Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Hotel De Marceas

No one really knew how old the Hotel De Marceau was, all people knew was that here about forty miles on the outskirts of Paris, was a hotel that was not a flee bag, nor was it overly priced either.  The De Marceau was described as an affordable place to stay, with good rooms, great food and convenience to Paris.

For me, it was a chance to see France and learn about some of the places my father had told me about.  My father had been in the Army during World War Two, and had landed at Normandy in 1944.  He didn't talk much about the war, but he told me about places and the people.  He had met mom in France and if he had his way, he would have stayed.

So here I was, twenty-three years old, taking a year off from college to try and find myself, and find out about the world.  I had just started to unpack my bags, as I heard a repeated knocking on my door.  I walked over, and as I was about to open the door, it swung open.  A tall gentleman, in a gray tweed suit with neatly trimmed silver hair flung open the door.

"Pardon moi monsieur, there has been a terrible mistake, you were given the wrong room, this room is reserved for a monsieur Diamond...." 

As politely as I could be I interrupted this man, whom only moments before had given me this room.

"I am Monsieur Diamond, Michael Diamond, you personally gave me the keys to this room, only ten minutes ago."

The man stood silent, his face contorted and he slapped his forehead as if he had been hit by the local train.

"Monsieur Diamond, I am sorry.  I was under the impression... I had thought that Monsieur Antoine Diamond was coming to stay, he has visited us many times since the war."

"You mean my father Anthony Michael Diamond, who was part  of the fifth army during World War Two?"

The gentleman, looked hard at me, his face lightened and he smiled warmly.

"You, do look a great deal like Antoine.  I ... the mistake was mine, Monsieur.  I will let the staff know, so no other mistakes take place.  Welcome to the De Marceau, and may you have a present stay"

The next day I began to explore, being an American, I struggled trying to figure out how to get from where  I was staying in Rouen's, to get to Paris.  I soon discovered that any of the staff here, would provide me with tips to avoid going the wrong direction, and not getting caught up with the scoundrels of the area.

After a long day in Paris, I came back to the De Marceau, and found not just a wonderful meal, but people who were perhaps some of the greatest story tellers.  

I had finished my wine, and was about to have an evening coffee in the living room, as grandma entered.  No one knew grandma's name, she was just grandma, and she looked the part.  Silver gray hair in a bun, half moon glasses, and piercing green eyes, she had wrinkles that looked like lakes cut into a marsh land.  Her English was broken, but she could speak well enough that you could understand her.

"Your father, 'e was a brave man, very brave.  And what a lover too. "

"You knew my father?"

"Many 'ere did.  He helped liberate this city from the Bosch, the Germans."  

Grandma, spat as she had said the word Germans, her eyes filled with a hate that seemed to run deep.

"No German is allowed to stay here, why I have lived here since I was a child, this... this. this 'otel goes back to Napoleon, and my family was here then too.  The little Corporal, there was nothing little about him.  Why the stories, my mother would tell.  But, you, monsieur Michael, how are you doing? "

"So far, it has been an interesting stay.  Is it true that during the war, that the German, S.S. used this hotel as a headquarters?"

"Baaa, the Germans!  I spit on all Germans, the evil they did.  It was men like your fa-ther whom we respect."

I realized that Grandma would not be of help.  As I had toured today, I realized how history was everywhere.  I wanted to know so much about what had happened when my father had been here, yet it seemed the more that I tried to find answers, the more resistance I came across.

"Grandma, be polite, this young man simply has an interest in the history that his father faced."

A young man had entered the room, he was maybe a foot taller than I, and had soft orange hair, he was trim and athletic and seemed full of joy.

"He can learn about the Bosch at libraries.  Besides, he is young, he should be out with Rose, or Marie, or Nancy, but he is a hermit, wanting to learn about the past."

"Whom, are Rose, Marie, and Nancy?"

The young man smiled, he walked over to where I was standing, near the fire place.

"They are my sisters, grandma, is always trying to set them up with an eligible bachelor."  

"And I am also trying to find you, and your three brothers matches,so grandpa and I can finally have some time to ourselves."

"Some things are the same no matter where one goes.  My mother keeps trying to set me up.  If you will excuse me, I think I will make it an early evening.

End of Part One.

An adventure in Colorado

Earlier this year, my wife and I visited the Garden of the Gods, near Manitou Springs, Colorado.

I have posted photos before, but here are photos, put together as a movie presentation.  I hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sometimes you just feel Helpless.

There are times in our lives, when we feel completely helpless, as if we are suffocating because a huge weight has descended upon us.

As of yesterday, November 22nd 2010, my wife and I got hit by a huge weight.  My father-in-law Bob, was in the hospital, he had been having severe breathing problems and was taken to one of the better hospitals in Missouri.

I found out about this, at 2:P.M. yesterday, and was immediately overwhelmed; here I was at work and I could do nothing, where I work I have no emergency time off, and pay is bare bones.  So all I could do was try and do the best I could, until I could get home that evening.

I did the best I could, and worked hard to get through the rest of the day.  My wife, who is a student, came home early and immediately began to call her family in Missouri, to find out as much as she could.

She found out that her dad, had liver and lung cancer and possible phenomena on top of this, although he had a phenomena shot two years before.  For her, all she could do, was wait until I could call again, and eventually get home.

When I got home, at 9:15 that evening, my wife had found out that her dad had colon cancer on top of everything else.  We spent a lot of time talking, and she also talked with her daughter, who gave her the latest news.

We will be going to Missouri in December, but we can do nothing until then, neither of us have finances enough to leave early and get to Missouri, and I don't have the time off to go, if I had the funds available.  So now, it is just a process of waiting and praying, and hoping.

Any and all prayers would greatly be appreciated. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

On getting over a cold.

Sometimes the worst part of getting over a cold, is after the fever has broken and you are starting the process of getting back to normal.

For me, I did the normal things, slept a lot, drank lots of liquids, and watched TV (Hawaii Five O ) any one?

So after a day of mainly resting and watching TV, and the movie  Christmas Vacation, , I was laying in bed relaxing and talking to our stuffed dog Perry, the Patriotic Pup.  Perry is one of those pillow pets. I was sitting here under the covers, just shooting the breeze with him.

Nothing unusual, talking about how my wife thinks I am a bit odd, because I was talking to Perry, and telling Perry that I think my wife is awesome, but silly at times.

So my wife takes Perry from me, and what does she do?  She uses him as a desk to put her computer on.  Now, I mean here he was happy and content, doing his Perry dance and what does my wife do?  Use him as a desk.  

Am I being silly, well yes, yes I am, but this is what happens when you sleep more than you are used to, watch Hawaii Five O in the middle of the week and then top off the evening with Chevy Chase in Christmas Vacation.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What I am thankful for, Day 9

The beauty and majesty of The Cliff Dwellings in Manitou Springs, Colorado. A place once of mystery, still a place of beauty.

Friday, November 12, 2010

What I am thankful for Day 8

History and being able to recreate it.

We live in a country where we can learn history honestly, and then recreate events, by reenacting it, seeing displays, or as I do building historic models.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What I am thanful for Day 5

Manitou Springs, Colorado

There is a small mountain community, right at the base of Pikes Peak, called Manitou Springs.

Manitou, was found to have healing waters, and many went to this small community for healing.  When-ever my wife and I get exhausted and have the funds available, we go up to Manitou for a weekend.

Here is a movie of some of the more spiritual and interesting aspects in Manitou.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Something Special

This past summer, my wife and I attended the Colorado Ren Fest, this is a yearly event.

However for me, it had almost been ten years, since I last attended, and this was my wifes first attendence here in Colorado.

Enjoy the movie.

What I am thankful for Day 4

My families.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What I am thankful for. Day 2

It may sound trite, but I am thankful for LOVE.

Love can be one of the most rewarding and confusing of all emotions and experiences that one can ever face,  It builds us up, and it can utterly destroy us.

Yet it is an experience that forever transforms us, and gives us hope and the ability to see beyond our limitations, because we open ourselves to another and expand our view of ourselves and our world.

This goes out to my step daughter Natasha, who is another year older and back together with her boyfriend James.  Keep moving forward,

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Things I am thankful for .... Day 1

One of the things I am very thankful for, is the diverse types of music that I enjoy.  My father was an instrumental music teacher, so I would hear a variety of music from Beethoven to Swing, my mother played the piano, so I would hear her playing ballads, and show tunes, and my brother was in a Rock band.

As I got older I discovered Country and Western music, new age, and folk.

I can listen to Pink Floyd's Shine on you crazy Diamond, then listen to Seal's  Crazy, or Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony to Richard Rogers, Some enchanted evening.

I love my music diversity, here is a flavor of some of the music I love.