July 29, 2009

Stitches in my butt

Posted in Exploring tagged , , at 11:06 pm by Lauren

I need to write about a thing or two or five or seventy-five. Top (or bottom) on my mind right now is that I’ve got a couple of stitches in my butt and in my thigh. Ouch. I went to the dermatologist today to have my moles checked for the first time in several years. (Several? A decade perhaps even?) Back then, I had two moles removed, and I knew I was long overdue to have them checked again. I would have felt like I needed a second opinion if the dermatologist hadn’t decided to remove any moles, but I wasn’t expecting six! Still, I’m glad to have them go if they look suspicious at all.

So two were taken off today when I was there, and now the one stitched part in my butt is twinging fiercely, and I’m fairly glad that the track workout for my ten miler training was cancelled for rain. (Just gloss over that ten miler bit; I’ll get to that if I ever remember to blog again.) Six moles! And you can only have two removed per visit; does anyone have any idea why insurance companies have that quota?

Anyway, the best part was how noticeably concerned my dermatologist was about this one particular mole. She didn’t want to wait two weeks before removing it (and because it’s bigger, and she wants to remove the entire thing and not just a piece to biopsy, she couldn’t do it today), which I think was the part that communicated the most concern to me. It’s a little ironic – the rush and the urgency – after ten years of not getting my moles checked that the doctor would be worried about two more weeks of a suspicious-looking mole on my leg. But there weren’t any available appointments before I go to Texas, so I will be rid of it on August 17 (post-Texas and post-tonsillectomy). (More things to write about the “next time” I blog – you know, in October.) Anyway, nothing to be concerned about though really because if it were bad, it would already be bad, and there’s nothing much to do about it before bedtime tonight, is there?

July 2, 2009

Paris calls out

Posted in Daily life, Memories tagged , , , at 10:20 pm by Lauren

Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of our return to the States, leaving our year in Paris behind. It’s a small coincidence that it would be on June 30 then that I had a strong reminder of our time there.

Flash back to March 2003 – Not a year out of college, I return to France with my mom and my friend Sara to visit Paris and Montpellier. One day at Place de la Tertre in Montmartre, a small oil painting catches my eye, and like many tourists before me, I haggle with the artist until we find a price we can agree on. At the time, it was a big expenditure for me at almost $60. But I loved the sepia-toned scene that was so Parisian, and yet not explicitly in Paris (no Eiffel Tower, or other recognizable monuments). I handed over my euros (or was it still francs at the time? euros, I think) and have never regretted it.

I found a small metal easel to display my painting on, and it graced my apartment in Dunn Loring, then the one Allen and I shared in Rosslyn, then our condo for two years. When we moved to the house in DC, I packed it up very carefully and put it in a safe place.

Now I don’t mean that I put it somewhere safe. I mean, I put it in a safe place. And you know what that means? I put it in a safe place means that I put it somewhere so safe and so hidden, that it would be safe even from me for a very long time. When anything valuable of mine goes missing, I know immediately that I put it in a safe place. (Another recent example: my aunt gave me cash to put towards framing these two beautiful lace doilies made by my grandfather’s mother and my grandmother’s sister. And do you know where that cash is now? I don’t either. I put it in a safe place.) And that painting was no exception. I put it in a safe place in August 2006, I moved everything, and I didn’t see that painting again…until yesterday.

(The painting’s safe place? A Harry & David pear box that I felt compelled to save because of the beautiful pattern. It has been in plain sight near the washing machine for months. It’s a miracle that I didn’t throw it and my beautiful painting away.)

Small enough coincidence that I would find the painting again a year after we moved away, but I wouldn’t think a single thing of it if there weren’t a bigger coincidence lying within. When I pulled that little painting out of its safe place, I suddenly knew exactly where in Paris it was. I’d never thought much about it before – pretty stone bridge, typical Parisian apartment buildings, the Seine, the trees – it was just Paris. But yesterday, on the anniversary of moving back from Paris, I found that painting, and I saw the Seine with Pont Marie stretching above it towards Rue des Deux Ponts and the first few buildings on Quai d’Anjou to the left there, where another inch of canvas would have revealed our Ile Saint Louis apartment.

To end my little reminiscence, I will share some pictures.

Here is my painting from Place de Tertre:

 CIMG0027

Here is a picture that Allen took of Pont Marie, facing away from our apartment:

Pont Marie from our apartment

For a view of Pont Marie facing towards our apartment, where you can see the shape of the buildings across Rue des Deux Ponts, click here.