the first snow

I couldn’t sleep last night. The wind howled and the bones of my apartment creaked against the gusts that blew through town.

I lay in bed, waiting for my alarm to go off and I heard that old familiar sound of metal scraping pavement as my neighbor got out his shovel.

Snow. And probably ice.

As the sun rose, I pressed my face against the pane, fogging up the glass with my hot breath, looking out at the snow-capped chimneys,  just as I had done hundreds of times before. There I was, wearing  inside-out-backwards pajamas, ready for crunchy-snowman-snow, feeling the cold linoleum on my bare feet.

And then I was flying home to Cleveland after my first winter abroad, seeing the neighborhoods dusted with white, twinkling from above in the pressurized airplane cabin.

And then I was waking up to a blizzard in Luxembourg, discovering old rusty sleds in the basement, drinking hot coffee and pulling apart flaky croissants.

And then I was here, listening to the gas heater rattle around, eating thick slices of sourdough bread with homemade pumpkin butter, swaying to old, scratchy records.

“I am younger at the first snow. When I see it, suddenly, all little and white and moving, then I am in love again and very young and I believe in everything.” – Anne Sexton

Macaroons!

Well, this lady is officially living in a new city. I made the move last Friday and have been spending the week getting acquainted with my new job, new home and new neighborhood!

One thing I’m super excited about? Pistacia Vera,  a dessert heaven, home to beautiful macaroons.

And I love macaroons.

When I lived in Luxembourg, famed Parisan macaroon atelier Laduree opened a shop in the city. It took everything in my being to not spend entire paychecks on those tasty little French cookies. Specifically those of the salty caramel variety.

 

(These macaroons lasted only mere moments after this picture was taken)

we put our feet just where they had, had to go

On Sunday night, in a moment of impulse, I bought a ticket to see Beirut at the House of Blues. And it was so wonderful.

You know how you get obsessed with a song, or a band, listen to them everyday for a month before retiring them away for a while? And then, whenever you listen to them, as if by magic, you’re transported back to that time in your life when that music was so important?

(from here)

For me, Beirut takes me back to Europe, the early days. The days of small French apartments, salty sea air, bikes and two euro bottles of cheap champagne…of drafty castles, French housekeepers, brown German bread, and iambic-pentameter Luxembourgish.

And mostly, of trains, and watching the countryside pass by. Beirut was the band I would listen to, en route, feeling that rush of new adventure, of forward movement, speeding into the unknown.

scarves

I blame it on France. Currently, in my room, there is an over flowing box filled with scarves. If you’ve ever visited France, you know that this is a wardrobe staple. Heck, all French stereotypes, from the stripped shirted mime to any francophile SNL skit, are dressed in scarves.

My only problem has been figuring out how to wear them. My colleagues always had this effortless way about their scarves, whereas mine always felt like a one-note tune. I’ve always just thrown them around my neck, but in reality, there are hundreds of ways to show off your écharpe.

And this is why I LOVE this video. What a fun way to get those creative scarf juices flowing!

tu me manque

I’ve been home for a little over three months. I can’t hardly believe it – three. months.

 

Home Sweet Home

While I still feel a bit ‘fish out of water’, there are so many things I love about home…but here are also things I miss about lovely, little Luxembourg.

In no particular order:

1. driving the 7km to France to buy good French bread (strange, but true)

2. creme de marron (aka sweet chestnut paste…trust me on this one)

3. quiet, introspective moments on the train

4. speaking French

5. the flea market that would appear in my little town twice a year

6. sipping wine on cobblestone streets at 1 in the afternoon on a Saturday

7. peony season

8.mes bons amis

9. the weekly market where I would buy a loaf of good brown german bread, talk with my friend at the Greek stand, and on a good day, come home with fresh flowers

10. hot, mulled wine