My brother David arrived last night just as I was dropping the rest of the baby asparagus into the sauté pan for dinner and mixing chèvre into the béchamel. I greeted him at the door and shoved a piece of the goat cheese into his mouth: "Welcome to France!" (It was really good goat cheese.)
I had gone to the daily farmer's market during a break in my classes to pick up ingredients for dinner, and it was such a beautiful market day here in Aix. The sky had lots of fluffy clouds rolling around, giving enticing shades and variation to the strong, clear Provençal light. The vegetables and fruits were gorgeous under red and yellow umbrellas. The stand where I bought the asparagus had three kinds: baby asparagus, which was a range between what you'd usually see in the US and skinny little asparagus twigs, regular French asparagus, which had the circumference of a dime, and huge goliath asparagus, the same height, but the diameter of a half dollar! Whoa! Wish I'd had my camera.
The trip to the market was just one more reminder that I love it here: the smells, colors, foods, and weather, the sunlight on the yellow stone buildings, the daily challenge of having no clue what people are saying to me as I try to accomplish the most mundane tasks. I'm excited to share it with a visitor!