This is what I'll call a "blind" post. That's on the model of a "mute" post, which contains a picture but no words. This one doesn't include any photos.
Soixante-quatre is my age, and today is my birthday. I don't really have much to say about it but I thought I'd mention it anyway, since Facebook has probably told many of you that my birthday is this week.
Soixante-quatre isn't particularly a milestone birthday, but for me it is in one sense. My father died at 64. If I live until Thanksgiving 2013, I will have lived longer than he did. It's something to think about. One of my grandfathers lived to be 70, but the other died when he was 39. The good news is that my mother is still living and in her 80s (her mother never saw 50). I hope that living to a ripe old age doesn't, as Ma said to me once, "skip a generation."
I'm thinking in decades this morning. It's 2013 and Walt and I have been living in France for nearly 10 years. In March 2003, we had sold our house in San Francisco and had to turn in the keys by March 21. That meant all our furniture and other belongings had to be packed up and taken out of the house. We managed it, and were getting ready to be temporarily homeless before closing the deal on the house over here. The move to France would mark our 20th anniversary together.
Ten years earlier, in 1993, we were living in Silicon Valley and were planning our 10th anniversary. It would be a trip to... guess where... France. Provence, in fact, which is where I started in France, in 1970. And it would be the first time we rented a house to stay in over here, rather than going to a hotel. If we hadn't enjoyed that experience so much, who knows where we would be today. We made the trip to France at least once a year for vacations and other events between 1993 and 2003.
In 1983, we had recently moved to Washington DC from... guess where... Paris. That's where we met. We didn't return to France until 1988, and even then it was through a series of circumstances — it was a work trip that brought us back here, and we had a series of work trips to France over the next five years, both through my job and Walt's. Again, if all that hadn't happened, I don't know when we might have come back to France, or where we'd be living today. In California, I guess.
We've now lived in France for more than a third of the time we've been together. We lived in California longer. Before I pass on, I'd like to be able to say we've lived in France a longer time than any place else.
I've flown across the Atlantic approximately 75 times in my life. I know it's an odd number (I mean not an even number) because I started in America and now I'm here. I hope that from now on it will always be an odd number of flights.
P.S. We're having duck and beans for my birthday lunch.