signed as wisedly yours as ever and that would have hit the mark too, David. It just wouldn't have been English. :)

      Delete
  35. How sweet that your family pooled in their money to get you over for Thanksgiving. It sounds like you come from some great people. That in itself is enough to be thankful for. :)

    Also, thank you for introducing us to some of your favorite blogs! I have been meaning to head over to Bread is Pain just for the name itself. It's genius. Thanks for giving me that little boost!


    ..and I'm really glad you decided to blog. : )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ella, you of ALL people will LOVE Bread is Pain. Truly, you two are peas in a pod. So hop on over there, now, git!

      And I am happy to have found you too!

      Delete
  36. We have a daughter studying law in Luxembourg and I know about the importance of family holidays, especially to the one in the family overseas. This Christmas we won't be able to share with her for the first time in 25 years, so I know how special your trip will be for you. I found your blog from another and since our family has traveled in the South of France many times, I have really enjoyed your writing but more importantly your photos. I am a working artist and I use my camera to record images that I eventually use for my paintings. I enjoy seeing the details in your world that I have seen or have missed on my own wanderings. Keep up the good work and sharing.....and of course, have a great visit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Richard. And you are not alone! Helen Tilston, David Terry and Wyn Vogel (see their profiles in the comments above) are also inspired and inspiring artists. I feel very fortunate to have their eyes here and now, yours too.

      Before I moved to France eleven years ago, spending the holidays away from my very tight knit family was unthinkable! And yes, that first Christmas was especially difficult. Sending my Best to you and yours but I hope that your daughter will enjoy her holiday season in Luxembourg as well, it should be lovely...

      Delete
  37. Dearest heather

    Quelle splendid post.

    I was a newspaper journalist in England many years ago so was initially aghast at writing for free and then like you i started to share and talk and feel part of something and it all became deliciously magical.

    Your generous spirit shines through.

    Waving from nyc

    _teamgloria

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *waving vigorously back in your direction--hello! hello!*

      Thank you for the kind compliment TG but I have a feeling that I might have a thing or two to learn still about generous expression...!

      Delete
  38. Hello Lovely Lost in Arles!
    Great post. I'll enjoy checking out the other blogs. And wonderful that you're winging it home for the holidays. Home is good!
    xx

    ReplyDelete
  39. Dear Heather,
    Thank you for visiting and making a comment.
    It'is a great pleasure!
    Last summer I visited Provence with my daughter
    I find it very relaxing, calmos and care-free place to live: you are lucky!

    Baci a presto Eleonora

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Italy is not so bad either Eleonora!! ;)

      Your blog is beautiful...

      Delete
  40. When my newspaper job went the way of the bad economy, and the freelance print assignments paid so little that "disheartening" couldn't even begin to capture it (the expenses were always tens of times higher than the pay, and that's not counting the time to do the work!), I turned to blogging as an experiment and discipline more than anything. And found community, new interests, new friends.

    We all start out as the Little Engine that Could even when we don't know we're doing so. It's part of the unfolding experience. And equally, the extraordinary quality and diversity of writers to be found in this medium. A very, very happy surprise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not to mention the overwhelming generosity of spirit...far more contact than we ever could have dreamed of in the press...

      Delete
    2. Oh, 'biglittlewolf".....that's a lovely comment, and your instincts are utterly commendable. Yes....almost everyone (at one time or another and/or for one reason or another) needs to turn to something new as an "experiment and discipline".

      For the obvious reasons, i'm suddenly thinking (having read your wise comment) "Well....even the most talented dancers and singers don't just QUIT practicing, in one form or another, every day...just because they don't have a gig lined up for next week or aren't getting any applause from an audience tonight."

      This is, indeed, a use-it-or-lose-it world....a lesson I've happily learned in my own work (suffice it to say that I scarcely spend my days doing what I'd planned for my little self-referential self when I was thirty).


      Thank you for your smart comment.....david terry

      Delete
  41. Those doors are just stunning.
    yes I love my little comment box, for the wit wisdom and the laughter, the occasional horror comes along but then life is like that and it's teaching me to toughen up and be less oversensitive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And you know that your friends will always come to your defense!! :) You are such a beauty, Tabitha!

      Delete
  42. You made my heart melt a bit with this post. I am beyond thrilled for you that you get to go 'home' for Thanksgiving, that's such a generous gift! And I am so happy that you decided to blog because now you know that there is a fellow curly-haired New Yorker who loves Ethan Hawke, hanging out in a tiny village, not too far away :) bisous xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can you believe it, Sara? I am SO excited. Do you want me to bring anything back for you? It would give me an excuse to meet up for a delivery!

      Delete
  43. Sister! Just read this and feel sad I am late to it since you mentioned our gift to get our wootsie over here! I love this lovely post, with its as-usual stunning photos (esp. love the one of the tall flowers by the grey door), but, especially, the idea of sharing. Of course, it's what you do for your readers in every post - share your take and your philosophy and artistry. It can be hard to share - it makes one vulnerable and afraid of whether there's enough to give and/or will be reciprocated. So thank you for sharing yourself with us and for sharing these new blogs - I'm sure they are so grateful! Can't wait to see you!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Heather, you have so captured. . .us! The houses we have found and the daydreams we have had about them would fill albums. But that's one of those travel joys isn't it. . . daydreaming and discovering?

    ReplyDelete
  45. I found your lovely comment at Mouse's blog and thought I'd check yours out. Wow, so very beautiful! I love these ancient doors... How come we don't have this kind of reverence in North America, at least out west which is so young compared to much of Europe.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Such a beautiful post Heather. I found you via Greet's blog and so now I am a new fan. I am still trying to find my own voice on my blog. I will definitely go to the other blogs that you have mentioned here - so nice to find other unique bloggers to read.

    I hope that you are having a wonderful time in the States visiting your Mom and sister. My youngest daughter was across the country for 6 years but now she has come back to NY and I am so very happy. I missed her terribly, like your family does you.

    I love how you post your pictures (and I love the photography...I want to be able to learn to take photos such as yours) and weave in the blog story. It's a beautiful and artistic way of doing a blog. I need to do more of that in my blog - instead of just posting projects. I have done a few more personal blogposts - and I've found that the more open I am, the more comments I get. I have a long way to go to make my blog better - and reading yours has given me so much food for thought. Your sharing has really opened my eyes.

    Thanks...Linda

    ReplyDelete

Your responses are what makes this blog so special to me. I love hearing from you. Thank you for visiting!

*Anonymous comments are no longer accepted and those left on posts two days after publication or more will be published after moderation. So not to worry, they will arrive and again, I appreciate them all so very much...Merci!*

And also, I am sorry to do it but I am asking you to do word verification as there seems to be a bit of problems with the comments for the time being...