A House in Provence Chapter 7


Sometimes there is a little bell in your heart that is struck by things in the world that you see. It can be stuck by archetecture, like Notre Dame in Paris, or music as when an organ is being played in a dark cathedral but, with me, it is often nature that sends that little shaft of joy into my being. I happened upon a field of Queen Anne’s Lace which, really, grows like a weed here. This bud looked like a little package left by the fairies during the night, waiting to be opened by the sun’s fingers.


This is what it looks like when it opens. There is a tiny purple flower exactly in the center of each blossom group.

Chapter 7
Part 3
Back Problems

One morning we got up ready to start painting the bedroom. Maurice moved a small portable television and the next thing I knew he was clutching his back in pain. He could hardly walk, limping around all bent over. We decided he needed some medication so I drove him down to the nearest town with a pharmacy and some doctors. Luckily for us, the doctor was next door to the pharmacy and, better yet, she was there and seeing patients. After a thirty minute wait, she took Maurice in, did a check up and gave him an injection of a muscle relaxant and a anti-inflammatory. We were sent home with four days worth of medications and syringes for me to give Maurice his injections. The medicine didn’t touch his pain, even with some mild analgesics she prescribed. We called her later that day to tell her his was still in great pain and she made him go through the night that way. She said he had to wait for 24 hours before anything different was tried. Poor Maurice didn’t sleep at all that night as he had to sit on the side of the bed to control the pain. The next morning she prescribed some stronger pain pills that didn’t seem to do much more. (It finally took two weeks of morphine pills for Maurice to even be able to sleep and then he had to get over using those to sleep-about a month of recovery.)
All of this leads me to think that Maurice has more than a pulled muscle. My own diagnosis is that he has a pinched nerve or a slipped disc. I’m hoping it won’t require surgery. So, I started painting the bedroom by myself, one coat a day while Maurice sat in a chair unable to even walk without pain. I had a little pain myself at the end of the day but nothing that a little aspirin didn’t take care of.
I had one day left before I had to return to Paris and only one coat of paint to finish the bedroom and, you know what? I couldn’t do it. Just the thought of painting the whole room one more time sent me into a depression. I cleaned the stairs really well, instead, getting it ready to apply varnish to the wood. Maurice decided the wood needed more sanding which, of course, negated the cleaning I had just done. I could see the sun shining on a floor I had just mopped and could see streaks and dust. Somehow I wasn’t getting all of the dirt up. It didn’t help that it rained and that a man came to install a TV satellite dish and tracked mud all over the floors. The fire place is made out of some sort of stone having little fossils in it and it has to be brushed with a wire brush which causes a fine powder to fall to the floor. I finally just had a melt down looking at it all. I felt overwhelmed and like no matter what I did, it had to be done again the next day. I think eight hours a day of working on the house was too much and I decided that from now on a few hours a day would have to be sufficient and that my standards for cleanliness would have to be lowered. I poured myself a large glass of wine, took a nice hot bath and let Maurice cook dinner, hunched over the stove in pain. I would work on not trying to get it all done at once, and being all right with that.