Fleur-de-AndTheWinnersAre

Boy, you guys are brutal! I asked for your favorite F-d-L newsletter, and you definitely responded. But it was the responses that floored me. I thought you would remember newsletters about the joys of farm and family living. Instead, you chose those that dealt with the pains of life, and to put it bluntly, the pains of a bicycle crash!
Yes, Fleur-de-Planted was the readers’ choice No. 1 newsletter in this official poll. Folks, do I need to remind you this was the one where I ended up in the Emergency Room?  What were you thinking? Actually, a few of you told me.
“I loved Fleur-de-Planted,” writes Amanda. “I sympathized with you and it was most descriptive. Fell off my bike in Amsterdam when I was trying to do too many things along with staying on a bike that was too big for my 5’2 self …”
And then Kris shared her words of wisdom. “I think the best is when you went for your bike ride after moving … seeing that pic with the shadow as well as the details of your experience. Having bi-lateral knee surgery (both at the same time just 15 months ago) I have been riding my bike to work and around town for anything that is needed. My balance was an issue in the beginning … so when reading your terrible experience with such humor and humbleness, I just loved it. Sorry that I am bringing back such horror in the physical avenue. We need to experience pain to move.”
Which brings me to the runners-up. Talk about emotional pain. Fleur-de-Divorce, Fleur-de-Farewell, and Fleur-de-Shadow. You voted for them too! Here’s why:
“While it may be hard to re-live, I think your writings while going through a divorce, preparing to up root (literally), and moving away were very touching, reducing me to tears,” Judy writes. “So many can identify with your pain, which you so eloquently expressed in words.”
“Fleur-de-Divorce, so perfectly stated and so devastating … ‘We’ve grown apart, he said.’ And I can go on with more from memory,” writes Ruth. And Gretchen, “I loved it when you said your name was vow-less and vowel-less. You really poured your heart into that one. Thanks for always keeping it real.”
The newsletters concerning the circular conversations with my mother and the lighter moments of dementia were also mentioned. “I was especially moved by the one about making groundhog cookies with your Mom,” writes D.
The newsletter concerning farm life that got the most votes was Fleur-de-FoxHunt. Apparently the vision of me in my flannel PJs chasing a marauding fox brought many of you a case of the giggles. “Although I was never into horses, I have read my share of British literature,” Laurel confesses. “I love phrases like ‘riding to hound’ and as you began describing it, I knew exactly what was coming: why, she’s riding to hound! The armchair traveler in me thrilled.”
A dozen other F-d-L newsletters got one or two votes, and helped me with my final selections. Yes, you all got to vote, but when it comes down to it, I rule this kingdom! (Ha, ha.)  What you taught me is what I’ve said in the past but now believe more than ever: Fleur-de-Lys was a wonderful farm, but it continues to be an even better state-of-mind. And that gives me hope that I’ll continue to be able to connect with all of you.
One last thought from Lorraine. “I am an old egg customer. I enjoy your blog and have been following your new life with interest. My favorite blog is Fleur-de-Mushroom. It shows your positive outlook and gives us ‘folks’ out there a boost.”
Many thanks, Laurie Lynch
Written on Slate: “If I didn’t start painting, I would have raised chickens.” – Grandma Moses
Waiting Room Small World: Before the holidays, I was sitting in the dental office waiting room while Richard had his wisdom tooth removed (he was born without three of them, a wise move on his part). Anyway, I kept looking up from my book at this fellow sitting across from me. Finally, I said, “Do you have a twin who’s a blacksmith?” How random is that? Well, it turned out the fellow was a blacksmith – Griffey’s blacksmith! John-the-blacksmith’s mother lives in nearby Lewistown and being the good son that he is, John brought his mom to the dentist in State College for an extraction.
Office Small World: My co-worker and co-Rotary Mom Sharon spent three weeks in Brazil over the holidays. While there, she spent a week with Richard’s Rotary host mom, Meire. (Sharon was host mom to Meire’s daughter Jade).  Sharon brought back a gift from Meire to me – a pair of drop earrings with clear stones. Meire said she hoped they’d bring me clarity. What a nice thought. Anyway, I haven’t worn pierced earrings for 20 years – since Marina was a babe in arms and always grabbing at my earrings. So, I went home, stood in front of the bathroom mirror and searched for those holes … and darned if they weren’t still there! I wore the earrings proudly the next day.
Eye Catching: As I mine Centre County for words of interest, I must pass on a few. One of my favorite restaurants, the Elk Creek Café in Millheim, features “nouveau Dutchy cuisine.” A bumper sticker for the aging flower children: Make Tea, Not War. And, a co-worker was describing the YO-YO method of office training … You’re On Your Own.
Wish Come True: We’re snowed in and I was re-united with my cross-country skiis!
The Queen’s List:
2004: Fleur-de-LysHillofBeans – the one about our Avalon meals with each family taking a turn.
2005: Fleur-de-Herbs – the one about the Egg Lady and her Herbvan
2006: Fleur-de-CousinCamp – the one about the Cousin Chicken Catch and Treasure Hunt.
2007: Fleur-de-Flock – the one about Richard’s History Day interview with Malachy McCourt.
2008: Fleur-de-FeastDays – the one about halushki making at St. Mary’s and Fleur-de-Macy’sParade – the one about Keith Haring and giving thanks on the farm.
2009: Fleur-de-Sleepwalk – the one about our Easter Peeps and Fleur-de-Predators – the one about the great horned owl.
2010: Fleur-de-DeuxMilleDix – the one about starting the new decade with Marina and Julia Child and, sadly, Fleur-de-Divorce.
2011: Fleur-de-Shadow – the one about Nonna and the Groundhog Cookies, Fleur-de-Foxhunt, Fleur-de-Farewell, Fleur-de-Planted, and Fleur-de-Mushroom.

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