Some years ago, a daughter and I had one of those impulsive moments when we decided there was no better time to go to Provence than a couple of days later. Excuse for such a whim was the need to exchange a pair of shoes which had been purchased months before. Good enough, right?
As luck would have it, rather than the moderate winter weather we expected, it turned bitter cold and started snowing. The result was like what happens in Houston when a few snowflakes fall. Traffic came to a screeching halt, 18 wheelers where slipping and sliding all over the road and what should have been a 45 minute drive was turning into an all day trip filled with tension.
As we inched along, I spied a sign reading FAIENCE with an arrow pointing to a nearby building. That was all it took to get me off the road as at that point any diversion would be a welcome relief.
Of course, the shop was closed thanks to the inclement weather, but spying two desperate looking women parked in his driveway, the owner took pity and came out of his warm home to open his very cold workshop.
Oh, how the day did brighten as we wandered among his colorful and unique creations.
Whether out of gratitude or because I really liked his work I came away with four dinner plates and four salad plates no two of which were alike. Not until we were underway again did I think about the challenge of getting them home without breakage. So it is that every time the table is set with these dishes, each of which is undamaged, memories come flooding back of an impromptu adventure that had more than a few surprises.
Oh, did we exchange the shoes? Let’s put it this way…..we tried!
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