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Home from Paris

Coming home after a week in Paris with my niece feels like trying to swim to the surface in a pool of pea soup. Coming up is tedious and slow. I cannot see all that needs doing.
 
First there’s extreme fatigue. After walking miles and miles in 95-plus degree heat, this body cries out for recovery. The heat did not detract from the beauty of that gorgeous city, but it fatigued even the most enthusiastic traveler.
 
Sitting on the plane for eight hours from Charles de Gaulle Airport to Dulles was no hardship. The muscles relaxed; the aches eased. But coming out of customs to an area of loud-talking Americans didn’t feel very good.
 
Ditto climbing into the car and traveling on highways cluttered with billboards and gas stations with signs as large as billboards. In Paris, gas station signs are simply letters on the station itself, not one sign trying to “best” the next.
 
Then there’s the irritating size of cars in America. Huge. Huge, like the one that must have hit my car on a parking lot the day after I returned. It hit it so hard that my car moved into the adjacent parking space. The driver didn’t even leave a note. Why does that not surprise me?
 
Then there are hundreds of e-mails. I’m using the “Swiss Cheese” approach to answering those: a few at a time.
 
Fortunately, my diligent husband returned all phone calls and cleared the answering machine before I returned. Seeing him, my sister and my New York nephew within hours of touchdown were bright spots of my reluctant return.

So is our garden, even if it needs renovation.
 
Having Monday be the Fourth of July in Roland Park means a walk to the old-fashioned parade on Roland Avenue, brunch with neighbors on a classic porch, and dinner and sparklers in a backyard up the street. 
 
Looking forward to those neighborhood traditions might make Sunday’s reorganizing feel a little less onerous.
  

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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