the weekend of broken things

Like almost everyone we know, Phil and I were devastated by the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v Wade. That is a horrifying break, emblematic of the many broken things in the United States right now. Perhaps because we were so upset, other things started breaking last weekend.

On Saturday morning there was no water in our apartment. As we contemplated checking in to a hotel for showers, we decided to head out to the Saturday market. And a couple of hours after we arrived home, hot and sweaty, we had water again. Miraculous! We’re going to truly appreciate hot and cold running water for a few days!

Also on Saturday morning our beloved Breville espresso machine quit working. It was the water pump (is there a theme here?). With house guests arriving the next day, we were a bit panicked. We bought pods for the Nespresso machine that came with our apartment and resigned ourselves to crappy coffee until we could address the problem on Monday (In France, most stores close on Sunday, a day meant for family, food, and relaxation.).

Showered and feeling better, we headed out for a special dinner organized by Renestance, the firm that helped us move here, and Facebook group Americans in Montpellier. The bus was late. As it arrived at the stop, we saw our tram pull away. Minor things.

On Sunday we walked about three miles round trip to get coffee. When we got home, Phil found that because of the twice-annual Soldes (for a month in winter and a month in summer, French stores are permitted to discount their wares), the store where we bought our espresso machine was open! Due to late buses, it took us 90 minutes each way to go about three miles–but we made it, and after some mangled French on my part, we left with a brand-new replacement. Happy times! And as I write this, I’m consciously appreciating my excellent cappucino.

Our broken things were quickly and easily fixed. Small problems. But the problems in our country are huge, and so very much is broken right now. Will we summon the will to fix them? Fix some of them? And if so, will we appreciate the fixes long enough to secure them for the generations to come?

Austin protest photo, taken by high school friend Stan


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