April 22, 2012

(reading between the smiles)

We are swiftly approaching the end of the first phase of renovations at the next home, our 4th in France, and perhaps our last (still unsure what I will do for the next 3 years). We will start to move in next month and finish some time before the 1st of July. We have already started taking small loads of dust proof stuff over, trying to ease the pain of moving 
Kitchen Couch
(a dim shadow over our excitement).  We anticipate really liking this new home, with it’s family room layout and efficient use of space. A restart with “everything new” other than the 18th century walls and the 15th century caves and its volumes and views.  Once we do move in the follow-up phases will include the guest room/office, the zinc countertops, refurbishing old windows and whatever doesn’t work on the move-in date.  Oscar is very excited about all the space he will have in his suite (room + mezzanine), Patricia is excited about all of the closets and I am excited about the high-function cuisine.  We are all ready for the move and anticipating, nay salivating, over the new crop of restaurants in that quartier.
View from the mezzanine
My hand is doing well.  My doctor is quite proud of his work, I am already lying to my kine (physical therapist) about my homework, but I am still making progress.  I had heard that all the movement I will ever regain will be regained in the first 6 months, and I feel like I’m behind schedule at the halfway mark.  The fingers feel very tight, but when worked for a few minutes I can get them to about 75% of where they used to be, and thats not terrible for the left hand of a right handed handyman!  The thumb still has phantom pains when I hit it with a hammer (OK not really so phantomesque but pain out of proportion)  and the ring finger still lacks it’s rings (to no great effect) and has a forever broken bone on the terminal section (I think they call it P3).  

They may reconnect the two parts someday, but for now we will float along loosey goosey.  I will continue to visit the kine clinic once a week till summer arrives and then we shall see.  The take away is a fortunate life, at the clinic I see far worse, one “comrade” lost three of four fingers and is left with an opposable thumb and a permanent middle fingering the watching world!  And many others seem to have wrist wounds on otherwise sound bodies, making me wonder what stories are all around me there. Me, I look normal from the palm sides and a bit Frankenstein-ish on the back side, but this should fade in the same way that the nerves should reconnect, and the scar tissue should approach the softness I’ve come to appreciate.
Everything is appreciated more by its absence, I certainly take advantage of what comes easy, forgetting about how well my body works until it doesn’t. A stiff back, clicking thumbs and aching knees, hurting teeth, and a malfunctioning kitchen, too much spam email, rainy sundays, grizzly steak, and winter tomatoes....all trees lost in the incredible forest.  I have always strived to focus on the stuff that works, but I seem instead to dwell on the 10% that may not from time to time.... Everything, no but most things, are really very good. My health is really pretty good, dental care is cheap, and we do know where to go for a great piece of meat, and of course its spring and the farmers market is finally selling more than roots!
Oscar is tentatively accepted into the High School that drew us to Bordeaux, Patricia’s is shedding its moss, and we continue to make friends and influence people.  Oscar now wants to be a commercial pilot w.h.g.u. And he just announced (via an sms to his parents and a facebook post) thats he is “in a relationship”. He met a 14 year old french girl during a two day “molecular cooking” class that he took last week during the school break. Her name is Emma, and Oscar has declared her his “first girlfriend” which as I recall might be breaking the hearts of a few also rans from the last few years, I suppose ones that didn’t qualify for the title.  It’s been about 3 days so far and all I seem to see is a drastic uptick in his text messaging and his overall demeanor!    It’s sweet and fun to watch, and full of emoticons. It’s been expected and feared, and so far it is only a great thing.  It sends my mind spiraling through the cobwebs, trying to recall the names, faces and mental positionings of my youth...grainy images...incomplete stories....random and wonderful.
Patricia and I celebrated 16 years of being “in a relationship”, while the world around us was busy paying their taxes we were counting our love coins and reviewing our books, as we do every year, more an accounting of the future, and looking to fulfill next years loop holes, or potholes, charting a course on the back of a napkin....this one had Japanese writing on the other side!  (It’s all good).