jeudi 8 avril 2010

Understanding Rapide

"Eric Tabarly" bud

I don't know why I didn't notice until this morning that the incredibly thriving "Eric Tabarly" rose closest to the door -- and I say "incredibly thriving" because it has been sitting in a largish plastic pot for about 1 1/2 years, ever since the workers had me dig them up to start on the garden façade -- has produced many first buds, since I study it closely most days, but it might have to do with the fact that I think I understand what ailed Rapide better, having spent a day lying in bed with my laptop on my stomach, unable to move. The French call it, ever so quaintly for their "best in the world" medical system, a lumbago. It sounds like a dance.

It isn't. I assure you.

Not unless you consider using your hands and knees to get out of bed or stand up straight a dance.

It also makes me a little hungry for something I can't quite make out, sounding like some dish, too.

Oh, look! We use it too!

Etymology: L, lumbus, loin
pain in the lumbar region caused by a muscle strain, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or a herniated intervertebral disk. Ischemic lumbago, characterized by pain in the lower back and buttocks, is caused by vascular insufficiency, as in terminal aortic occlusion. See also low back pain.
Mosby's Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. © 2009, Elsevier.

Actually, it sounds almost exactly like what Rapide was probably suffering, although my breeder friend called it cauda equina, also known as lumbosacral stenosis, and a bunch of other names. It's also a form of arthritism or a slipped disc or pinched nerve in the lumbar-sacral acrea, and after the last two days, I can completely relate to the whelps and whimpers every time I asked her to get up and walk, and even when she was just lying there. It "came and went" pretty much as suddenly for me as it appeared to for her, too. At least what pain remains is tolerable.

It's not the first time I have suffered this, but it was the worst time. It's no wonder, either, with what I put myself through, with the various tools I wield in the garden and the house, from shovels to pickaxes, and then the tons of rock and masonry debris I haul to the dump; I guess you could say that I'm asking for it, but poor Rapide?

Like mistress, like dog.

The first rosebuds probably appeared while I was whimpering in my bed.

And it wasn't due only to the back pain, either. No, it was also due to the pain of having to sit still and figure out what I want to do with the petit salon that my husband would also want done with this tiny little room. You'd think that would be easy, after all, I do know what he thinks the room should be. The problem is that I haven't been able to make up my mind in these long 8 years.

I alternate between a sitting room for reading, perhaps watching a proportionately tiny television, listening to and, now that the piano is about to come, playing music and an office outfitted with a piano. That seems selfish. To take one room of valuable real estate and make it about my work when I can do that at the kitchen/entry/living room table, or put a desk out in the summer room just seems selfish.

I opted for my husband's vision, and one that seems to go best with the piano.

"C'est beau," said my husband, after I gave him a tour of the future contents of the shallow storage closets that replaced the bookshelves I had had all around the door into the room from the entry (hall seems to great a word for the little space, off of which are this room, a narrow stair to the end bedroom and a WC, sans lavabo). I explained all about how they would be perfect to house the ironing board, iron, and other stuff that gets dumped into that room like an oversized utility closet.

I am all about having places to put things in a house that offers no place to put things, other than into the garbage as the radical solution.

"On dirait un château," he added, turning his eyes from the computer screen to me, "avec ce -- au fait, c'est quoi, une fenêtre?" He was talking about the oriole window above the door.

"Bon, ça peut être ça ou juste un cadre pour une autre porte cachée."

"Non, non, ça serait très joli," he hastened to say.

He liked it. He wasn't even complaining about the work it would, sans doute, involve. Or the expense. But my reply to that every time is, "Oh! We'll do that ourselves!," which rather adds to the burden of the first issue.

Of course, I could just do the room absolutely plainly. Plaster the walls right down to simple baseboards, but...

I want wainscoting.

And sometimes, when you use a lot of lines in a small room, you create, bizarrely, I know, the illusion of more space, while a very simple small room is "what it is," all apparent at once and small. I don't want it to be une chambre de moines, or a monk's room, but a little jewel box for the beautiful, beautiful piano, our books and photos. Maybe some new art work.

I get to choose it.

Now, where are those damn masons? They were "aiming" for 8 am. It's lunchtime, and the frogs just started calling.

If you'll excuse me, I have to go iron curtains and prepare the guest rooms for next week. Tomorrow, we leave on the TGV for a family wedding in Toulon, and our guests arrive next week right on our heels. Monday, I make boeuf bourguignon so I won't have to cook one night, but mostly so the house will smell good.

French, too, for our American guest. Even American houses can smell like Labrador Retrievers.

Sisyphe nods sagely.

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