It's been a "Journey" since I've felt I had the freedom of time, or the mental bandwidth to write anything. The fact that two years have passed since our last trip to France, that ended in a Medical Evacuation back to the US, is hard to fathom.
I now feel slightly guilty saying that there are some positive aspects to our life, in view of everyone else's struggles.
My husband will always be "The Artistic One".
When friends ask him what he's up to, he speaks about painting and possible upcoming art shows. His easel, paints and a fresh canvas are still where they were in our family room/Art Studio, although I have moved things over a bit to facilitate the passage of TAO with his walker frame.
He no longer paints or reads. He sleeps a lot and then sits and watches TV from the kitchen table. When it's not too hot we sit on the covered patio and watch the wind move the tree tops and the dogs run the fence to bark at delivery drivers and people walking by.
As I sit with him, I share videos, from my Facebook feed, of silly cats, redneck creative transportation solutions and familiar regions of France.
The image above is a stained glass window he designed and had made for our French house. The character "Old Mr Jordan" gave TAO hell seventy-plus years ago when he let the cows wander into the wrong field. He also sat in the barn with him in winter and carved wooden clogs, while telling stories about the village. I've heard more stories about him than of TAO's father.
TAO had sketched this image, which we still have,in pencil, long ago. You can see the rolling hills in the distance. The fence line takes your eye where the Artist intended.
When discussing subject matter for this tall bathroom window, I thought this image would honor a World that meant so much to TAO and be relevant to the surroundings.
The house is under offer. It's unlikely we'll ever go there again.
TAO's eldest daughter has been fantastic, shouldering the responsibilities of finding and making arrangements with an Agent, a Notaire and even going to the Department of Construction Permits to have them give the final signature on a project that was completed a decade ago.
She's had all of our paintings moved safely into storage for us. I told her to let her siblings choose any that they might like for themselves and to give away any furniture and household stuff that the potential new owners didn't want.
The one thing I wanted to remove and keep was this window. Unfortunately, the craftsman that came to try to extract it found it was installed in a way that can't be undone.
We now have a small chip of blue glass as a souvenir and these beautiful photos, taken by she who would be my Step-Daughter, if she were younger and I were older.