Last week Mr French came home from the office a bit early, too tired to continue his day. Early, for Mr French means he walked through the door just before 8pm. It had been a lovely, sunny day and I had purchased the first heirloom tomatoes of the season with a loose ball of fresh burrata. It was the perfect dinner for a tired man; light and healthy with the creamy decadence of buffalo milk. The flavors of summer in early April. What a treat! Even better, M had been particularly entertaining, keeping us laughing over the exploits of French teens. We started to settle into a very relaxing evening and I was quite please with myself that things had gone so smoothly. Before opening the pages of his book, Mr French checked his email one last time.
“Putain. This is wrong!” he jumped. “Something is wrong.” he had seen an email from our bank and it looked like we were being robbed. An hour of panic ensued, as he tried to understand exactly what was happening and how. While dealing with this fire, the phone rang. It was his daughter, La Fashionista. She was calling to inform us that she was dealing with a a fire of her own. Literally. She was calling from outside her building at Les Halles, flames soaring out of the first floor flat, extending well beyond her home on the 4th floor. She was hoping desperately her Cocker Spaniel was safe while pompiers rescued her neighbors from their homes. Once it was sure the humans were saved, a fireman took her keys and rushed three flights up the smoke filled staircase to save her puppy. Our hero!
Astonishingly, we both managed to sleep that night. La Fasionista slept, too, safe with her puppy at a friend’s. Over the next few days, we were able to recover the stolen property and La Fashionista learned her flat had only suffered smoke damage. An annoyance, but nothing more.
On Sunday, we had a family brunch to lick our wounds and on Monday, we hit the ground running, our plates full as we were both slammed with work; the days a blur of words passing before my screen as my fingers fly across the keyboard. This morning, rushing out the door to face requests that are piling up faster than can be treated, I went to the closet to grab my shoes. There was water on the closet floor. ON MY SHOES on the closet floor!!! I threw everything into the hallway and discovered it was coming from our hot water heater. I have a tendency to take a short story and make it longer. I’ll spare you this time, but right now I am a prisoner in my home, keeping an eye on the heater to make sure it and its 200 litres of water don’t sink through the floor before the plumber can arrive at 5pm.
There are three boogey men hiding in the closet of every Parisian; floods, fire and robbery. In the last seven days, Mr French and I have had a glimpse of them all. When these things happen in our lives, the same thought always goes through my head, “We’re all safe. We’re all healthy. Thank you, universe.” And I feel blessed as we deal with the bank, the plumber and the insurance companies. But I think I deserve a holiday, so I am off tomorrow morning, leaving the pink blossoms of spring time in Paris for a week in the unseasonable cold of Chicago where snow is still expected. I don’t mind. I’ll be with Mr French and my girls and thanking the universe with all my heart.