As I was stemming and pitting the freshly picked cherries given to us by neighbor Eugenio, I noticed my hands becoming “country girl hands” again after my two week stint in the US. “Country Girl Hands” is a term I use to describe the effect that living in the country, void of most modern conveniences (like hot running water) has on a woman’s hands. Living here my hands are very dry, frequently dirty or stained, my knuckles have expanded in such a way that wearing rings is difficult, and the nails on my right hand are really just stubs of their former selves. My hands have also become strong and tan. It’s a trade off.
So, as I was there at the sink trading off my finely manicured, French tipped finger nails (ok, not really soooo “fine”, I did them myself) for the prospect of smearing my own homemade sweet cherry jam on a hunk of crusty Italian bread in the morning for breakfast*, I got to reflecting a little about my trip to the States.
Really, I just had two thoughts:
1. I think my parents did a really good job parenting. My evidence here is not what perfect people my sister and I are but rather on how very differently we are living out our lives. I won’t even make a list here of the ways that Laur and I are different or how exactly our lives are different – I don’t have enough time. Let’s just say that the likelihood of finding Laurie in a kitchen in Italy pitting cherries so she could have fresh jam is about the same as me running for school board president in Elgin, IL and winning. For whatever mistakes my parents made (there were a few), I think it’s a real testament to whatever it was they did right that they ended up with two gals living insanely different and equally as beautiful lives. And we like each other! I’m not a parent myself, but if I were, that is what I would want for my children.
And my second deep refection this morning…
2. It’s funny to me that living so close to France as I do, I am unable to find many of the French things I always indulge in while in the US…French fries, French onion dip, French vanilla hand lotion, French bread, French salad dressing, French tips. Funny. Glad I brought that manicure kit back with me so I can redo my nails tomorrow morning after drinking coffee from my French press.