Friday, January 14, 2011


First of all, let me say Happy New Year. While I'm at it I suppose I could wish you Happy Holidays, Thanksgiving, Halloween and an all around fabulous Back-to-School. Yeah, it's been a long while.

A move, the potato harvest, travel, internet line connection problems, general busyness and then the weight of inertia. Now it’s full swing busy season, working 6 days a week, plus three evenings of tutoring. But now or never, as they say. So without much prelude, I'll just jump to the present tense. PARKING.

Last year, I remember saying to myself, the one job I really wouldn’t want in the ski station would be to be on the parking team. The Universe in its infinite wisdom, had other ideas as to what is best for me. Yup, the only job I was offered was on the parking team. Beggars can certainly not be choosers and I said yes enthusiastically and gratefully despite my reservations.

I hate to be cold, I am not spatially or mechanically inclined.and I am non-assertive, don't want to piss anyone off or tell anyone what to do, and am nearly incapable of making a quick, definitive's basically the job description.

In a word, put me out on that asphalt and I’m a disaster.

I can hardly describe the anxiety I felt the first week of my job. For example, one of the jobs in the rotation is to stand at the "rondpoint" and only let in vehicles allowed into the shuttle and personnel parking lot. It's basically a VIP personnel parking lot and this year, they decided to crack down and drastically reduce who was considered to have enough "gras" to get in. I was left alone the first day of that change as the barrier guard to be slowly raked over the coals by my darling Les Angles co-habitants, who are mostly from here and certainly not about to be told what to do by an American who has lived here for a year. In short, a total nightmare that became an actual nightmare; I dreamed that Serge Blanc, the director of Service Technique, called me into his office and fired me. I was sick to my stomach everyday before going to work.

Long story short, I’ve learned a bit about how to be more assertive and decisive, an apprenticeship that is coming none too early. And the Powers-that-Be made it known that the parking lot decision was theirs, so lay off.

But mostly, despite my efforts and good intentions, I'm pretty much the weak link on the team. Not good? At what I do? You are talking to a triple Capricorn, straight-A, German-American-descent perfectionist.

It has been one of the most important, healing experiences I have had in a long, long time. I'm learning to try my best but accept I'm incapable and laugh at myself. And in return for my ineptitude, I have been treated by my supervisors and colleagues with the utmost patience, kindness, and help. It has truly been a life-changing, humbling, touching experience.

I'm deeply grateful.

And also still capable of feeling, "Crap. I have to go to work tomorrow..."

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Summer history

My blog functions more as a history book than an up to the minute blog....but what to do, i yam what i yam...
So randomly, here are some snapshots of the highlights of June, July and August 2010

Dad xox

Dad, dear ol' brave, wonderful Dad...For those of you who don't know, my incredibly courageous 82 year old father took a transatlantic flight, a Madrid to Barcelona commuter flight and a 4 hour less-than-smooth ride in our 1978 Deux Chevaux to arrive to our little village a mile high in the mountains. It turned out to be a challenging visit that involved two ambulance rides for Dad due to health issues but at the end of the day, all turned out all right and we had the wonderful opportunity and honor to share our new life here with Dad. Now Dad is home and doing well back in the US....From bottom up: 82 year old man attacked by abstract art; Guillaume naturally on his best behaviour with his father-in-law in town; My dad's sweet, tender smile; Guillaume behaving himself for real with Dad

Cousins, the other Generation

This summer Alex, my cousin Betsy's son, came to visit. A couple of days later my cousin Nancy's daughter Brooke arrived for a visit. Both visits were loads of fun and an opportunity to get to know two fantastic beings in the next generation. Somehow Alex snuck off without a photo, but here's Brooke (with a couple of Guillaume's paintings in the background) and her "make Martha jealous" salad....

Couzin fun

Just above: "Goat rock" just below our house was the hangout for the kids, neighbors and cousins this summer... Middle photos: Fearless leader takes bored, hormone-saturated adolescent boys hiking, Second from top photo, The wall...just outside our house where all group photos get taken.., Lastly, top photo, "No comment..." (;

After the rain

The day before the kids left, dramatic storms that suddenly lifted in the evening to an eerie light and a dramatic rainbow...

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Bowser and Pouf-Pouf

Here Bowser is demonstrating Pouf-Pouf's effectiveness as a matress...