First upon arriving in West Chester, I found a parking spot near La Baguette. I had an excellent coffee and a brioche and a quiche. Catherine la Boulangere came over and we talked as we were leading double lives, as if there was an echo in our stories so much alike they were! We parted, promising to meet again.
I walked over to the Acorn Cottage, an elegant shop recommended to me by a friend of mine. I walked into the world of my grandfather’s furniture and the eclectic taste of my apartment. I met a beautiful charming lady called Zena from Lithuania and we were transported through our similar experiences in a magic world of sharing and feeling close. She has beautiful slippers like tapestry samplers from the Chateaux of the Loire Valley, as if La Princesse de Cleves had walked in the night into her store and dropped her slippers as well her Dames de Companie.
I left feeling so rich in my heart and smiled. I came out of the door and a man noticed my earrings so I told him the story of my rickshaw earrings in honor of the children of Cambodia. He and his wife love food so we promised to meet again and off I went, quickly back to La Baguette Magique to buy a pear almond tart to have before I go to a champagne tasting, to satisfy my stomach.
I drove for about an hour to J. Maki Winery in Elverson, Pa. I had some difficulty finding the place but finally here I was in the tasting room when Janet, the owner, came up to me and started bringing different bottles of wine and Champagne. I enjoyed the Viognier 2008, I enjoyed very much the Blanc de Blancs 2003. Again we talked and talked about my change of career, though I very seldom use this word. I think more of a continuity and growth. We promised to meet again!
To show my gratitude for such an amazing rewarding day, I went to a fundraising party for a gentleman who used to do my hair many years ago, though I had not been there for years. He has terminal cancer and the bills are so enormous that his friends and customers put a big party together to raise money to help him out.
I heard about the party in a strange, sad, and indirect way. I was bothered by the fact that we were thinking of the French situation and the people in France but were not thinking of the people who lost their loved ones in Lebanon or Russia. I paid my respects to Russian friends of mine and I was trying to remember whom I knew who was Lebanese.
Suddenly I remembered my Lebanese hairdresser, who is not the one who is sick, but someone who worked with him. When I went to the hair salon, my Lebanese friend told me about the party for this sick gentleman (whom I will call R.)
So I finished my day at a party in South Philly with hundreds of people dancing and singing. R. was amazed and looking very different, smiled at me and was glad to see me. I ate macaroni salad and meatballs. I sat alone in a crowd of people I do not know. I felt good and sad but serene.
Thank you, my new friends.