I have finally finished My Life in France by Julia Child. Probably the last complete book I will read for a while. There were times during the book that I thought, though I was enjoying it, that I would just got ahead and return it. I had to renew it twice just to finish. It wasn't riveting reading after all. Even to someone who loves cooking like me, it was a bit slow. But because I am a (haphazard) perfectionist I had to finish. And I am glad I did.
Julia Child is still an intrigue to me. Her stewardship of life, appreciation of beauty, devotion to friendship, service and honor of her husband. For someone who "wasn't spiritual," she sure fleshed out a lot of biblical principles. In the Epilogue she even recounts the last of her days in France, selling the little home they had built on the land of some dear friends. Most of her peers are dying, even Paul is in a nursing home. Her niece questions why she isn't sad to let everything go. And while Julie dismisses the question with the answer that she has "just never been very sentimental," I don't believe her. I think she understands something about what is important in life. What lasts and what doesn't. Just a few chapters earlier she writes:
"In the fall, we were scheduled to take a break from TV work, and had planned to visit Simca and Jean...but as November hove into view, we began to regret it. The quicksand of my cookery-work, Paul's painting and photography projects, and all the many bits of upkeep and improvement...were sucking at our feet.
"I just don't know if we have the time for a trip to France right now," I sighed. Paul nodded.
But then we looked at each other and repeated a favorite phrase from our diplomatic days: "Remember, 'No one's more important than people'!" In other words, friendship is the most important thing - not career or housework, or one's fatigue - and it needs to be tended and nurtured. So we packed up our bags and off we went. And thank heaven we did."
Cheers, Julia. Thanks for teaching me some new things about cooking and reminding me of some of the more important things about life..