Saturday, October 31, 2015

Oh my, goodness - part deux



Oh my goodness, I am so excited.

This will be a short post. I know, it is Halloween and many of you are most likely no where near your computers but rather are carving pumpkins, sneaking bonbons and crafting smoking cocktails, as you should be. Hopefully these slightly moody photos will fit the bill? But they actually are an antipode to what I am feeling...


...for today is a wonderful day - yes, yes, beyond the celebration of the spooky and unknown, which delights me to no end in itself - for you see, my friend Ellie is packing up the truck to leave Paris behind. 

She is moving down to Provence tomorrow.

To be slightly more precise, her new home will be at only about a fifteen minute drive away from ours!



Now, I have spoken in the past about the aspect that having lasting friendships as an expat has been a challenge for me. I don't always gel well with my French counterparts and my fellow expatriates are often here for a few months and then gone for the rest of the year (which is doable but challenging). So, this arrival is something of a great gift, yes, full of the good stuff. 

But honestly, this is not about me in the least. That is just the candy corn on the cake.



I think that quite a few of you read Ellie's wonderful blog, Have Some Decorum and I smile to see some of your names in the comments section. For those of you who don't know who she is, well, I invite you to go and find out. As I have mentioned before, she is a fellow American, my age, beautiful beyond belief and happens to be in her fifth year of having ALS, although it doesn't define her - if anything, she is in the process of redefining - or trying to - this terrible disease. 

For at least a year now, Ellie has had it her head that she needs to move to Provence. Now, who doesn't want to live in Provence, you might ask but this was no simple proposal. Her French husbands work is based out of Paris (not exactly a shabby city in itself) and that is where her daughter goes to university. And yet she knew that for the best of her well-being that she had to live in the sun. 



Sun is something that we have here in Provence in spades and frankly often goes missing in Paree for five months out of the year. But the South of France also offers the possibility to change pace, to slow down, to connect with history and be surrounded by nature of the pinch me variety every single day. To have a view.

All of this was brewing in her mind far before I met Ellie in person. Those of you that have been reading here for a while know the tale: my wonderful friend, La Contessa, sent me the money (in cash!) so that I could take the train up just before Ellie's birthday. She later admitted that she was doing this as much as for my own good as Ellie's. Seriously, that woman is a living Fairy Godmother. Our meeting was...beyond wonderful. It was one of those moments that touched me deeply and shifted my perspective radically.



So when Ellie first announced her serious intentions to move down here, I was on it. We both spent hours, days, trolling through all of the internet ads we could find, looking for possibilities. And there were several. But one after one, they never panned out, for whatever reason. It was incredibly disheartening yet Ellie never gave up. She was determined. Slowly, she convinced her husband and daughter. And then, just then, the perfect house turned up. 

For me, the most amazing news is that it has an annex and so her caregivers are coming down with her. They are truly wonderful men who do so much and have so many talents. I admire them enormously. They will provide for a perfect transition and keep her "empire" expanding, right on schedule.



I wrote in an email the other day that Ellie will be the Queen of Provence in no time and I believe it. With her intelligence, vitality and verve - as well as her stellar taste in everything - who couldn't fall under her charm? Not to mention that the brocante dealers will need to be put on alert, as there is a new, ruthless buyer/seller in town. No details are left unturned by this phenomenal woman.


I feel really fortunate. But I also know deep in my heart that being here will help to only strengthen her truly indomitable spirit. I have wanted this so badly for her and now, it is happening.

If you are of the type to send out good thoughts or pray, would you join me in sending some to Ellie et al. so that the move goes swimmingly? I know it will but a little extra push would be lovely.

I can't wait to see what she will write on this new page in her life.

Brava, Ellie. Here is to moving forward. Don't worry about the freaky mushroom below, I have never seen one like it in Provence! Good times await, trust me. 



To read Ellie's blog, click here.

And if you are already fretting about Thanksgiving, then by all means save yourself some worries, click here.

What? Oh, you really want Halloween madness? All right, of course, I don't blame you. 



Happy Halloween and All Saint's Day...

With all of my very Best from Provence,
Heather


62 comments:

  1. This is wonderful news, Heather !! That woman is amazing. Love the photographs, it makes me smile to know that you took them and how much attention you put into the perfection of each frame. xx's

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    1. Thank you so much Marsha. I am always trying to get better with them.

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  2. Aren't you a lucky Miss to have a buddy close by. Just what the doctor ordered, I'd love to meet her some day. Maybe we can all meet up and play. xx

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  3. Congratulations to you and Ellie! Wonderful news.
    Her style of writing is as unique as yours, really into the heart of life.

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    1. That is a huge compliment!! I love, love, love the way that Ellie writes. So direct.

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  4. You girls, how fabulous! You are going to have some wonderful times! Here's to a smooth move and some fun, relaxation afterwards. I am eagerly awaiting the new tales. :D xx

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    1. Oooh, I can't wait to create them! Seems as though the move went very smoothly.

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  5. Heather! I am so excited for you and Ellie!!! It will be wonderful for you two to have each other so close! Guess who I am 15 minutes away from AND am going to lunch with on Monday? La Contessa (Elizabeth!)!!! I am sending good warm sunshiny thoughts to Ellie from The Bay Area for a smooth move to Provence ... And happy thoughts to you both for all the fun you will have together! All the best for a lovely autumn, Shireen

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    1. Shireen! You are the pink napkin lady!! I didn't know! Oh, I am so happy that you have met the wonderful Elizabeth and are keeping in touch. I love that story...a friendship started over napkins. :)
      Hoping you have a great autumn too.

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  6. I'd say that you're both lucky to have a ready playmate! Can't wait to hear the next exciting installment!
    Wishing you both happy times ahead!
    Cheers,
    Deborah.

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  7. I was so happy to read this news on Ellie's blog and I am delighted for you both. All of my limbs andcdigits are tightly crossed for Ellie for tomorrow. Happy Halloween!

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    1. You can uncross now! She is moved in and sounds super happy.

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    2. That's great news, Heather. Thank you!

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  8. Heather, thank you so much for being working with Ellie on this move. When I read in Ellie's earlier post what you had done to help make Ellie's dream a reality, I was absolutely delighted...and felt so grateful to you and to La Contessa. I am very happy for both of you, for you are two brilliant, imaginative, strong people who should live close to each other in a sunny place! With every prayer and good wish for a smooth move for Ellie and her family, Leslie in Oregon

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    1. You are so wonderful, Leslie. And truly, I didn't do much. Plus looking through real estate ads was so much fun! I am just glad that she is here now...

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  9. Little did I know that my MAGIC would make YOU friends for LIFE and NEIGHBORS!!!
    I am as THRILLED for ELLie as I AM for YOU!!!!
    I met Ellie for about two hours and I have NEVER met YOU RED HEAD BEAUTY, but somehow I know you TWO will be GOOD company for one another and have LOTS of LAUGHS.
    I have an extra copy of Eleanor's CHRISTMAS COOKBOOK which I have saved to send to YOU!Which I will do early like next week so you can get it STAMPED with her LIPS and start prepping as I would imagine the two of you will be spending some of the HOLIDAYS together..........from here on out!!!!
    I DO HOPE BUNNY and REMI get on!!!!!!!!!!!!!If not it will be a GIRLS AFFAIR of brocantes, and lunches and poolside chats to FIX the WORLD!
    I truly am SO HAPPY for YOU TWO...............
    SAFE TRAVELS ELLIE..........YOUR WORLD AWAITS YOU In the LAND of the SUNFLOWERS and LAVENDER.
    XOXOXO

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    1. That is such magic! I'm so excited for both of you. I'm looking over my shoulder at all times because I know contessa is just waiting to slip something in my drink and bring me to Europe!

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    2. THIS MAKES MY HEART SING! AT THE TOP OF ITS LUNGS!

      I KNEW ELLIE IN SANTA BARBARA.....WAY TOO BRIEFLY....BUT MEMORABLY!

      I MET LA CONTESSA WITH OUR BLOGS...AND THROUGH HER AUNTIE WHO LIVED IN (MY FAVORITE HOUSE ON EARTH I HAVE EVER SEEN ANYWHERE!!)

      YOU THINK I AM EXAGGERATING? NOOO!!!! "CONSTANTIA" IN MONTECITO. IT IS MY FAVORITE HOUSE ON THIS EARTH! (AND MY HUSBAND HAS TAKEN ME LOVELY PLACES ALL OVER THE WORLD TO SEE BEAUTIFUL HOUSES!)

      THAT IS HOW WE MET!!

      I MET ELLIE WHEN SHE WAS CLOSING HER STORE.....(MY FAVORITE STORE ON THE PLANET ALSO....YOU THINK I SAY THIS ALL THE TIME! HA!! NO!!!!!!!!!

      WE ARE SOULMATES! SHE IS ALSO MARRIED TO AN ITALIAN! (MINE HAS ALL THE ATTRIBUTES....BUT NOT THE ACCENT.....HE IS THIRD GENERATION AMERICAN!) HIS GRANDFATHER EMIGRATED I N 1890! BUT HE HAS ALL THE ATTRIBUTES!

      (IF YOU DON'T KNOW ANY; OR IF YOU AREN'T MARRIED TO ONE...POOR DEAR...I CANNOT EXPLAIN!!)
      STEPHEN....HAVE YOU BAG PACKED!!!!

      XXOO

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    3. Magic is absolutely the right word!!

      What is amazing to me is that in this huge, huge world so many of us are connected. I found Brooke who "introduced" me to Penelope (on the phone at least!) but I was already in contact with Elizabeth, who is now friends with Penelope and because of her we both met Ellie, who is now living here and because of Ellie, we are all crazy for Stephen! Whew! It makes me dizzy a little bit just to think about it! But oh so happy...

      Such amazing people...all of you!

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  10. Ravie pour vous deux! Delighted for both of you! (I sense mischief in the offing....)

    And your holiday moody mushroom and other images are perfect for the season!

    xo

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    1. Isn't that the creepiest mushroom you have ever seen? I was afraid to get too close to it! And yes, bring on the mischief!

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  11. Sending all good thoughts to Ellie. How cool for both of you!

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  12. Having a good friend nearby is worth both friends' weight in gold! I feel like I'm getting a new friend, just reading how excited you are - it's going to be glorious for both of you! Good thoughts are zinging along to both of you, for a smooth move, and a great transition to a new home for Ellie and her family.

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    1. I think you are right Judi and I am one happy camper...so far it seems like her transition is happening at lightning pace!

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  13. I MISSPELLED ALL THESE THINGS! MY ENTHUSIASM ABOUT ELLIE'S MOVE!!
    THANK YOU FOR BEING SUCH A LOVELY FRIEND TO ALL OF US!

    GORGEOUS PERSON; YOU ARE!!!!

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    1. Thank you with all of my heart Penelope.
      xo

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  14. This can only be the best move for Ellie. I am sure she will be happy to have a good friend like you close by, and Provence will be the better for having the lovely, talented Ellie in its midst. XOXO, Victoria

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    1. So beautifully said, Victoria. I know that her being here will be great for all involved!

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  15. Stunning photos Heather - so much light and depth, all like paintings, beautifully composed.
    Wonderful news about Ellie moving to Provence, air and light is so important for health, we have plenty of it here in Australia ...
    Have followed both your blogs for so long, it feels like hearing about old friends so the news is uplifting.
    Serendipity .... who knows what is possible, the universe is so clever when you make a wish, it does what it can to make it happen.

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    1. I really believe that too Vicki Lee. And that it will even reward you with a surprise for taking the risk...

      Thank you for having been such a faithful reader too!!

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  16. Heather this will be so wonderful for both you and Ellie!
    Your friendship will grow even stronger and she will have your help right there in person to get her through some of the rough times. Ahhhh Provence!!

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena

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    1. Oh, I know that Ellie can totally handle things on her own - she is a powerhouse! But absolutely, both Remi and I are here for her completely!

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  17. I would like to join Heather and the others and welcome Ellie.
    "her new home will be at only about a fifteen minute drive away from ours!” Fortune comes in many forms.

    "There are three ways to study: with your feet, with your eyes, and with your mind.”-Anna Badkhen, Walking With Abel


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    1. That is yet another perfect quote, merci, Edgar. And yes, I feel very fortunate.

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  18. IT's SUNDAY and SHE has ARRIVED IN PROVENCE I see on INSTAGRAM!!!!!!!
    HEATHER are YOU PINCHING YOURSELF????
    YES< DEAR STEPHEN I will GET DRUGS to HELP YOU my favorite is ADVIL PM which they doNOT make anymore??!!!WHY???But with a small bottle of wine and your TWO Pills and your neck pillow and your EYE SHADES I will have you sleeping for HOURS ON THAT AIRPLANE!!!!!NO WORRIES...........YOU CAN DO THIS!
    XX

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    1. Half a Xanax (ok, maybe a whole) and two mini bottles of wine with the meal (fly Air France!!) and it is good night Irene! ;)

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  19. I read on Ellie's blog that she was moving to Provence, wonderful news. The sun is a healer in so many ways. I too am moving to Provence shortly, from the Languedoc, and hope to meet both Ellie and Heather in person. Well done, both of you.
    bonnie

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    1. ANOTHER BUDDY!
      BONNIE I assume you are an American?Where do you HAIL from?
      Then there is simple images2 who will be ANOTHER FRIEND!LOOK what is happening!YOU TWO ARE MAKING A VILLAGE!!!!!!!!!
      I am SO excited for ALL of YOU!!!!
      I have GOT to get into this ACTION..........will start in on THAT ITALIAN to prepare HIM.I want to visit ALL these people TOO!!!!
      XO

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    2. This is the genius of the Internet .... Connecting like minds and forging friendships.

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    3. Bonnie, I can't wait for us to meet! And I am so excited that you are moving sooner than I had remembered. I can't wait. And yes, we both know what a healer the sun is. I have the windows open right now! I bet you do too.

      Elizabeth, get on over here! I can't wait until spring!!!

      And Pat...isn't it true? I just can't get over it sometimes. It truly is such an incredible gift.

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  20. Oh, how exciting. Provence will never be the same. What a gift for both of you. Friendship, sun, brocantes, lunches, dinner. I'm beyond thrilled, I know what a diference a good friend makes. My BFF La Contessa has so enriched my life and brought me so much joy! You're right Elizabeth is La Contessa, Auntie Mame, Perle Mesta and the Pied Piper all rolled into one! Her heart is filled with such generosity of spirit! Thrilled for all of you!
    Sandra Sallin www.apartfrommyart.com

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    1. Yes! Elizabeth is one of the most generous people that I have ever met and I am thrilled to have her for such a true and loyal friend. AND she told me what birthday you have coming up and I couldn't believe it!!! I would have thought ten years less! Maybe as it is such an important one, you and E need to celebrate...with a trip to France?
      xoxo

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  21. I follow Ellie on IG and so I knew she was moving to Provence. It will be wonderful for both of you to be able to spend time together. Life can be so amazing sometimes.

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    1. Can't it? Who would ever though that I would have a friend on Malte?!

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  22. How lovely for you Heather to have a dear friend living close by. I can imagine she will love meeting Ben and Kipling too, so good for her. Have fun girls! XX

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    1. Oh my Tracy, I have already sent her the link to the website of Ben's breeder! You and I both know the amazingness of a Golden and Ellie does too.

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  23. A very happy Halloween story! I shall raise my glass to toast a long, sunny, happy friendship :-) xx

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  24. Bon courage tous les deux!

    I wish you a lot of happy hours together!

    Provence will do its magic! Wasn't it what you said to me this september? Provence will do its magic to Ellie.
    Because there are things that even a City like Paris cannot provide:

    There is that special light that you only find in the south of France.
    There is the wide sky.
    There is the green of the countryside.
    There is the sound of the breeze in the trees.
    And the smell of the woods and the lavender.

    Some of those things one needs to feel a certain relief and to fill the heart with joy.

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    1. Yes, yes, yes Silke! I wish you could see my smile right now...

      We need to get you back here...

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  25. I am so excited for both you and Ellie! xo

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  26. I am so happy for you and Ellie! Maria from Athens-Greece

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  27. From your lovely blog I found Ellie's blog and it changed my life. Thank you both! Maria from Athens-Greece

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    1. Maria, I always love your comments chez Ellie and I am super happy that you found her because of this blog!! She is an amazing woman.

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  28. Heather, I did read about Ellie moving to Provence. I love reading her fun always real blog entries. I am hoping she documents decorating that new home.

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    1. Right? I do too!! She is going to work her magic...

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