I am back in Maine, having magically missed the 10 days when 3 feet of snow fell here. Today it is 44 degrees and the sun in shining in a blue sky. I'm sure there will be more snow to come....March is a false-promser; one thnks it is spring on the way (and I have always liked my birthday, allegedly the first day of spring)...but inevitably it disappoints.

The night before I left Florida, Howard and I did what has become something of a last-night-here tradiiton for us; we went to a tiny restaurant called Cote d'Azur. It seems a well-kept secret, because from the road one doesn't even know it is there. Howard has owned a home nearby since, I think 1997, but he only discovered this restaurant last winter. There is a Starbucks on one side of it, and a supermarket on the other, so one might walk past in the afternoon and barely glance at its entrance, assuming it to be a dry cleaner or a dog wash. Ah, but then evening comes. Little lights appear dangling above tables set outside, with screens around so it is still invisible to passersby. And inside: it is lovely, and the food is magnificent, (and also pricey!) Last month we both had Dover sole and shared a bottle of Sancerre. This time we were slightly more circumspect (a glass of prosecco and a duck breast)...but oh dear, this time we had dessert. And here is my Pear Heléne


And boo hoo, now I am back in Maine, with work to do and taxes to finish and a dental apointment Tuesday. The mundane intrudes.

Tomorrow I am to be interviewed for a 7th-grade school assignment, by a 13-year-old friend who needed someone who had been around in the 40s and 50s...  I will have to find ways to edit myself because I have SO MANY memories from those years, starting, probably, with the bombing of Pearl Harbor when I was four years old. Of course at 4 I knew nothing of what it meant.."bombing"..."war"...but I remember clearly the feeling in my home, of dread and horror; I remember my mother saying to my dad: "You should put your uniform on."   It was a Sunday, of course, and he was in civilian clothes but he was a major in the army at the time. And until recently we had lived in Honolulu...I had been born there...so there was the added horror of our own space having been invaded.

I took a then-eleven-year-old grandson to Hawaii some years ago, and went then for the first time to the memorial at the USS Arizona.  Much more recently I visited Hiroshima.  My own son is buried in a cemetery in Germany, where he lies near men who died on the Russian front....all of them lost in the mindlessness of conflicts behind us as our governments lurch forward creating new ones.

Oh dear. I started out this day by thinking about a French restauarant.  But I should add that Howard and I have also been watching the many seasons of "A French Village" ...which portrays the lives of individual ordinary people: the doctor, the schoolteacher, others...in wartime. Not a Pear Heléne in sight...they are having a hard time finding food.

When will we ever learn?  Peter Paul and Mary got it right.