Me, My Heart, and I

by Melinda Gallo

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Today I went to see Joyce Maynard speak at the Mots en Marge bookshop in La Garenne-Colombes, which is outside of Paris and close to where I live. I later learned that she is a friend of the owner of the bookshop, a lovely French woman who is passionate about books. Itís a joy to see her eyes light up every time she held a book in her hands and talked about it.

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

This morning I woke up a half hour early and instead of being frustrated at not being able to sleep more, I was excited at the thought of being able to visit Florence a bit more before taking off. At 7 am after the street cleaners had come and gone, I walked to the Ponte alle Grazie and was happy to see the sun peeking above the buildings along the Arno. I took a few pictures not just to post on Instagram, but also for me to savor.

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

No matter the weather in Florence, I enjoy my beloved city. This spring, the weather seems to be a bit unpredictable. In just a few days, weíve experienced mild temperatures under the bright sun as well as dark clouds spurting out torrential rain, and often in the same day. The changes in the weather have an effect on how the city appears and feels. I enjoy my beloved city regardless of what is going on around it, but I appreciate different aspects depending on the weather.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

It has been a long winter for me. Only now that I have returned to Florence do I feel as if spring is not that far away. In Paris, it snowed just a few days after the first sunny Saturday afternoon. I thought that one day marked the beginning of spring, but it was not. I was pleased to arrive in Florence to see the sun shining overhead and flower buds on trees. I am once again hopeful that spring is finally on its way.

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Thursday, February 28, 2013

My trip to Florence last week was so brief that I didnít find the time to write about it. I arrived last Monday evening to the clear blue skies of Florence and returned to a snowy Paris on Saturday. I spent all my free time soaking up my beloved city and catching up with my friends. Itís only now that I realize how vital my trips to Florence are for me. The time I spend there is both intense and relaxing.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Living in two cities is like living two lives. I have two lifestyles that include two homes, two sets of friends, two works schedules, two diets, two languages, and two cultures. Itís a lot to juggle for me, but when I am in one place, I try to be fully present. Now that I am in Paris, I am at peace with my home here. I havenít forgotten my beloved city, Florence. It is always in the back of my mind, but I donít dwell on its absence in my life.

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Friday, February 1, 2013

Iíve already returned from Florence to Paris since Sunday. I went home last Friday and brought my beau with me. Over the weekend, I showed off my beloved city and took in its splendor. I enjoyed walking the streets and visiting a few special spots. I was over the moon to share my beloved city with my beau. We ate at a couple of my favorite restaurants, visited the Uffizi, and went to a soccer match to watch the Fiorentina play.

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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

What a difference a year makes. I read the post I wrote last year when I was in Florence. When the year began, I had no idea what changes were in store for me. Looking back now, itís as if my entire life changed in the blink of an eye even though it felt strenuous at times. This year I stayed in with my beau after having spent a few days in Saint-Malo (Brittany). I loved seeing the water, running along the beach, enjoying the local delicacies, taking in the fresh air, and recharging my batteries before 2013 began.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

This morning as my beau drove us into work, the sun was coming up. It turned the sky a deep magenta with an orange glow. Normally at 8 am, it is still dark, but today I watched as the colors streaked across the horizon and lightened up the dark blue to a lighter blue. As we drove down the narrow streets of a Parisian suburb, I thought about how different my life is when I am in France. In Florence, I am more in touch with the city. I walk its streets, breathe in its scent, and feel its energy. In France, I am often in a car when I need to travel. Sometimes I take the train, which allows me to walk one kilometer to the gare (train station) and one kilometer from the gare to the office.

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