Saturday, December 31, 2016

Goodbye....

2016 has been a hard year to love. It started out beautifully with trips to the States to visit family and then a lovely jaunt to Paris to spend time with my niece. The rainy winter finally gave way to a warm, sunshiny summer. After that, though, it's been pretty much downhill. World events and national politics along with the loss of so many creative, talented celebrities and friends have conspired to make me feel as if I'm limping to the finish line. The world needs a big hug and my arms are just too short to help out. I'm not sorry to see 2016 draw to a close. I have high hopes for 2017!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas at the Creche

Christmastide Creche
Villefranche-de-Rouergue

"...for the Mighty One has done great things for me..."
Luke 1:49


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

A Rose of Virtue

"There is no rose of such virtue
As is the rose that bare Jesu"

This pretty rose in Helen's garden greets Lucie and I each morning as we walk. I don't want to give you the wrong impression...it's not warm here. But there are a few hardy roses that continue to bloom into the winter Daytime highs are in the 40s and 50s.  We've had below freezing nights and mornings when the grass and the car windshield are frost-covered. Most everything has either died off or gone to sleep for the winter. A few beautiful things linger on, though. This rose is one of them.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Sunday Saint: Blessed

Mary
Abbey ruins
Marcilhac-sur-Cele
Fourth Sunday in Advent
        "....From this day all generations will call me blessed..." 
Luke 1:46



Sunday, December 11, 2016

Sunday Saint: A Lowly Servant

Mary
Cardaillac France
Third Sunday of Advent
                         "...for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant..."
                                                         Luke 1:48

I assume this is Mary as she stands outside the doors of the church in Cardaillac. She certainly is different from most of the Marys I've seen here. Instead of seeming demure and saintly, this Mary looks like a real young woman, hair loose and flowing, self-conscious in her voluminous green robe with eyes cast heavenward as if looking for divine reassurance that she made the right choice when she said 'yes' to God's angel. In fact, she looks like a local village girl, one who could live right here in Cardaillac. If you click this link, you'll be taken on a virtual tour of where she might live.

Friday, December 9, 2016

A Window of Delights

You never know what delights the Mayor's wife will fill her window with. Her artistry is always magical and I enjoy watching the window change with the seasons. This Christmas it's chocked full of puppets and dolls, color and pattern, tiny teapots and hot air balloons. I could look at it for hours.
If I ever have my own hot air balloon, it will definitely be red.
You have to love puppets holding dollies and stuffed bears.
Anyone for a sword fight?
Who are those people peeking out of the windows?
I think this pretty pink bunny is late for a very important date!
He's my favorite.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Riverfront Walk

Plan d'eau
The Lot
Cajarc
Despite the sunshine and brilliant blue skies, the air was a bit brisk when Lucie and I went into Cajarc this morning. I wanted to check out Madame Borzo's Christmas window and I knew Lucie wouldn't object to a second walk..we'd already done our loop around Cadrieu. It's always pleasant to walk here along the riverfront of the old faubourg. 
The Lot looking downstream
We basked in the sun for a few minutes, then continued our stroll.I don't come here often in the summer; there are just too many people. I like it best on days like today...empty and peaceful! As we walked downstream, I noticed that the town has done a bit of work along the riverbank. There were several newly-built protrusions into the river. Between them, the bank has been landscaped with what looks like sticks, but which I'm sure are shrubs that will leaf out next summer. Not my area of expertise, but I'm thinking this may be a way to prevent erosion of the riverbank and protect the plane trees?
I'm looking forward to coming back next spring and seeing what things look like.



Sunday, December 4, 2016

Sunday Saint: A Golden Mary

Mary
Conques 2013
"...my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;"
Luke 1:47

It's the second Sunday of Advent. Today a golden Mary waits.