Fool for France

Robert Colmar

So Robert has been gone for two years, now. It’s hard to believe, partly because it feels like forever, except when it feels like I just saw him yesterday or else like I made our whole dozen years up. This is him in Colmar one holiday season. Did we really spend that Christmas in Colmar, laughing at our belief that the Christmas market would be interesting, or would I just like to have done that? The Baroque music concert in the church, the near-hour spent with the panels of the Isenheim altarpiece, lunch at L’Atelier du Peintre, really? Yes, I think so, really. I think so.

The question is, what if he came back? What would he think of the changes I have made in my life? Some would infuriate him. “But honey, I thought you were dead.” I don’t see that flying, as I try to explain why I sold the California house. Some he would love, like the house I bought here. Some he wouldn’t notice, like the improvement in my French. Bless his heart, despite the evidence, he always thought my French was terrific. I’m sure we’d work it out — unless, of course, I took a few photos, maybe downloaded them from the internet, then wove a 12-year story around them. I could look at the stamps in my passport but those can be forged, can’t they?

So, as I head into my third year of this strange new life, I thank the man who made it possible. I think that’s how I got here. Next year, as I head into a fourth year, will I do another memorial post? I don’t know. We’ll see. Maybe it will feel too weird.

9 Replies to “Deux ans, déjà!”

    1. He generally did love what I did. And I swear, when I first stood in the entry hall and wondered whether I really wanted to get into this, I heard him say, “That’s a lot of house for the money.” He always did nudge me to do a little more than I would have dared on my own, so I went for it. You guys would have liked each other. He and Terence Conran would have gotten along like a house afire.


    1. Chuckling? Mostly ticked that he can’t be doing this, too. But okay, yeah, he probably does chuckle when I go ballistic over holes the electricians punch in the cornice — I should post photos of a few of those. One of these posts, I should address the whole bravery thing. For me this project is therapeutic. I’m less brave than grateful that I have the training and the means to do this.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. our project is therapeutic too, for different reasons
    Robert looks like a man who could sort those clumsy electricians out toute suite, although I am sure that you (like me) can do ballistic very well, it takes one to know one.


    1. Robert didn’t do ballistic. He’d delegate that to me. This time, I sent an email to the electrician. I’m delegating the actual meeting to Stuart and Sophie, his French wife. Now she can do ballistic. That woman gets action, plus it will be harder for them to patronize her. The meeting is on Wednesday, while I am still on the train down. I look forward to finding out how it goes.


      1. Me to!
        Incidentally, Trev doesn’t do ballistic either; he leaves it to me because I can do it so well when required…
        He just raises his crazy eyebrows and looks mean


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