Room with a View

Writing 101 – Day 2


I’ve taken the WordPress Writing 101 challenge: respond to a new topic every weekday in June. I’m determined to do it and will post some of my writing here. Other posts will be on my other blog ( So here’s the topic for day #2: A Room with A View.


I want to go back …. back eight years … back to the day that I stood in this open window and felt carefree, before we knew that Bo has Alzheimers, before we awoke every morning worried about the new day, about our future, about the lonely decisions ahead. I want to go back to normal days. I want to have conversations with Bo that make sense.

On that day eight years ago I awoke early to the sound of doves and the warm morning light of the Dordogne. I dressed and hurried quietly down the stairs so I could be the first to open the kitchen windows wide and watch the fog rise above the beautiful French morning. The light was different, the landscape a deeper, richer color, a photo waiting to be taken.

The small hillside house in the French countryside is one of my favorite places in the world. Everything about it was quaint and charming: the gas stove that wouldn’t light, the old coffeepot, the tiny refrigerator, even the slightly musty smell. I stood in that open window, coffee mug in hand every morning for two weeks basking in the beauty.

One cup of coffee makes me feel creative — the caffeine high that turns talkative, stimulated. It’s cliche, but it’s true: I drink strong coffee and I want to write a novel, create a flower arrangement, go someplace special with my camera. That first cup of coffee in our rented house in Peyrillac-et-Millac simply made everything more inviting, more … alive.

Those were the last days before the reality of Bo’s illness dropped a heavy cloud over us. In previous blogs I’ve described it as having a stone in my chest, the most accurate description I can give. After we found out, I would walk around our block in the morning or late at night, taking deep breaths, trying to move that stone, and in several years it did go away, but the cloud stayed. Life was changed forever.

Today I shut my eyes and I’m back at the open window again looking out at the lush green morning, the bowl of sunflowers on our wall, the peaked roofs on golden brown stone buildings, and for a moment I feel free and light. I want that day back.



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