Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Holidays from Vermont, with a Tip of the Hat to Québec

My latest post was about bad bargains from HydroQuébec, but I don't want to give the impression that I don't like Québec! One of the things I love about Vermont is that it is so close to French Canada. I'm thinking a lot about Canada recently, and not just about Canadian power contracts. I've been thinking about Québécois music.

When I was a little girl, someone bought me a record of Folksongs of Québec. I loved it, and I memorized many of the songs. (I don't speak French, but I sure tried to sing the songs.) This year, the Christmas Revels at Dartmouth had a French-Canadian theme:

Inspired by the Revels, I looked for YouTubes of my old favorite French Canadian songs. I found this video of a classic song. Actually, I found a whole set of similar videos. I have a good time watching them when I should be doing useful stuff.

Here's a short French carol, too. I learned this one in high school, where I did not successfully learn to speak French. Oh well. I still enjoy the music.

Friends, family, food, music. That is what I will be doing for a few days. I hope all my blog readers have similar joys at this season. I wish you a very merry Christmas, and the happiest of holidays!

I will be back to blogging sometime next week.

Post Script: If you are looking for a stocking-stuffer, I recommend Louise Penny's mystery series about Inspector Gamache of the Québec Sureté. The mysteries are set in the Eastern Townships of Québec, an area that I used to think about as the boring farmland north of the Vermont border and south of Montréal. I no longer think of that area as "dead space" between me and my destination! Penny's descriptions of the seasons, the people and the food are masterful. She is also quite direct about the tensions between between English speakers and Francophones. Several of her books are out in paperback. There's a spiritual center to her books, too. In the spirit of the season, I will quote Ms. Penny's website. The quote expresses her philosophy, and also makes a fitting close to this post.

If you take only one thing away from any of my books I'd like it to be this:
Goodness exists.

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