Letter From the Loire – Part 2 Coming Up. Meanwhile… a Highlight

Visiting this marvelously whimsical folly (is that redundant?)–the Pagode de Chanteloupe— was a highlight of a recent, sometimes rainy, romp through the Loire Valley of France. Here is Part 1, in case you missed. Part 2 coming your way pronto. Meanwhile there is a wonderful website on which to feast your weary eyes. And your not-weary eyes. It’s worth a post in itself.

Pagode de Cantaloupe
Pagode de Chanteloupe, Loire Valley, France

And a Word About…

Southerners and the N-Word, posted June 25

I figured that deviation from our usual content here would be a doozy, and it was.

Thank every one of you for your comments, posted and private, and for your honesty and courage in making your voices heard, and in making all of us think. The purpose of the post was not to judge Paula Deen or anyone else. It was in the spirit of  leading toward a broader understanding of something–many things–that are not easily or simply understood. For it is often in understanding that we find the seeds of forgiveness and the hope of healing. We all live in glass houses.


  1. I found some of your readers’ comments so very compelling, I had to read them out loud to my husband (unsolicited. By him of course.) Yes, very thought provoking content. Thank you for the discussion forum. And, again, yes, we each live in a glass house.

  2. Frances, thank you so much for providing such a wonderfully entertaining, inspiring and provocative instrument for dialogue. I feel so strongly about the importance of communication in helping us all achieve a level of understanding that will serve us and our children as a path toward understanding and acceptance. Your blog (aka from your heart!) is such a gift, and as a bonus, when I am too busy to travel, you take me there!! XXXOOO Pete

  3. What a great point! Who does not live in a glass house?
    No one I know. No one I want to know!
    Love the “Old South” reference! Lordy!

    My Granny said to me when I was about 9 : “Honey; don’t ever let anyone tell you that Atlanta is the “South”!! It’s not!!


    The beauty of growing up with these “old South” people; is that I never,ever, heard the “n word”!!

    And my mother told me; (as I watched those children going to school……..(seared in my memory for life)!
    “These people who are harming the children are not “our people”. I knew exactly what that meant.
    And I was so relieved!
    I cried as I watched those things on TV!! (we had the first one in the neighborhood!) In retrospect; not such a good thing!!

    My (completely beloved mother) was from Birmingham, Alabama. She was 40 when I was born. (Her parents grandparents? owned slaves”). How horrifying !!

    She had long since moved to Southern California.

    I never heard, not ever, the “n word” I never heard “anti-semitism”……never heard racist remarks at ALL! Apparently, in Los Angeles, it was all around us (less so, than the South)! I am so grateful she protected me from it!

    She was born in 1907; so this was pretty revolutionary. I believe it was because of three things: Her nature, her kindness and her intelligence; and her relocating to California at 12.

    Racism was rampant and violent in the South…….I remember being shocked out of my mind at the newscasts when in high school; about black children going to school!

    Love your blog! I have never seen ‘Paula Deen”; but I think your reporting is wonderful!
    And I loved your most recent article in House Beautiful! My favorite magazine!


    ps not just because I was “in it”! I think it is the best “shelter magaziine in the world! Give my love to Newell! we had the best time here!

  4. My takeaway from all this is that Ms. Dean used a vile racial slang term once, thirty years ago! And has apologized for it. How is it that this gets more “news” coverage by far than the President’s significant address on climate change, the Supreme Court decision diluting (some would say killing) the Voting Rights Act, a keystone in the civil rights movement, and countless other urgent news stories. I welcome the discussion in general, but please…it was an incident that occurred three decades ago! I’m appalled at how we love our celebrities until they make a misstep…then we love to destroy them.

    1. Joy. . . isn’t that the truth. I get so sick of it sometimes, I just turn it off. I’d almost rather be uninformed than hear the judgeing and criticizing of each other.

  5. am fascinated by a PAGODA in France…but I keep wanting to call it the CANTELOPE pagoda….!!!

  6. Am I seeing things, or is the Cantalope Pagoda leaning? Maybe it’s just been a long day and my eyes are crossed, but it’s looking a bit like Pisa with a front porch! (and one of those pointy cone hats the French love to top of their towers with)

    I want to go back to France!!

  7. Somehow missed Part I so will comment on both. WOW! So reminds me of going to the Travelogue with my Grandmother. I dreamed big after each one I saw with her & was equally captivated by these 2 posts. Since it is approaching peak week for Ridgeway Canteloupes (thought by many to be the best Loupe in the world, myself included) I think your description is spot on in both cases.
    I do love the emotion that you inspired from your PD post & as it gave folks a chance to really reflect on rights & wrongs, past & present. My Mama did teach me well about Glass Houses, Love the Sinner; Hate the sin & My Grandmother took every chance possible to set the example of the the values of a life where she did attempt to achieve the Golden Rule. In her wisdom she always said we would stumble often in our attempt but must always attempt. Your follow up was well said. ‘Nuff Said….

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