Twenty-five years ago

This morning began a bit rushed; I was so focused on making breakfast, packing lunch, and getting ready for work that I completely forgot the importance of the date to me until hours later.

Again I had not slept well, so I was more tired than usual. Only when I was gathering my laptop, my pump bag, and my sneakers from the van, after I’d parked in the overflow parking lot where I usually park because it’s closer to the side of the building where my desk is, did I realize that I didn’t know where my ID badge was.  Ug!  Rather than be too upset that I needed to walk around the building to the front lobby and request a temporary badge from the always-friendly receptionist, however, I considered it an opportunity to get some more steps for our annual walking challenge currently in progress. Also, I guessed that my badge was in the plastic bag in which I’d put several things to carry home, along with my other items, on Friday–I worked from home on Monday–and that I would find it in the bag when I got home.

After I got the temporary badge, I went to the break room to put my lunch into the refrigerator.  That’s when the day got even better.  When I entered the room, I saw the layout of baked goods on one of the tables. Usually on Mondays, one of our summer interns brings leftover donuts, pastries, cakes, pies, and other bakery products from his grandparents’ bakery for the rest of us to enjoy. He wasn’t in the office, either, on Monday, so he brought the leftovers on Tuesday.  Lucky for me!

Lunch safely in the refrigerator, I eyed the delicious-looking spread of goodies.  When I opened one of the boxes that usually contains donuts, the rest of my not-so-happy mood disappeared.  One of the leftovers was pain au chocolat! Woohoo! Often I joke that I lived on that tasty bit of Heaven in a chocolate-filled rectangular croissant while I was in France the first time, because the university cafeteria food at lunch and dinner was not especially to my liking.  (I refuse to eat veal, which seemed to be the entree more times than not.) Seriously. I think I spent 90% of my spending money at the local bakery, especially on Sunday mornings after church, when the cafeteria did not serve breakfast (and maybe not even lunch; I can’t recall).

As I was enjoying the unexpected treat, which I’ve only had a couple of times here at home since that trip, I realized that exactly twenty-five years ago today, I returned home from my first-ever trip abroad, a nearly-one-month study program in Dijon, France. What a wonderful way to remember the trip!  J’aime le pain au chocolat!