Snippets of Life

The interesting and not so interesting snippets of life that have become important these days are truly different from what I worried about in California. Sasha - the three paw street cat.This week we noticed that Sasha had not been around to collect her dinner for a few days. In fact, a new cat, Zoe-Pascale named Tiger, came instead and meowed until she fed him whatever was available. The latest favorite - baby bell cheese. The other day on the way to school we saw the man whose garage Sasha slept in and asked him, " Ou est Sasha?" His face fell to the ground and in a sad voice, he said; " Sasha est mort" "Sasha is dead." With only 5 minutes to get to school we stopped to listen to his elaborate story of how Sasha fell off the roof of the house next door when they were repairing the tiles. He slipped and fell to his death in the street in which he roamed daily. Zoe-Pascale took it in stride and said he had a good life and there were many more cats in the street to feed (one already claiming Sasha's bowl).YOGA IN FRENCHA few weeks ago I tried out a new Yoga class in Uzes. Unlike Marin, there are only a few to choose from which fit the style I like and the time. My first day in the class I decided I better sit up front in order to "see" what the teacher does considering that I may not understand her instructions - all in French. With a few twists of my body to get a better glimpse I listened and watched and made it through. I kept hearing however a few words over and over such as "respire" (breath) and knew I was catching on. There was one word that I just couldn't understand. In fact I wasn't even sure what she was saying. The next time I met with my French teacher I told her about the situation and the word I couldn't figure out. After trying out a number of pronunciations, we finally figured out the word was "detendu." "Relax!!" Of course, the one thing they want you to do in Yoga is relax and I couldn't get the word.... Now, however it is my favorite word.. Detendu...A MINOR OBJECTIVE HAS BEEN ACHIEVEDThe other evening we were invited to a St. Nicholas celebration by Anne and Gide who are professional glass blowers in town. The event is a Swiss/German celebration of St. Nick in early December. The guests included neighbors who were French, German and English orgin, truly international. Sitting around the fire and small cafe tables sipping our wine, the conversation took place in French with a few explanations in English when needed for understanding. At one point I was talking with a few of the guests about the poterie class that Jean and I are enrolled in in the village atelier. After a few minutes I realized that they were all sitting forward listening carefully to me stumble through my description in French. I was having a French conversation and they were listening!!!! I have to admit that it only lasted a minute or so, but it was a major step forward in my aspiration to have a full conversation in French and laugh at the right places. I do believe that this goal of truly being able to speak French well is the hardest thing I have ever attempted as an adult. My brain is taxed to the limit and is working overtime in every conversation. I watch Zoe-Pascale learn so easily and truly believe that learning multiple languages should be mandatory for children as it will never get easier and only harder as you age. Slowly but surely I am getting there!!!
Suzanne Saxe-Roux