Saturday, August 25, 2012

Birthday and Anniversary

Today is Son #2's 20th birthday.  How on earth did that happen so quickly?  I am no longer and never will be again the mother of a teenager.  That's a blessing in many ways.  Fewer sleepless nights are on the horizon, I hope.  His big brother was so eager to hold him when we brought him home from the hospital.  I remember it clearly.  He was a punctual little thing, arriving right on his due date, much to the doctor's disbelief when I called him to report that I was in labor and that my water had broken.  (Although he did have the nerve to ask me if I was sure.  Really?  That particular doctor's shift finished before I arrived at the hospital and my favorite one was waiting to deliver Son #2.)
Unfortunately for me, though, Son #2 is not home.  He has returned to Knoxville, Tennessee, Land of the Orange.

We allowed him to take a car this year and he drove himself and most of his stuff.  Three days later we followed on I-40 to take a few more things and get a good look at the new $2.2 million Kappa Alpha house he is living in.   It is very nice.  He is his chapter's #6, the treasurer, so he gets to live there.  Not for free, though, unfortunately.

He is the tall young man on the steps.  Yes, that's my baby.  I miss you.  Happy Birthday!
Here's what my two boys look like today.  They've grown a bit, n'est-ce pas?

In addition to being his birthday, today is also the 68th anniversary of the liberation of Paris by Allied forces in 1944 after a four year occupation by the Nazis.  To say that I am grateful doesn't begin to cover how I feel.  Mme Christiane Roze Buchanan came to teach me French after marrying her American soldier and moving to the US.  France was once again free and Paris was spared Hitler's plan to blow it up.  I can visit as often as possible.  And see the fireworks on le 14 juillet when I am lucky enough to be there in the summer.

I have no idea why La Tour Eiffel is leaning in that photo.  She has not become the Leaning Tower of Eiffel.
To commemorate this date in history, I am eating French today.  I got the Ex-Ex off to his trip into the NC mountains and decided to head to the Durham Farmers' Market.
First order of business, a pain au chocolat from Loaf.  As good as any I have had in France, and I have eaten my fair share, trust me.  Today's widget horoscope did tell me to concentrate on #1 today, moi, that being self-centered for once is not a bad thing.  It suggested buying new shoes, but I prefer French pastry.

I also bought a lovely warm baguette.  I bought two ripe juicy tomatoes from one of the vendors.  I already had some goat cheese and tapenade (not Fanny's homemade stuff, but the best I could do at the moment).  I actually ventured out of Durham and over to Chapel Hill yesterday to A Southern Season to spend more of the gift card my darling advisees gave me at the end of last school year.  I picked up herbed goat cheese and a bottle of red wine from the Gard region (south of France, near Nîmes and my Frenchies).
Voilà mon pique-nique à la française!

Miam miam!

Trop bon!
My last serious task of the day-- to  make Fanny's mousse au chocolat to take to Ms. Sunshine's house for dinner.  It's not a birthday cake, but it will do.
I had to do a taste test, of course.  Wouldn't want to take untasted mousse to dinner, now would I?
You taught me well, MLQ!

Bon appétit, bon anniversaire, et bonne commémoration!

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