"How we spent our summer…so far"

July 29th, 2010 § 0 comments

Not long ago I was moaning to a friend that the summer has been extremely busy filled with lots of travel, an office move and staff offsite, a trip to the South for a friend’s wedding and on and on.  I ended with the wish for the now prized three months of summer vacation most of us enjoyed during our halcyon school days.  I guess that time can return again if and when I choose to retire, a concept which in reality is as outdated as FDR’s Social Security Administration which was to provide for those golden years.

"Roll out those lazy, crazy, hazy days of summer..."

For GertrudeandAlice getting away from Paris for the summer either to a European destination or their rented home near the French-Swiss border was a major part of their annual calendar.  Just for fun I imagined a group letter (with photos) from them to their friends highlighting a few of the events of the first weeks of summer. (Once the summer is over they can officially write that ubiquitous school essay “How I Spent My Summer Vacation!”)

“Dear All,

Enjoying our time away from Paris—good food, good company, a few good paintings we’ve brought along and two not so good dogs! Wish you were here.

"See Gertrude. See Gertrude try to write. Stay Pepé stay!"

The vegetable garden was planted weeks ago with the corn knee high by the 4th of July and Lovey has been hoeing up a storm keeping the weeds at bay.

"Hoe, hee hoe, hoe hum. Hoe hee hoe, hoe hum--and your dog Toto too!"

The garden has provided many a delicacy for our daily meals.  Alice has added her touch to our feasts three or four or even five times a day and neighbors are dropping by as the aromas of her culinary magic creep out of our kitchen, across the fields and valleys.  She must write a cookbook soon – it will become a bestseller.

"An empty table is the devil's playground. Pussy, where is the grub?"

What is summer without drives in the country and drive we do do.  Lovey at the wheel, guests holding on and the dogs in a tizzy. Someone made a joke the other day, I think it was Cecil Beaton, “Two Lezies in a [Tin] Lizzie,” saying he thought it would make a great Cole Porter song.  We were not amused.

Two guests and one Gertrude, on the road again.

The villages’ children are quite fond of us and all in all they are quite pleasant. They do enjoy receiving gifts.  We are still thought of as the two, rich American ladies who are always eating and have a Picasso and Cezanne hanging in their dining room.

The village people: ( l to rt) Jacques, Gigi, Mimi,Barack, Fifi, Collette,Coco, Justin, Edith, Lindsay, and Gertrude !

With the end of July here, can October and November be so far away?  We try not to think about it.  By the way Alice is in so few of the photographs since she was the one snapping away with the Kodak Brownie.  Next time she’ll be in more of the snapshots handling the dogs, changing the tire of the car and giving pre-pre-Halloween treats to the village youngsters.

A well-worn Kodak Brownie is a thing to behold.

Wishing you all the continuing joys of summer,


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