Monday, November 27, 2006

A Real Sunday

After a week which included a busy practice schedule for Karl, a generous helping of job stress for Abbey, and six days straight of rain and grey sky, we were ripe and ready for a true Sabbath.

First we slept in. Magnificent.

Upon rolling out of bed, we discovered that we were in dire need of a real down-home kind of breakfast. Maybe it was something about the sunlight streaming through the windows for the first time in ages. Perhaps we were missing the legendary Lewis home Sunday pancakes (Abbey's parents, for those of you who don't know). But being that my kin were several thousand miles away and still fast asleep, our only recourse was our trusty Paris guidebook. Thus:

This little joint was a step into the very best of Americana. Now, I should probably clarify something: we are in France to enjoy France. In fact, we are often depressed when we have to run an errand in the nearby mall, the main complaint being: "I don't feel like I'm in France anymore." Still, with all the best cheeses and wine in the world at our fingertips, a stack o' flapjacks is a stack o' flapjacks. When the craving hits, nothing else will do.

We couldn't have short-ordered a better solution to refresh our diner souls. The servers were sunshiny, casual, and unabashedly English-speaking. Bits of bluegrass music, Motown, and riffs of Bob Dylan's harmonica came wafting by with the smell of maple syrup and hot griddles. Best of all, BOTTOMLESS CUPS OF COFFEE. You must understand: this is NOT NORMAL protocol in France. You get your cute little espresso for 2E and that's it.
Not a bad experience, just different. But it's terribly disappointing to try to wrap your fingers around a dolly teacup when what you want is a nice, thick MUG.

Yeah, baby. So, powered by approximately 8 mugs of coffee a piece and I-don't-even-wanna- know-how-many carbohydrates, we walked home in the sunshine in our winter garb of T-shirts and jeans. Then, it was a scramble to make it to the weekly market for les provisions, practice some tunes for Sunday evening worship service, and tidy up the house a bit. It was a good thing too, because after church, we invited the whole Bible study crew over to our place for supper. First guests, officially! I can't believe it's taken this long to have people over, but we have a lot of generous friends that always seem to beat us to the punch.

After everyone trickled out, we were sitting on the couch and trying to convince ourselves that it was bedtime. It was at this formative moment that Karl mischievously suggested something about "that Hammond organ player" playing at Caveau de la Huchette, and soon we were on the metro, rumbling our way towards the jazz show. The lady at the helm was Rhoda Scott. What a delivery! She and her drummer had the whole place hopping, directing an orchestra of bobbing heads and clappers, hooters, hollerers and knee-slappers. We hung about the entrance, because it gave us a clear view of her barefoot feet working the pedals, her well-worn hands working the keys, and her obvious amusement with the whole affair. Have you ever seen a blind person exude a no-holds-barred, devil-may-care kind of smile when they are engaged in their favourite activity? I think of Andrea Boccelli, the opera singer. Or Stevie Wonder. The remarkable thing about Rhoda Scott is that even though she is a seeing person, she has the same candid joy. And it's positively infectious.

Gosh, I hope that's what I look like when I teach.

In the end, we missed our second train and hiked home, tumbling into bed in the wee hours. After chatting online with folks back home, of course. I mean, what would a Sunday be without family?


Joyfulartist said...

Our daugter in MN reports that they had a French breakfast at Sofitel; their croisants are the best. Seems like we always want what is hard to get. French breakfasts in MN, American breakfasts in FR. C'est la vie!

the poet said...

Thanks again for giving us a view into your days in France. This is truly a delicious chronicle of your wide and beautiful experiences together. Oh yeah, and I like to wrap my fingers around a serious coffee mug, too. It tastes so much better that way. And of course, the pancakes were wonderful this week.

Mel Arroz said...

Yes, flapjacks are a good way to start a Sunday morning!

The sun is shining here in Idaho, but a high of 32 F keeps things on the chilly side!

Enjoy your new friends & experiences!