It is with great honor and reddened cheeks that I learned I was nominated for a Sunshine Blogger Award by The Vintage Contessa. Who knew!
La Contessa herself is a star, in an allegorical solar sense. She radiates happiness even though she has had some health scares. She either knows or is bound to meet everybody interesting that you can imagine. She is modest but magnetic. SHE LIKES CAPITAL LETTERS.
And, she seems like a ton of fun.
Since her sunny disposition already has received attention, I must whittle down the list to three other bloggers. This is difficult, because I have far more than three. And so, I wrote them down and drew out of a hat. Just to be fair.
But first, questions were asked, and I will be asking some as well. La Contessa asked:
1. What is the ONE ITEM YOU CANNOT FIND IN FRANCE FOOD OR OTHERWISE THAT YOU MISS?
Girl Scout cookies. Thin Mints, especially. I would even go for the knock-offs: Grasshopper cookies.
2. What was the ONE THING that TERRIFIED YOU THE MOST about MOVING ABROAD?
This is hard because I have lived in other countries before. The first time was with the Peace Corps in Africa, and I suppose I was terrified of big bugs and of getting sick. Later, I lived in Belgium. By the time I moved to France, it wasn’t very exotic. The biggest culture shock was urban to rural, not U.S. to France. I had always been a city dweller, except for my time in Africa. 3. Do YOU REMEMBER THE FIRST FRIEND YOU MADE in FRANCE? IF SO ARE YOU STILL FRIENDS? Tell us about the first encounter!
This is a hard one, because we first make acquaintances, and it’s through life that they become friends. The first good friend was at the park. I took my baby to crawl on the grass and there was this woman with a baby about the same age. Of course we noticed each other and started talking. That led to regular—daily, rain or shine—meetings at the park. She taught me so much. The baby she was with wasn’t her own but a foster child. She is a true saint who has taken in so many children. She’s somebody I never tire of talking with, her cassoulet is so good it brings me to tears and she never corrects my verb conjugations. As I said, a true saint.
4. What do YOU MISS MOST of YOUR HOMELAND?
Family. I was very close to my siblings, despite having lived overseas or very, very far away almost all of my adult life. We can talk all night. When we’re together, I am nearly doubled over the entire time with a stomach ache… from laughing. Sore cheeks and the whole thing. I love them so.
The other thing I miss is Mexican food. Now the nominees:
Michele of Hello Lovely. The name says it all. Looking at her posts is a kind of zen meditation for me. Immediate de-stressing. Plus, the woman is prolific! She does all this with a smile and oodles of chic, despite having struggled with health issues. That’s sunshine.
D.A. of Daily Plate of Crazy. Again, an appropriate name. D.A. is a gifted writer whose essays are always relevant and thought-provoking. She also has a sunny demeanor besides also facing health challenges. She teaches by example.
Elizabeth of Pinecones and Acorns. I can gain three kilos just reading her blog, which always features beautiful, delicious recipes. We share a love of France (actually, Michele and D.A. are committed francophiles as well) and of Egyptology. Life has thrown her some lemons, too, and she has made lemonade. Sunshine.I feel guilty sticking to three because there are quite a few others who bring sunshine to my days. The Internet can be a cesspool, but these people restore my faith in humanity. They bring me new ideas and make me smile.
On to the questions for the three (but everybody can answer, too!). Not the Proust questionnaire, though that’s a tempting choice for a roster of francophiles.
1. How or where do you find the joy in each day?
2. Tell us about a happy day of your life—not necessarily the happiest–those tend to be milestones like births and weddings–but just an ordinary day that you look back on as a time of carefree bliss?
3. What is your péché mignon—your guilty pleasure?
4. What piece of advice or wisdom can you share with us? It can be practical or profound.Rules for the Sunshine Award
1. Thank the person who nominated you and include a link back to their blog.
2. Answer the questions given by the person who nominated you.
3. Nominate other blogs and give questions for them to answer.
4. Notify your nominees through social media or by commenting on their blogs.
5. List the rules and display a Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post.
I hope readers will also enjoy these four writers, whose sunny dispositions come through in their work. And you’re all invited to answer the questions, too, and to name other favorite blogs.