Fool for France

I have some things to take care of. They have brought me back to California, just for a bit, not long. I am staying at the home of a friend and his lovely wife. These days this is as close to a home as I have in this country.

I remember so much about this house. One afternoon, almost 20 years ago, I got a whispered telephone call. “Lynn, there is a place about to come on the market. I don’t know, it’s so expensive and it’s not in great shape. The realtor will ‘forget’ to lock the back door but just for one night. You have to come down to see it.” So I did. We wandered around with a dim flashlight while he pointed out flaws and I pointed out the reasons I felt they were cosmetic issues, nothing structural. And the price? High, but everything was. He bought the house.

Blame it on Lou Kahn, I guess. One of the first things I told my friend was that the house didn’t “want” to be white. It wanted to be blue and yellow. I was thinking sky blue and lemon yellow but as you can see, he took that idea and ran with it. I think it has worn rather well. He was right, too. The bolder colors go perfectly with his art collection. I remember making a midnight run to a 24-hour Home Depot — only in America! — for exterior paint because his painters were arriving in the morning and he liked my ideas for the inside so well that he wanted help with the outside, too. Well, the outside did want to be white, with a band of something, well, not quite on the paint chips. At that time of night we had the store basically to ourselves and the clerk was only too happy to play around a bit. It came out great. For years afterwards, folks would knock on his door to ask what that gray color was, it was so perfect.

He found a contractor to make a few upgrades. He found seconds and overstocks for the kitchen and bathroom. He found bargain furniture in moving sales. From dozens of unexpected sources he pulled together a house that fits together, that wouldn’t look right if it were any other way. Meanwhile the house was quadrupling in value. At least. 

So, all good. For what I need to do, I need a refuge. I am most happy to have found one here.

5 Replies to “Visit to California”

  1. Welcome back to the USA, if only for a visit. How long are you staying?

    Apologies for any typographical errors – sent from a small mobile device.



    1. I’ll be here for a couple of weeks, enough to see a few friends and take care of a couple of things. I’d like to get to Los Angeles but I’m not sure I can manage even that.


Comments are closed.

A Journal of Cultural Inquiry


The Visible Mending Programme: making and re-making

My Mazamet

Life at № 42

the quiet photographer

un fotografo tranquillo, semplicemente

London Wlogger

Walking blogger exploring London's hidden gems, parks, bridges, landmarks, sights and history!

Taste of France

The beautiful life in the other South of France

Frelon Cottage

Our French House Renovation

Our French Oasis


Maison Travers

Living & Cooking in the Dordogne

Half Baked In Paradise

Searching, settling, sauteeing and spritzing

The Venomous Bead

Adapting to difference, staying the same person...either side of the Channel and now the Atlantic

Colin Bisset

writer, traveller, broadcaster

Poshbird with Passion

restoring and saving 'stuff'


A Cat's Eye View

Multifarious meanderings

The odds and sods of everyday life.

Brat Like Me

Curtis Family Farming Grass-fed Beef in Southwest France

David Lebovitz

Or fool in France? Depends on the day...


Grass-fed, Pastured Meat in Southwest France

Food, Photography & France

Journal of a food photographer living in France

%d bloggers like this: