Turning the Page
To Sneeze or Not to Sneeze

An Afternoon in "France"

The torrential rain on Sunday flooded nearby streets, but thanks to my childhood friend who offered to drive and knows DC like the back of her hand, Peter and I were able to attend a benefit concert for Friendship Place at the French Embassy.

This was Peter’s first major outing since he broke his femur in February, and it felt very normal to have him by my side at a chamber music concert. Members of the National Symphony Orchestra donate their time to this fund-raiser every year.

The concert was preceded by an inspiring talk given by a vibrant and upbeat, formerly chronically homeless man who credits Friendship Place with saving his life. Drug dependent, homeless and despondent for years, he is now employed, has an apartment, a car and credit cards in his wallet. That morning, he reported, he had run five miles in the rain

The French Embassy is modern and vast. The barricades and security checks at the entrance were sad to see, but once inside, it didn’t matter. The players charmed the audience with their introductions to each piece, and their performances were delightful.

A wine reception followed the concert with beautiful fruit and cheese platters and a smattering of French being spoken.

Peter and I came home and wrote a check for Friendship Place.

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