French Sabbatical

My family's year in France…

Day 301 (27 April 2011) – If This Isn’t Nice, I Don’t Know What Is

That’s a line used several times by Kurt Vonnegut in his nonfiction writing. He explains, though, that its origin is his uncle Alex, of whom Vonnegut wrote, “And his principal complaint about other human beings was that they so seldom noticed it when they were happy. So when we were drinking lemonade under an apple tree in the summer, say, and talking lazily about this and that, almost buzzing like honeybees, Uncle Alex would suddenly interrupt the agreeable blather to exclaim, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”’

Let me just say that the line, as important as it has been to me in the past, so much so that I have said it multiple times during our sabbatical, has never been as a poignant as it is right now. Here in Nice today we spent much time at the beach (note, I’m using a photo I took at the beach yesterday instead of one from today in swimming suits – I know where my bread is buttered, if you know what I mean). So tell me, can you imagine a better time than sitting with your family on a beach in the French Riviera?

Here’s more from that Vonnegut essay (which you really should go read yourself, especially you, Steve Miranda), “So I do the same now, and so do my kids and grandkids. And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.'”

If this isn’t nice (Nice), I don’t know what is.

April 27, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized |


  1. Nice nieces in Nice.

    Comment by Brenda | April 27, 2011 | Reply

  2. […] the word “Angerville.” It made me laugh out loud. As Chloe said, we spent some time in Nice, why not Angerville? Turns out, though, that it never really worked into our plans to make a stop. […]

    Pingback by Day 349 (14 June 2011) – Angerville « French Sabbatical | June 14, 2011 | Reply

  3. […] were greeted by a woman with a French accent who told me she was from Nice (a “nice” place to visit, as you may recall). I was quite taken by her. Even better, the pain aux raisins was by far the […]

    Pingback by The French Bakery « Chat With Andy | June 12, 2012 | Reply

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