Oh, the place you’ll go in a Stressless chair

[Join us next Friday, Nov. 8th for Norwegian delicacies, French wines, European beer and a lot of fun, from noon to 7 pm. Register to win a Stressless chair and ottoman.]

Oh, the places you’ll go in a Stressless chair
You’ll see great sights
Like Timbuktu and the Taj Mahal
You’ll soar to heights
Like an eagle in flight
Go by day, go by night
It matters not
In a Stressless chair

Oh the places you’ll see
Like the Eiffel Tower in Grand Pareé
Might I suggest
A glass of wine
A Chablis or Merlot
From a grape that grows on a sunny hill
On the hills of Bordeaux
You know…
The wine they drink
In small cafes
On the Rue de Rennes in Montparnasse
You know the place
Where we first met
Years ago

Recline and relax
You’ll know what I mean
When you sit and you breathe
The air above Madagascar
You’ll know how it feels
On a safari on the Kalahari
Listen you’ll hear
A lion roar or an elephant trumpet
Stranger still is the hyena cry
And the baboon that laughs
By the light of the silvery moon

Now, close your eyes
You’ll see I’m right
It is not so far
As the grocery store
On the very next block

And to think
The simplest thing
Is the strangest thing
You’ll do it right here
In a Stressless chair

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Monument to the Fallen, Hotel de Ville, Epernay Marne

Restlessness

Travel plays an important part in my life and restlessness is part of my DNA.

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It introduces me to new people and new places, to new ideas and ways of looking at things. It becomes a platform from which my old way of life can be seen with fresh eyes and appreciated.

It is good to travel, but it is great to come home, to rest.
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The hunt for the tribe

My daughter makes fun of my frequent comment:

“I am looking for members of my tribe.”

In this age of DNA, Ancestry.com, and genealogy, the human family seems to be obsessed with its family roots. The search for common ancestors and connections to distant places fascinates us. The idea of connections to royal families and historical figures a dream of every boy and girl. Beware, the ghost in the closet, the crazy uncle or aunt, the criminal convict shipped to Australia, the Irish who could not afford the price of a two-penny loaf and went to America, the pirate who sailed the seas, an outcast, hunted to the ends of the earth.

Like many Americans, I can claim to be a third-generation immigrant, that is, my grandmother was French. She hailed from the small village of Graffigny in the ancient region of Lorraine, France. She met my grandfather, an American soldier who came to France in 1917 and 1918, and fought alongside the French and British against the Germans. If I expanded my grandmother’s family circle, her father was German, thus it would not be hard to find cousins who battled my grandfather.

To the fallen, I dedicate this post.

We are all connected by common ancestors. So what?

No one is perfect, no one has a perfect pedigree. One said to me the other day, we are dealt a hand of cards, we have no influence on the dealer, but how we play our hand makes all the difference.

You’ve got personality

[For your amusement, listen to Personality by Loyd Price.]

I mean something different when I say I am looking for members of my tribe. By that I mean people of a common temperament and outlook. Humans have personality traits. Socrates and the ancient Greeks believed humans had four fundamental personality types: Sanguine (enthusiastic, active, and social), choleric (short-tempered, fast, or irritable), melancholic (analytical, wise, and quiet), and phlegmatic (relaxed and peaceful).

How you answer questions like, do you plan your trips? speaks volumes about you. Tour group or solo, cruise or car, speaks to your social interaction, your desire to lead or follow, to find something new or be pleased with what is.

Modern behavioral psychology has expanded the description of personality traits to five factors: openness to experience, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism, which, for the sake of memory, is gathered into the acronyms OCEAN or CANOE. Surely, we possess elements of each factor in varying degrees, but one or another predominates. I am a homebody, or I like to party. I start something, I get it done, or what the heck, put it off until tomorrow. Get along, go along, or strike out on my own.

We see these traits in others, in our spouse, in our children, but seeing them in ourselves is the trick. Caught up in the daily routine of surviving, we do what we are, subconsciously.

Sometimes, in a rare moment in a cafe in France, on the beach in Greece or Spain, in a pub in England, we come across a kindred spirit. We strike up a conversation and find the joy in discovering a tribe member, who like ourselves, enjoys, the sight and sounds of the place, the joy of conversation, the beauty of life.

“C’est la bonne vie!”

And, if you know what that means, you are most likely a tribe member.