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Saturday, June 2, 2012

"Toute chose appartient à qui sait en jouir."

Beautiful photograph found here.

I do not claim to speak French. The quote in my post heading came from this website. According to them, it's a quote from André Gide, a famous French writer. Translated into English, it means "Everything belongs to those who appreciate it."

My sister was a French teacher. Her love of all things French started more than 20 years ago. She had taken Spanish all through high school, but her senior year she decided to take French as well.

She fell in love.

While she was always fluent in Spanish, the French language stole her heart. She got a teaching degree in college, but minored in French so she could teach it as well. At one point when she was in college, I painted a picture for her of the Eiffel Tower. I found out later that not only did she frame the painting, but she painted little fleur de les all the way around the frame.

When she and her husband were engaged, he had told her that their honeymoon location was a secret, but she would need her passport. My mother and I debated back and forth where he might be taking her. For me, there was no question - Paris. He was taking her to Paris.

I was right.
Gorgeous painting found here.

I'm not sure if he couldn't keep it a secret anymore, or if she got it out of him somehow, but he eventually told her where they were going.

Days before the wedding, we were in Arizona (which was MUCH hotter than I expected it to be that early in the spring!) spending time getting to know the new in-laws and getting things ready for the wedding. We had gone to a really interesting Asian market for some ingredients for that night's meal. At the front of their store, there was a case of the most beautiful pastries. My sister and I were admiring the pastries when she stopped, stood back and said "I don't know why I'm bothering to look at these. Next week, I'll be standing in a real French patisserie in Paris."

Made me laugh.
Drool-Worthy Picture found here.

Amazing bread picture found here.

I was never really interested in France. As far as Europe went, England and Italy were the places I dreamed of visiting.

But something has changed in the 4 years since my sister went Home.

Her love of Paris and all things French has started filtering into MY life.

My two favorite choices for music when I'm working in my kitchen are the French Kiss and No Reservations soundtracks - both are loaded with French music. For a couple years now, I find myself humming the song "Les Yeux Ouverts" by the music group Beautiful South. (It's the same melody as the song "Dream a Little Dream of Me", but I always hear the French words in my head.) I've had my eye on a 50's style step-stool that's been covered with French fabric. Someone on Pinterest posted a picture of a Kitchenaid mixer with French designs decoupaged on it, and I really want to do that on the red Kitchenaid my sister gave me.

I made a decision today that's been a long time coming.

My kitchen needs to be French.

I'm going to hang the Eiffel Tower picture I painted all those years ago in my kitchen, and I'll start adding French touches here and there in the room. I'm also going to buy that step-stool I've wanted since last fall.

My sister loved Paris and she loved to cook. What better place than my kitchen to be a tribute to a place she loved so dearly?


Joan said...

Tres bien!

(I definitely approve)

B. said...

That is really neat. I wonder what she thought of Paris after she went there for her honeymoon. Is there any way you could post a picture of the painting and frame? I'd love to see it.