The Stars of Quaintness

Was I seeing stars? Or just the future? My first time in “la cave” was in 2007, and the vintner (the uncle of a friend) asked, “What’s the year of your birth?” I told him after some pause, unsure of why he had asked. To this day, I have no idea why he opened that … Read more

Bretta de Belfort

Bretta Brandt Palm

The lady in the photo below led a remarkable life which spanned nearly 80 years. No small accomplishment for a woman born in 1848, let alone for someone who emigrated from two countries, settling in America, with nothing but her family and a lot of hope. Born in Belfort, France, Bretta’s family made their way … Read more

A Frenchwoman’s Legacy of Love

Danielle Moussett Menais

On 21 October I received the dreaded text from a friend in Paris: “Come now. Danielle is in bad condition.” Danielle Moussett (née Menais), the woman I called “my French mom,” was at the end of her battle with pancreatic cancer; Jesus was calling her home. Due to financial constraints and work responsibilities, I had not … Read more

My Remarkable Encounter with Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Yesterday, Rafael Nadal did something remarkable. He carried home the trophy from Roland-Garros for the 10th time. No other tennis player in the open era has won a single Grand Slam that many times. Not Roger Federer, not Serena Williams, not Martina Navratilova, not even Margaret Court. Anyway you look at it, it’s an achievement worthy … Read more

France’s Liberation and the Way of Liberty

When American soldiers came marching into Chartres on 18 August 1944, five-year-old “Rocques” stood on the street corner near his home, and cheered. He didn’t know that the soldiers had just watched thousands of their fellows die on the beaches of Normandy. He didn’t know that they were exhausted and afraid and missed home. Rocques knew that … Read more