Excerpt for Jayspeak On The Cote D'Azur by , available in its entirety at Smashwords


JAYSPEAK

on the Côte d'Azur





By Jay W. MacIntosh













Smashwords Edition

Copyright 2017 Jay W. MacIntosh

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Dedicated to my late husband,

Felice Steven Orlandella.

How close we came to perfection.

Gone much too soon. I love you.
























As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.


Henry David Thoreau


PROLOGUE


I was born in Gainesville, Georgia USA, with the birth name of "Janet Tallulah Jewell". Yes, that is right. Over the years, I went to college, got married, had children, moved to Los Angeles, California, changed my name to "Jay W. MacIntosh", acted professionally in film and television, went to Whittier Law School, practiced law, and now live in Nice, France.

I moved with my husband, Steve Orlandella, in October 2015. Steve was a television producer and writer. We were looking forward to starting life anew. Regretfully, he died in August 2016 from natural causes (pneumonia). So, I am picking myself up, dusting myself off, and starting all over again - in France. I now spend my time writing. As an attorney / actress / widow / mother / grandma / ex-college professor (Chairman of the Division of Humanities at a branch of the University of Georgia) and ex-real estate broker, I have a lot to say.

As an attorney, I specialized in entertainment law and employment litigation, helping employees who had been victimized in the workplace. I still practice transactional law from my Home Office in Nice, licensed in the State of California.

As an actress, I continue to perform in film, television, commercials, and theatre. I am a member of The Actors Studio, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, SAG-AFTRA, and ASCAP. I hold a Master’s Degree in Drama, and am a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, and Zodiac Scholastic Society.

My published works include Janet Tallulah, Journal of Janet Tallulah, Volumes 1 & 2, The Origins of George Bernard Shaw’s Life Force Philosophy, Moments in Time, and Capturing Beauty, currently for sale on amazon.com. I am currently writing a sequel to Janet Tallulah and a blog - jayspeakblog.wordpress.com.

Steve spent most of his career working in sports television, primarily baseball. He studied broadcasting, history, and theatre at California State University, Northridge. While working on his degrees, he joined the University staff as a producer-director of Educational TV. 


In 1979, he joined KTLA Channel 5 in Los Angeles as a news producer, senior sports producer, and director of “News at Ten”.  In 1985, he was promoted to KTLA’s Supervising Producer/Director. He produced and directed entertainment programs, Angels Baseball, and Clippers Basketball Games. In 1987, he worked for MCA/Universal as Producer of media for the Merchandizing/Licensing Division, later becoming an independent Producer/Director. He produced winter and summer Olympic specials, Kings Hockey games, promos and commercials for Z-Channel and Sportschannel, and directed boxing, pro and college basketball.


In 1993, he became Producer for Dodgers Baseball for nine seasons. He won Golden Mikes, Associated Press Awards, and was nominated for Emmys twelve times. He received two Emmys for his work with the Dodgers. In 2005, he launched Steve Orlandella Productions and Ormac Press.


His published works include Burden of Proof, Capitol Murder, Marathon Murders, Dance with Death, Midtown Mayhem, Titanic, The Game, and Stevespeak.


Why did we choose Nice, you ask? My love affair with France started when I was a little girl. I don’t know when Steve’s started. I always knew that one day, I wanted to spend quality time in the South of France. Nice is the perfect place for me to live, now that he is gone. It feels right. My plan is to speak French fluently, eat good food, write books, take photographs, and meet people. That is the plan, anyway.  

This book is a compilation of my blog posts since Steve’s death. I have dedicated it to him.


JAYSPEAK begins....

On October 1, 2015, my husband and I moved to Nice, France. We are currently beginning our 11th month – as residents. It is tricky because we don’t either one speak French. We try to, but — no. A word here and there, but full sentences throw us for a loop. Yet, we have been able to make ourselves understood – by waiters in restaurants, UPS at the door, the mailman, the Post Office, the grocery clerk, the pharmacist, the doctor, the dentist. A lot of these people speak “some” English, but not much. I bought Michel Thomas’ French apps, and listened for months to the lessons. That helped. My problem comes with pronunciation. Mine and theirs. I say something I think is excellent, and they look puzzled. If they say something, I have no idea what it might be. Yet, I can translate it. I can read a lot of things; I am struggling with speech. I had hoped to pick it up faster — no.

We moved to France as a compromise. We had been living in Los Angeles, California, for many years. I had moved there in 1968, from Gainesville, Georgia. While there, I worked as an actress in film and television – selling real estate as backup. At a certain point, I got frustrated with acting and decided to go to law school. I practiced law for fifteen years and decided to retire. I married my husband Steve Orlandella – a live sports producer for television – in 2005. We had dated for several years, and he popped the question that spring. In 2014, we decided to retire. He hated the traffic, and I had battle-fatigue from contentious clients and defense attorneys. Steve wanted to move to Sarasota, Florida. I wanted to stay in L.A. We compromised by agreeing to move to Nice, France. It did not happen quite that easily, but all of that drama and saga I will save for another time.

It took us two years to “get our ducks in a row.” Steve applied for an Italian passport so he could have duel-citizenship. I required a long-term French visa. Plus, I had to close down Law Offices of Jay W. MacIntosh. It was complicated with snags galore, but we did it. And, here we are.

Hopefully, this blog will be the forum for me to explain how we did it – especially at this time in our lives. I am older than Steve – by 13 years, so moving home – lock, stock, and barrel, is not the norm. But, going to law school at age 59 was not the norm either. And, going from Georgia to the University of Wisconsin was not the norm. Moving a family and furnishings from Georgia to California was not the norm. So, I can say – I was not the norm. Neither was Steve. So, I am going to write about France, moving to France, and living in France – from my perspective. I plan to post pictures and write about the setting. Don’t expect this to be a travelogue — no.

This is my first post. Welcome aboard.  

BY JAY W. MACINTOSH

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MONASTÈRE DE CIMIEZ

The Monastère Notre Dame de Cimiez, which is usually called the Monastery of Cimiez, is a stone’s throw from our condo. It is an 800’s monastery with gardens overlooking Nice, plus paintings by Brea, a museum, and Matisse’s grave. It includes a church (which looks like a Cathedral to me), a cemetery, and a convent where some Franciscan friars still live. The church has significant paintings by 15th century local artists, the Brea brothers. The convent houses the Musee Franciscain (which is decorated with 17th century frescoes), many documents, and a recreated cell showing how the austere religious life is lived. The chapel dates from the 17th century and the lovely gardens have sweeping views across Nice and out to the sea – where I take pictures of the roses I post on Facebook. I walk by it every day.

The painter, Henri Matisse, is buried in the cemetery. His grave is signposted 'sépulture Henri Matisse' from the cemetery's main entrance. Raoul Dufy (1877 - 1953) is also buried here. I am not familiar with Dufy, but I have seen the paintings inside – beautiful.

It has been particularly meaningful to me. As many of you know, Steve was a devout Catholic. Always has been, as far as I know. Last Christmas, we went to Paris for six days and stayed in an Airbnb in the Marais – next to a “church” – which also looked like a cathedral to me. I wanted to light a candle for my children, but wasn’t sure how to do it. He took me inside and showed me where to get a candle, pay for it, light it, and pray for my kids. Which I did. It was a beautiful moment.

Since that time, I have frequently gone into the Monastery Church and lit candles for many things. And, I lit two candles almost every day after Steve got sick. I continue to light a candle most days. Doing so makes me feel better. These are pictures that I have taken over the year – both in Paris and here. I particularly like the one I have used as the Featured Photo - Steve standing in front of the Monastery, trying to get his camera phone ready to take a picture.

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THE NEIGHBORHOOD - CIMIEZ

Two months ago, I started my blog, Jayspeak. My husband, Steve Orlandella, started his blog, Stevespeak. And, we both were off and running. I had ideas galore about future topics, and so did he. We both had followings on Facebook. We hoped we could get followings for our blogs. That same weekend, he didn’t feel well – thought he was coming down with the flu. On Tuesday, August 2, 2016, I rushed him to the emergency room at Hopital Pasteur. He was transferred to Hopital l’Archet immediately. Diagnosed with acute pneumonia on life-saving machines. He got a tad better and was transferred to Les Sources for further treatment - in the intensive care section of the ICU. For a month, French doctors tried to save his life. Without success. He died on August 31, 2016 – a date I will never forget. That day, my heart broke.

Now, I am trying to re-group. How do I reinvent my life? Steve was my best friend, my constant companion, my lover, my life. We had places to go; things to do. Our retirement years in France were just beginning. Not going to happen – at least, not the way we planned.

So, the Blog was on the back burner for a couple of months. Now, Stevespeak is silent. But, I am back. Jayspeak speaks – anew.

I had planned to write about Cimiez – the area where we live. Well, I still live here. And, the things we both loved about the area, I still love. I am posting some pictures - the view from our condo – out the window; the bakery counter at our local grocery store Monoprix; the Park Café; the Hot Dog sign at the Park that was only there from time to time; the Museum Matisse; the neighborhood palace Regina that we saw every day. But, there are also the Roman ruins; the Monastery; The Monastery Garden; the Monster Munch we loved at the store; the Bus Schedule for the bus near our condo – that we took every Sunday to town; and others. I can hardly write through my tears. But, you get the picture. Life was good. We were happy and in love – with each other, with Nice, with Cimiez, with France. I still am.


















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OUR NEW HOME IN NICE


When Steve and I were making our plans to move to France, our first consideration was a place to live that we could afford. Steve was a little more skeptical than I was. He was convinced we would not be able to afford anything fit to live in. I, on the other hand, had lived in various homes in Los Angeles, in various neighborhoods. And, during the time that I was working as an actress, I worked as a real estate agent (eventually becoming a broker) as back-up. So, I decided to look for someone to help us – a real estate agent in Nice.

After an extensive search, I heard about the site www.angloinfo.com. I created a page on that site and began posting comments regarding our upcoming move and our need for help. I got several responses, one of which was from someone named Andrea Emond. She was a Canadian, living in Nice. She said she would be glad to help us.

Andrea and I began corresponding back and forth. That went on for almost two years. Our plans changed so much that I was afraid Andrea would get disgusted and disappear. But, she did not do so. At some point, she realized that a major stumbling block – other than Steve’s obtaining his Italian passport – was a place to live. So, she began sending us setups regarding properties that were within our budget, knowing that there were still a lot of snags to our getting on a plane. When we began to see what was available and prices involved, Steve and I both got excited. We could afford Nice.

In 2015, we made the decision to move no later than November 1st. We made one offer that did not fly, but the second offer did. We leased a furnished three-bedroom, one bath condo in an area called Cimiez, starting October 1st. That didn’t mean anything to us, but Andrea said it was one of the best neighborhoods in Nice. (Note: Unfurnished units sometimes don’t have complete kitchens – no stove, refrigerator, etc.  And, long-term lets are difficult to find. Nice is a short-term rental town. AND, international moving companies are expensive.)

We decided to unload our all of our furniture (except for my Steinway piano).  We sold the furniture, both cars (2 BMW’s), and lots of personal items. THAT was very difficult for both of us to do – that’s how much we wanted to make the move. I am posting a picture of Andrea and her partner Slav (http://www.home-frenchriviera.com/).

And, below are “before” pictures and “after” pictures of our condo. We have done some more things since these pictures were taken. The unit now is warm and cozy. But, these pictures will give you an idea of whom we met, what we saw, and how we have begun fixing it up. We've ended up using some of the landlord’s existing furniture, but we got them to take away most of it, including all of their personal items, like pots & pans, dishes, towels, and such.







We bought pieces at Habitat (https://www.habitat.fr), on the French version of Craigslist (https://www.leboncoin.fr), and at a donation outlet similar to Good Will named Emmaus (http://www.emmaus06.fr/)

We shipped my Steinway piano, artwork, kitchenware, clothes, and linens. Imagine – shipping a Steinway to France. Glad we did. It is gorgeous. Now – to start practicing again.

_____ 

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THOUGHTS ABOUT GRIEF

For years, I have heard that there are five stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining (with whom? I don’t know. God?), depression, acceptance. And, well-meaning friends have reminded me to remember those stages as I go through this terrible time of loss. Others have told me it will take at least a year before I get better. I don’t agree. I don’t think there are “stages”. I will grieve the loss of Steve – forever. And, I don’t have a year to get better because I don’t think it will ever be “better” or that I will ever get “better”. I will miss Steve for the rest of my life. We had something special that I don’t have any more. I don’t get over that. It cannot be replaced. My friend Carole Lilly Jones said to me - most of our families of origin and friends are dead. Yet, for some reason, we are still alive. Go live. Yes, I am alive. I am going to go live. Now, I am not sure what that means just yet, so I will keep on keeping on. Keep showing up – for my walks, for coffee in the Park, for groceries, for lunch with friends, for doctor appointments….

So far, everything is painful and disorienting – without a finish line. But, I already feel my moods and emotions shift and change. Highs, then lows. Laughter, then tears. Anger, fear, peace, joy, guilt, confusion. I don’t believe in “closure”. Grief is a part of love, and love evolves. Acceptance is not final. It shifts around, changing often during the day. This is a poem that spoke to me today when I read it - it came on a card in the mail from our friends in Sarasota...

Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there, I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the diamond glints on snow, I am the sun on ripened grain, I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the morning’s hush, I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in circling flight. I am the soft starlight at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not there; I did not die.”  – Mary Frye (Thank you, Carole and Cliff)

Below are some selfies and other pictures we or I took during this year in France. Each day was sheer delight. And, those who knew Steve KNOW he hated having his picture taken. Love that guy!











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JARDIN du Monastère de Cimiez

This morning, after my walk and café in the park, I decided to go into my place of serenity and peace – the Jardin du Monastère de Cimiez – with the specific purpose of taking pictures to post on Jayspeak. So, I did.

Now, as I have said before, up on the hill of Cimiez - near my condo - is the Monastery of Cimiez, which includes a church (see also, cathedral) and a monastery that have been used (and still are, but by four Italian priests now, so I have been told) by Franciscan monks since 1546. And, behind the Monastère sits the beautiful Jardin du Monastère de Cimiez – the oldest garden of the French Riviera. Beautiful flowers (exquisite roses galore), trees, and shrubs grow there in every season. When one flower or shrub dies, it is cut back or replaced by the gardeners – a hearty crew. And, gorgeous magnolia trees!!! Imagine, beautiful magnolias in my own back yard (so to speak). Now, the gardeners are not a friendly bunch – let me tell you. I got too close one day to a rose I was shooting, and – well, let me say, I won’t do that again. They watch the visitors like a hawk, protecting their beauties.

I have read that the garden covers 9,550 square meters and initially was used as a kitchen and orchard garden by the Franciscan friars. Apparently, the original layout from 1546 has been preserved (for the most part) and transformed into flower beds. And, the best part - all of it leads to an incredible view of Nice – looking out to the Med. Breathtaking. Plus, lots of fruit trees – orange and lemon – and even pomegranate groves. The people who walk there are so quiet, it is amazing. A place of reverie, to be sure.

I have posted a lot of pictures. In fact, I have more – for another day. So much fun. Every time I would look up, I would see something else I wanted to shoot. In fact, there were several stalks of corn there. And, my new best friend, the Monastère cat followed me everywhere. Don’t know its name, but I call it “pretty kitty”. It is always in that garden. Duh. Anyway, take a look at the pictures. Pretty self-explanatory. Hopefully, I was able to capture the beauty. I want you to see what I love to see.

Best, Jay







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DYING WHILE MAKING PLANS

Steve and I had just gotten back from Sardinia. It was a terrific trip – totally unplanned and a spur-of-the-moment happening. We tried to find something close by so that we could get away for a week in July to have a “summer vacation” because the fall would be intense. We would have been here a year, and all of our policies, house lease, my French Visa, and several other things would come due. So, we had to watch our pennies to get past all of the incoming invoices. No problem. We would just “tighten our belts” for a while. Then, in October or November, Steve wanted to go to Portofino, Italy. Especially, since Steve had his Italian passport. So, I had started looking for Airbnb’s for the weekend. In fact, we found several that I starred because we liked them.

Our main dilemma was trying to decide whether we would spring for a trip to our time share at the Hanalei Bay Resort, in Princeville, Kauai. We had booked a week in the Guava Building (choice spot) in April 2017. That is where Steve proposed to me. We both loved it. So, Steve was looking into air fare and had found some relatively cheap flights. But, we were concerned about being on a plane for such a long time. Did we really want to go? Yet, the Guava building was tempting.

And, Steve was 70 pages into his next book, and he was loving it. Vic and The Redhead were in Nice, France, at someone’s request. Steve was mentally in all his favorite places on the French Riviera, writing non-stop. And, we had both just started Stevespeak and Jayspeak. Steve had a list of things he wanted to cover in his posts, and so did I. We liked the titles – Stevespeak and Jayspeak. Lots to do and lots of fun ahead.

Then, on August 2, 2016, while the housekeeper was cleaning the condo, a series of events happened within an hour to change our lives forever. Trip to emergency, hospitals, doctors, good days, bad days, and death. NEVER did we see this coming. It hit us both blindsided. Yes, Steve had a cough. And, yes, Steve thought he was fighting a flu bug, but.....

Within three weeks after his death, I had bills and bills and bills. And, they are still coming in. At the same time, Social Security stopped all future payments of benefits (of Steve’s) and took back Steve’s September payment, while threatening to take back August’s. And, Steve had charges on his charge cards. I started trying to figure out what I could sell. Not much of anything. No life insurance. No death benefits. No plans for dying. Only plans for living.

Sometimes, I get frightened. I was the older one – Steve would be burying me. Yet, here I am – without Steve. Most of the time, I handle what I can when I can. I have lost weight, and most of the time, my stomach is in knots. But, I won’t take medicines of any kind. I don’t believe in medical crutches. Wine helps at night, but I try to limit that, too. And, I walk. Like a maniac, I walk. That seems to help. Taking my flower pictures and posting them from time to time.

Swallowing my ego, I set up a gofundme.com page and asked for help, promising to pay it forward whenever I could.

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CAST IN FRANCE – “DAMIEN’S REAWAKENING”

Once again doing my first love - ACTING. Over the past few weeks, as I began to realize that life as I had known it was over, I tried to get a grip because at night, I would panic. Aside from bills, problems, money, crises one-after-another, I realized that I am in France, not California or Georgia. By myself. I can’t work at all in France – not allowed. My age is such that it is time to retire. Yet, I have energy. My health is good. I look and feel younger than I am. I love living here. And then, I remembered my first love: ACTING. I am in SAG, the Television Academy, The Actors Studio. And, I could re-join Women in Film - International, if need be. Then, I remembered that I cannot work in France. Well, maybe American producers would hire local talent if shooting in France. I live close to Cannes. I will network, try to meet people. Look for an agent in Nice. Or Cannes. Or Paris. The thought of this gave me hope.

Acting has been part of my life forever. When I was four or five, my father taught me a “speech” that he wanted me to act out on cue. He would put me on a stump or platform or chair or desk – anything to elevate me – in the presence of friends, associates, business executives, farmers, relatives or whoever was around. And, this is what I was supposed to say while pounding my little fist into my left hand:

I (pound) know a man (pound) in the ranks (pound),

Who would not stay (pound) in the ranks (pound).

Why (pound)?  I’ll (pound) tell you why (pound).

Simply (pound) because (pound) he had (pound) the ability (pound) to get (pound)  things (pound)  done (pound)!!

About that same time, Mother took me to “speech lessons” at Mrs. Hosch’s house on Prior Street. There, I had to learn a speech for the recital, titled “I’m Just a Raggedy, Raggedy Doll”, falling limp like a rag doll while reciting. Often, I would put on a “show” in my front yard on Cleveland Road, with Jenny and Jo Shillington who lived across the street. We would invite my sisters and our parents to come for the presentation.

Then, in kindergarten, I performed in Miss Alice’s recital for the parents. My part was that of a beautiful scarf dancer from an exotic country far, far away. I had one aqua scarf draped around my body and another one I was supposed to swish in all directions. I poured my heart into it – swishing my scarf with expertise while draped in aqua “silk”.

In grammar school, I got the part of the Statute of Liberty in the class pageant and got to hold a torch. That was wonderful. During high school, I tried out for everything everywhere. I got acting and singing roles in the plays at Brenau College, Riverside Military Academy, the First Baptist Church, the Junior Class Play, the Senior Class Play, and skits happening anywhere in town. At the University of Wisconsin, I got the role of Diana Devereaux in “Of Thee I Sing”, performing for huge audiences with the Wisconsin Players as well as performing in Humerology for the Greeks, and running for Prom Queen. I performed my campaign skit all over the campus.

At the University of Georgia, I was a Drama major and played Juno in “Juno and the Paycock”, Ghislaine in “Waltz of the Toreadors”, and Mrs. Elvsted in “Hedda Gabler”. When I moved back to Gainesville, I performed, produced, and directed -  at Brenau College (Brenau Playmakers), Gainesville College (College Players), Appletree Summer Stock, Gainesville Junior Service League (Children’s Theatre), among others. I couldn’t get enough. For as long as I can remember, I loved pretending. Pretending to be someone else. Not animals or inanimate objects, but lovely young girls or women whom everyone loved. For a long time, it was Honey Bunch – a young girl in a series of books I loved. Everyone loved Honey Bunch. Then, it was Nurse Sue Barton or Nurse Cherry Ames. As long as I had my imagination to count on, I didn’t care what happened – I could escape into my mind. It was wonderful.

In 1968, I moved to Los Angeles and acted in film, television, theatre, commercials, print ads – for 38 years.

Then, for some reason unbeknownst to me, I wanted a change. I have tried to explain it as a desire for power, a dislike of the youth-oriented industry, lack of jobs for older actresses, whatever. So, I went to – wait for it – Law School. No one thought I could do it – make the switch. I did. I went to law school, passed the California Bar, and practiced law – employment litigation and entertainment law – for 19 years. Did I miss acting? You bet. I missed it bigtime. But, I loved practicing law, too.

When my husband and I retired to the South of France, I immediately started eyeing Cannes and the film festival there every year. Plus, I took note of various theatres in Nice, wondering if France has acting unions like SAG. One day, I googled acting agents in this area and wondered if they ever signed American actresses. I noticed French actresses seemed mature – not all young and sexy. I studied French commercials on television. I made note of people I know in the U.S. to ask, maybe message one day on Facebook. Steve loved my being an actress. He encouraged me to get back into it. He would say – “the happiest I have ever seen you is when you were working as an actress.” He wanted me to do both (act and practice law) – in LA. I couldn’t. As an attorney, I gave it 100 percent focus. But, the part about my being happier when I was acting - that is true.

When Steve died, I talked to expat friends in Nice about getting involved in the film industry in France. Then, week before last, two expat friends texted me about a “Casting Call” on Angloinfo.com. An American writer / producer / director Maxine Pugh, living in Cannes, needed a mature actress to play a French Countess in a short film currently titled "Damien's Reawakening”, expenses only.

Concerned about the French language and whether I remembered how to act or not, I contacted Ms. Pugh. The part needed English language with authentic French dialect, to act with French actors from Paris. After a lot of back and forth trying to get my English to have an "authentic" French-sounding accent and in competition with three other actresses, I got the part.

I worked last Sunday – in Cannes. Producer Daniella Gonella works for the BBC in London. Small crew working camera, lights, and sound from London and Portugal. It was fabulous. I took the train from Nice to Cannes. Walked to the set. Used my own wardrobe. Worked all day with Nicolas Audebaud and Celine Durand, excellent actors from Paris.

I got more and more French as the day wore on - back in the saddle again. It felt great.



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SMALL THINGS MATTER

A lot is going on over here on the French Riviera. Each day is filled with at least one crisis, often more. And, it is always exciting to go to the mailbox to see what has arrived in this day’s mail. Usually, it is another bill or problem or requirement or whatever. The list goes on. As a result, my original intentions of moving to France, travelling with my husband, dining in delicious cafes and restaurants, reading, writing, practicing the piano, taking photographs, learning to paint with oils – has all gone out the window. Steve died. As a result, I write. I read a little. I take photographs from time to time and practice my scales on the piano. Don't "dine" - it is expensive and no fun to do alone. Don't travel - it is no fun to do alone – well, sorta. And, learning to paint with oils – well, that sounds expensive. I would need supplies, wouldn't I?

Instead, my days are filled with trying to reach someone on the telephone at the Social Security office in Paris, sending required documents to the U.S. Embassy in Marseille. Dealing with l ’Assurance Maladies, AXA Insurance Company, dealing with Hopital Les Sources, Hopital Pasteur, and Hopital l’Archet. Trying to find out who gives flu shots. Making doctor and dentist appointments for me. Buying less groceries - groceries are heavy. And, at my local supermarket, Monoprix, I must package my own, schlepp them (without a cart) to the car (after I find a parking space in the carpark), schlepp them into the building, get them into the elevator, up to the condo – all things Steve used to help me do. I am good at putting them away. :)

Then, I started looking for good things happening- small things that were working. Small things that mattered.

At that point, I got sick - caught a bug going around, possibly a virus of some kind. I looked up “Viral Infection” in Louisa Hay’s “You Can Heal Your Life”, and it says, "a viral infection signifies 'lack of joy flowing through life. Bitterness'". HELL, YES!  Duh. This is not fun. It goes on to say that I should say the affirmation, “I lovingly allow joy to flow freely in my life. I love me.”  Yeah ... well... maybe, as soon as I find out how to get rid of these money-eating time shares, pay the insurance company, see a dermatologist, put the groceries away, meet with Hopital Admissions at three hospitals, deal with my landlord, ….  Then, to my surprise, I discovered – this building has turned on the heat!! In the middle of the night, I felt heat - actually, heat - coming through the radiators. Great news!!  This condo building, like many buildings in France (so I have been told), has its heating system in the cellar somewhere. I cannot control it from my unit. And, in the summer, someone turns off the heat. It is turned back on in October. So, if it gets cold before then, tough luck. Last year, when Steve and I first came from Encino (100 + in the shade), we were sleeping in down jackets. This year I was better prepared for the cold nights – Andrea and Slav let me use their portable heater - a favor that mattered.


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