Letter from Paris: Doris Day Lied to Me

April 20, 2022

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120 Comments
  • Votre afghan est très beau et joyeux! I am inspired. It’s snowing here in Pittsburgh, too and our blossoms are now frozen in time. Merci beaucoup pour votre carte postale de Paris!

  • April in North Central Florida – the last gasp of perfect weather before the almost endless summer heat pump kicks in. Living here, especially in July, makes one yearn for cold days!

    • Heading there from brisk New England tomorrow via Charleston. Looking forward to a few weeks of warm!

      • Just love your missives from Paris! In the California desert we seem to forget about spring and hop to summer…90s. What I wouldn’t give for just a little spit of water! The new afghan is really lovely!

        • In the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, our snowpack was down to next-to-nothing (we just got through the driest January-March in recorded history). Until this week, that is. Now the mountain peaks are white again. And 2 1/2 ” of rain fell at my foothill home on Thursday. More, please!

          I packed a bin of ‘evacuation yarn’ and needles last summer when we were on alert due to a nearby fire, in order to rescue and use those precious skeins from past travels. This year things may be even worse. I will never, ever complain about rain again!

    • San Antonio has, once again, decided to skip spring entirely and head directly to summer, wherein the pits of hell open and waft forth their fiery breath upon the unsuspecting tourists, while the long-term residents hide indoor where the air conditioning works its cooling Magick.

      • My daughter lives near you-that is, in San Antonio. I want to send her some matzoh brittle, but it has chocolate on it, so I hardly dare. Stay well and as cool as possible.

  • April is true to form in Rochester, NH. Enough not winter to seduce the masses to thinking it is Spring…it has to be Spring. Lots of showers, a day of sunshine here and there to drive the stake home. Then there are the flurries, sleet, freezing rain.
    Here in Northern New England, May is Spring. Period. Brief but exhilarating! For now, we have April…the last month of Winter in my book.
    If I had any annual plant living remotely outside, it would be down AND out…

  • On this side of the Atlantic the wind blew so hard I felt it prudent to sleep downstairs.

    • Weather in the Pacific Northwest has outdone itself this year! Most measurable snow in April (? It doesn’t snow in the valleys of the PNW in April) in recorded history..inches of it covered the pear blossoms and tulip blooms. And we have surpassed the most rainfall record and the month isn’t over yet! I understand your need for a color other than grey.

  • Weather in Chitown is the same as you’re experiencing in Paris!!

  • Wisconsin has been snowy, rainy (with hail thrown in), and I think we had sun yesterday, but back to rain today, and chilly so far. Perhaps the calendars are confused!

    • A layer of snow in northeast Pennsylvania yesterday. It did look pretty though the snowflakes were competing with the white blossoms on trees for attention.

  • Don’t worry, April in NJ is bitter winds and sleet. This year anyway. This week’s nor’easter snapped all my daffodils. But Doris never sang about April in Trenton.

    • The box of is not empty…
      Reminds me of “Extra Yarn,” a charming children’s book about a little girl knitting from an endless box of yarn. She is the original yarn bomber!

  • We have had snow showers here in Northern New York all of April. I sympathize with you Franklin! Love, love, love the squares! The sun will come out but maybe not tomorrow (Dorothy lied too).

  • Maybe Chicago weather followed you there.

    • I was wondering if Parisians knew where he had most recently lived.

  • Franklin,

    I, too, am dismayed by the weather in Paris this April. Flying in Sunday morning and the forecast is not as Doris predicted! Disappointed, but we’ll muddle through, happy to be able to travel at all.

    Sending you a virtual cherry blossom tree!

  • April in Phoenix will never be a song. The 100 degree days remind you the time to hibernate with your yarn while hiding from 117 is coming. Thank you for the inspiration.

    • Delicious post, thank you for it.
      Let me try to comfort you. I am Spanish and I am used to better weather than Paris. But I have lived in Paris for several months three times, and I can tell you _May_ is beautiful in Paris. Maybe still cool, but beautiful, flowering, with people sitting in the parks during the lengthy afternoons. In May and June, Paris is _the_ place to be.
      Mikel

  • It’s beautiful, Franklin! The colors are amazing and will look so nice with your chair!!!

    • I love your crochet blocks and your method of blocking.

      Personally, I think yarn (and quilting fiber) multiply while in storage.

  • It’s t-shirt weather here in the UK, which doesn’t mean it isn’t sleeting, it just means that the sun has been out for more than 10 minutes so we all have to ‘make the most of it’. It does sound as if we have it marginally better than you in Paris though Franklin. Here’s wishing you some sunshine soon, although the stink in some parts of Paris when it’s hot might be enough to change your mind.

  • April in Chicago…you know the drill. We woke to snow on Monday. The prediction for Saturday is 80 degrees. Have no regrets about leaving this climate behind.
    Happy Crocheting. The squares are lovely.

  • Your blanket will be lovely. I am looking forward to seeing it completed, laying neatly draped over your new chair – which is also quite lovely. Every gray day makes the sunny days more enjoyable. Hang in there.

  • I had a friend who lived in Paris many years ago. The weather was my biggest surprise. Super rainy in September as well. (Sorry), but always beautiful.

  • It’s pretty much the same here in Southern Ontario. I was so happy to see my garlic growing last week (by Good Friday it was at least 10cm high) and rather dismayed to see it covered in snow on Monday!!

  • I have 7” of new snow on my back deck this morning in far western Maryland. Not unexpected here in the mountains. But it breaks my heart watching my robins gathered around the suet feeder waiting for the storm to end. I can never go to Paris, but sitting on my snow-less deck with a pitcher of iced tea, my knitting & my ipad playing a knitting podcast is heavenly to me. Wishing everyone health & happiness!

  • Can you hold out until June? My first glimpse of Paris was in late June and it was glorious. I think those golden sunsets last through mid-October. This year, as the Comments attest, the weather was extra bad for everyone (although April in Paris never enchanted me, either). Brocanteur…never knew what it meant. One of those words you love to say out loud. Too bad it can’t be worked into more sentences. Chloe

    • Brocanteur is someone who goes to flea markets looking for little treasures.

  • It snowed in Montreal yesterday! Fat white flakes making the start of a thick blanket, then tiny icy ones as the day got windy. Today it’s mostly gone, and I can see my crocus flowers again. I never let snow in April worry me, it’s just a Canadian thing. Snow in May, though…

  • Oh, Franklin, I DO love your posts

  • It’s freezing here in Pennsylvania we had a few warm days but now I’m back in my sweaters! I keep singing where are you springtime I can not find you! Here’s to complaining about the heat

  • We had six inches of snow dumped on us 24 hours ago, and yesterday my walk included wool hats and mitts, and sleet.

  • Indiana is on A roller coaster of weather extremes . 70 one day followed by snowy cold days. Don’t put that shovel away! Heat on today , air tomorrow , back to heat next week. Sigh.

  • How the weather can be 35 one day and 80 the next is a mystery only God can answer or know the reason why. My neighbor’s forsythia bush has been in bloom through 2 snowy storms – just has the right location to laugh at the snow. My redbuds are beginning to show color, my favorites by far. Love your chair and the afghan that will soon be its cozy companion. Enjoyed spring in Paris twice with my French speaking daughter, and envy your living there. Enjoy through all kinds of weather.

    • Fortunately your friend Clara is in town! I saw you in her Instagram feed, all is not sad about April!

  • I think March just became April. I’m hoping for May….
    I love your writing!

  • I can sympathize. I moved to Tucson, AZ to get away from the cold. It snowed 3+ inches for the first time in 80-odd years.

    • Here in coastal New England just north of Boston, we are getting new weather terminology, something called “graupel.” Graupel is apparently a cross between sleet and snow. When the sun appears from time to time, we venture out, shielding our eyes from the unaccustomed brightness.

      • Thank you for sharing this new weather word. My husband and son encountered this phenomenon while hiking in New Hampshire. There can now be a resolution to the dinner time debates as to whether it was sleet or snow.

      • Graupel is a well-known and tested word in Germany. It describes this weird in between weather perfectly and sounds like it too.

      • Living in Newfoundland I’m quite familiar with graupel. It pairs nicely with fog. Today is thankfully too warm for graupel and is instead raining down in absolute buckets. Ah, the east coast! lol

      • Oui. I, too, live in the Boston area and all the meteorologists talked about graupel. I want warmer weather!

  • Per usual, I love the articles you write, Franklin. What a gifted writer you are with just the right balance of humor, creativity and objections to the daily life hassles we all have in one form or another. Can’t wait to see the finished blankie….please post a picture for us! I’m a sucker every time for a granny square Anything.

  • Cold! Rainy! Warm, cold, windy. It’s not really coat less weather.

  • I spent April in Paris several years ago, it rained, snowed and the wind blew. It was dreary.

  • Snow last night in rural Alberta. I’ve seen snow in every month. April is fairly standard. I’ve never been to Paris in the winter, but have enjoyed every trip – August had a downpour at the same time every afternoon, July I had gorgeous weather.

  • April in Ohio. April Showers bring May flowers is holding true. We also had snow yesterday accompanied by sleet and high winds! I have wee lettuces sprouting in my cold frame and a quilt on my lap I am binding while I wait. Springtime will burst forth this weekend in the 80 degree range then 50s by Tuesday. Ughhhh!!!!

  • I live in Copenhagen, Denmark and winter here is just as grey as in Paris, and even a bit colder and darker, as we are further north. My first visit to Paris was with my husband and oldest son, who was 2 years old at the time. We had endured a rough winter with continous headcolds and really looked forward to nice warm spring weather in Paris the last two weeks of April. But it was cold on the day we arrived, no leaves on the trees and we were told it was the first day with a bit of sun. But then spring came! When we went home we had had the most perfect and relaxed vacation – sunny and warm weather for the entire two weeks, jackets off and sandals on, the chestnut trees were in full bloom, we had visited all the parks and playgrounds, had picnics, dined on the restaurant terraces and so on. We fell in love with Paris then and have been back many many times since and the weather is almost always nice, regardless of the time of year.

  • April is southern New Mexico is brown. It’s the driest month in a very dry place. It’s also windy. So the dirt is brown, the air and sky are sometimes brown from blowing dust, brown is everywhere. I usually end up feeling starved for green and moisture. I would luxuriate in a rainy Paris day because it would wash away the parched feeling.

  • I’m in North Dakota! Need I say more?

    • Grew up in Minnesota. My deepest sympathies.

  • I live in North Dakota. Need I say more?!

  • Thank you, Franklin for always getting me to laugh out loud!
    Here in RI we are sunny, windy and cold today, with a frost advisory for tonight. All my recently purchased plants are spending the days outside and nights in my garage until…..??
    In RI we usually get a few gorgeous Spring days and then go straight to a hot humid Summer by July. Please keep writing and creating! Wishing you sunny warm dreams.

    • I live in the Pacific Northwest, where dogs bark if the sun comes out. We’re having the usual round of what I’m now choosing to call Parisian weather, improved by masses of blooming bulbs and fruit trees. It’s the time of year to show off one’s worsted weight wardrobe — over a couple of layers of cotton.

  • When I lived in Paris during the seventies, a good friend came to visit me and experience the aforementioned April in Paris. We climbed the stone circular staircase of the north tower of Notre Dame and emerged to — snow. We shivered next to one of the iconic gargoyles and looked out over the City of Light as we watched our frosted breath join the clouds overhead. It’s a wonderful memory–like so many, better in the retelling than in the experience itself.

  • I have been lied to. “Oh, the weather in Tennessee is exactly like the weather in Atlanta.” Lies, lies. The winds are so strong here I have to wear down when the thermostat claims it’s 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Our April has included gale force winds and several tornadoes. Hoping this weekend warms up as much as the weather people claim. My garden lies fallow.

  • In Doris’s defense, I happened to see the movie again just last week. There is a scene where Day insists on sitting outside at a Cafe even though it’s cold and windy. The movie also was made before climate change.

    I personally take bigger issue with her inate ability to always find a parking space right in front of the building.

  • April in North Texas has been lovely although we desperately need some of that rain you’re getting. I always imagine pioneers coming here in spring and thinking they have found paradise … until the gates of hell open in July and August.

  • Les couleurs sont superbes! (Autocorrect tried twice to change that to superbad – tres gauche) My last French class was in 10th grade of high school, so I’ve reached the end of my french, but not my love for France. I’ve dreamed of going since I read the Madeline books at age 6. I finally went a few years ago, and landed on April 20, my birthday. It was the April in Paris of my dreams and better. So hang in there, I hope next year you will get the April you need!

    • Happy birthday!

      • Thank you! 🙂

  • Actually astonishingly the weather in Edinburgh Scotland is ok… out in jacket not a coat. Blossom bursting out. However do approve of the crochet project… gentle repetive squares using up stash in cheerful colours is the best way to deal with shitty weather.

  • The blanket will be beautiful and look great strewn across that chair. April in Eastern Washington has featured the latest spring snow since they started keeping records. But today, my fever’s down (I missed Easter) and the sun’s out. Things are looking up. Grey skies are gonna clear up . . . .

  • Oh lordy, I love you! April in Portland included the latest snowfall on record, which, combined with sap-land- leaf-laden branches, brought down a record number of trees and power lines. Also, this is well on the way to being the WETTEST April on record, which still hasn’t saturated our drought, but may have set back wildfire season by a few weeks. This is Portland, and we are used to rain. Don’t expect sun till after the seventh of July. You colorful afghan is the perfect antidote to the cold, wet, grayness. And it may be depressing, but you can be depressed in PARIS! (Also, I notice that sunny Italy is just a hop and skip away.)

  • Franklin, you are the best, I love your writing your artwork, needlework, sense of style and Dolores. Please continue to keep us updated on your new life in Paris.

    Here in Northern California we FINALLY got some good rainfall! Mother Earth has been particularly stingy with rain on the West Coast so we appreciate all that we get.

  • April has not really come to Iowa yet, either, although they promise the precipitation this afternoon will NOT be of the frozen persuasion. I think I’d rather sit this weather out in Paris….

  • We had frost yesterday morning here in middle Tennessee. Given that, still better than the 12 years I spent NE of Seattle where summer doesn’t arrive until after July 4; but when it does finally arrive, it’s fabulous! Live the chair, Franklin!!

  • I read somewhere (and now I can’t find the reference) that the lyricist of this song was asked about his inspiration by someone who spent an April in Paris like the one you are experiencing. He replied that oh, my no! April was a miserable month in Paris! But May didn’t have enough syllables.

  • Blue skies are going to clear up, so put on a happy face
    There’ll be sunshine all over the place, so put on a happy face.
    (Written from still snowy Montana)

  • Would love to see it finished! Love all the colors!

  • I like your strategy. In Minnesota we just set a record for the coldest on that date in April since 1873 or some such. So yeah – I feel your pain. I can see the leaves of the daffodils, but their sunny yellow faces are yet to be. Meanwhile, for Easter all the little girls had long sleeved t-shirts and leggings under their cotton sundresses. Ugh.

  • Remember to add in the names of those who have crossed you- like the weather lady

  • Spring is showing up slowly in fits and starts outside of Boston. Forty eight degrees and sunny today. Not warm because there is a strong “breeze”. Outerwear has progressed from the down jacket to the down vest. Hyacinths and bleeding hearts are blooming. There are plants emerging next to almost all of their corresponding plant markers.

    Maybe some Cole Porter thoughts on Paris courtesy of Doris Day…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Od4TJYxjgk. (Hoping the link works.) Just remember…

    “I love Paris in the springtime.
    I love Paris in the fall.
    I love Paris in the winter when it drizzles,
    I love Paris in the summer when it sizzles.”

  • In my experience, no matter how much you knit or crochet or haul off the Goodwill the stash never seems to get any smaller. I wish you luck.

  • Sequim, Washington (edge of the earth) has the same micro climate as France… this has been the weirdest and coldest April i can remember and I’m pretty dang old!

  • It’s been cold in San Francisco as well. Must be a thing, San Francisco trying to be like Paris?
    I do love the colors of your new throw. Gorgeous!

  • Typical northern Illinois weather here: Cold enough to make people regret their decision to wear shorts, which they are wearing simply because it is April. The granny squares look great but do not be tempted to turn them into a leisure suit. The best Doris Day song about the weather is not “April In Paris” but “Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be).”

  • Franklin is a rock star. Love reading his columns. I think they should be collected and bound into a book. Including the ones from years ago when he wrote for a yarn company’s newsletter!

  • Thank you!
    Your writing has made me pause and enjoy what will likely be our last pleasant weather days until sometime in November.
    I needed this.

  • Beautiful motifs, witty conversation. Thank you.

  • Really enjoyed hearing about Paris and imagining myself… in either rainy or bright weather! Here in lovely Santa Fe the skies are bright blue and the temp is in the mid 70’s. Gorgeous… except for the wind, blowing constantly, and the lack of moisture, drying out everything!! We are each blessed and cursed, and your beautiful colors and prose make me smile!! Thank you.

  • Crocheting and chair, awesome both. 50° and occasional light rain in Omaha, awesome for crocheting. I fell off my chair laughing at your Palermo friezes’ captions yesterday.

  • I’m glad you’re not doing a temperature blanket. It might be ghastly.

  • Indiana, they say if you don’t like the weather wait and it’ll change in a day or two. Two days ago I woke up to 2 inches of snow on my car. Three days from now it’s supposed to be near 80. Yep, Indiana!

    • Here in Alberta we say if you don’t like the weather, wait an HOUR or two. We presently have snow also, but that’s not unusual for us. We had false spring in February when it was crazy warm, so I guess that means winter in April. We never really can count on spring until after the May long weekend, and I’ve also seen snow every month of the year as a previous writer mentioned. At least the weather’s never boring!

  • Well, it snowed yesterday here in Ottawa. It’s sunny but a cool 8C with a low of -2C tonight but my rhubarb is coming up! Your afghan is inspiring and what a great use of stash. The creative use of dpns and foam to make a blocking contraption is inspiring.

  • You are describing April in Seattle. And March, February…… October… May… we await July 4th when it will rain but then we will have a glorious summer until mid August when we will again get record breaking heat …. but oh July and early August…exquisite!

  • That’s the weather in Lancashire (north west England for the uninitiated) for most of the year. It rains so much in our part of the county that they built a munitions factory here in the safe and happy knowledge that no errant German bomber would be able to see it through the almost continuous cloud cover.

  • The San Francisco peninsula can’t make up it’s mind. We’ve had days of unseasonably warm weather followed by bone chilling cold and winds. I guess the price we pay of a mild winter.
    However, everything is blooming and my garden is started, waiting for transplanting. As I wait, I am finishing projects started this past winter. I need room in my tote for summer projects…

    • Yup, watching rain clouds (thank goodness, more rain!) and admiring the colors in my gardens, just across The Bay and a bit north of you, in another of those destination places. As a friend once put it, “…we have climate, others have weather.” I’m still willing to see it that way despite the ravages of climate change.

  • I just love your posts! Thank you for keeping us “in the loop” on your Paris living lifestyle – we all want to be there!

  • Love your improvised granny square blocker. We too, in the Pacific Northwest are having a very cold April and I did see hail and snow over a week ago as well as nighttime temps down to 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Makes it hard to get in the garden and plant all the things so knitting has thrived not gardening.

  • At least I don’t have to pay extra to endure a Northern MN April…except for the heating and plowing bills……

  • We in the PNW (Pacific Northwest) will commiserate with you Franklin. We got snow – SNOW! – in April this year. Five inches worth. Completely unheard of. And it has rained for days since. I have brightly colored rainbow socks and a super cute baby blanket I’m knitting to keep me company during the deluge of water from the sky. I look forward to seeing how your box of yarn turns out, it’s starting to look simply lovely.

  • So great to be reading you, again. Thanks!

  • April here in S. Texas is, at the moment, overcast grey. But it’s wonderfully cool and breezy. It’s also fleeting, because temps are expected to climb to the upper 90s by the weekend. 🙁

  • Love the crochet! As to weather, we actually had snow flakes on Monday, this in a city (Cincinnati) that is across the river from the South. I don’t remember such an April here. On the other hand, each of my 5 Aprils in Paris were as advertised. Than you, climate change.

  • Thank you so much for the book recommendation by Edie Eckman, in your letter above. I am crocheting circles into hexagons and having a difficult time. Thank you, thank you! And you are right about Rowan FT, it is delightful to crochet with.

  • The Blanket of Defiance is beautiful and I love your chair! Hang in there, Franklin. Keep sending us your letters. April is Santa Fe is full of juniper pollen, wind, and smoke from fires.

  • Three weeks of snow here and counting. We are up to 90% of normal winter precipitation and after years of drought, we are VERY, VERY grateful. The gray is depressing but the liquid is very necessary. Thank you for the postcards from Paris. You are living my dream.

  • Cold in NJ as well … and I know those teeny fridges well!

    Song version – the Divine Ella.
    Love Yip Harburg

    If you can find it – there is a wonderful audio of Doris Day talking to Jonathan Schwartz – she just called his radio show one day.
    https://www.wnyc.org/story/today-jonathan-schwartz-history-conversation-doris-day/

    I’m sure you can crochet to it!

  • WHAT a great post!!!!! We’re on Maui visiting friends right now, but I know there’s sleet at home…I feel your pain. We go back home in three days.

  • It was April Fools Day, so the snow was Mother Nature’s little joke?
    We had anywhere from 2.5-12 inches of snow in the region on Mon. night, depending on the elevation. That’s why few folks plant the vegetable garden before Memorial Day weekend.
    Someone once explained to me that Spring in Albany is a Tuesday in June.

  • Is it really that much worse than Chicago? I don’t think they get as much snow in Paris.
    Here’s hoping that spring springs soon in Paris!

  • It has been raining in Grants Pass, Oregon for the last 5 days with more to come. Yes we need the rain, but I am so much looking forward to warmer weather. Thank you so much for the wonderful stories from Paris.

  • Oh, I feel this…except our April in Winnipeg has been FULL of snow, strong winds, and now it will finally warm up—to weekend predictions of snow/sleet/freezing rain/rain. We had over a foot of snow last week, and putting flowers outside is still a month or more away. I think it’s likely that Paris would feel like a heatwave to us about now, even if it rained! (How does Clara’s version of Paris look so green and lovely?)

  • I love your posts soooo much! as an American who has married into a French family, I have made many trips to Paris over the last 30 years. Your observations of the various cultural nuances are spot on.. ( the shopping experiences and customer service and our limited language skills!) I have found the people to be so very lovely and generous. thank you for sharing. I cant wait to see all that you find and do and make in that gorgeous city.

  • Well, maybe you want to come to Switzerland. We had the driest March and April since (maybe) ever… It is quite cold, but flowers are blooming and birds are singing and I am already watering my garden.

  • Spring in Southern California this year is a rollercoaster. One week we’re in the 90s next week the 60s. Right now it’s 68 and sunny and will be 92 next Monday with a Santa Ana wind in between. I love it.

  • Your chair is pretty, as is the blanket. Love the colors. I’ve never done a granny square, but have always wanted to. I’m not much of a crocheter but this is inspiring, and I also have a lot of stash to use up. Don’t get me started on the weather here – lol. I’m a Texan longing to live in a cooler clime – air conditioner has been cranking for a few weeks now.

  • Paris in April is why my brother in law’s mother has just moved down to Nice where by sis and BIL live. There they’ve been running around in T-shirts for weeks.
    She loves Paris but the constant gray and cold are hard on aging bones!
    No surprise why the northern Europeans head south as soon as they can.

  • Thank you for helping me remember my days living in England: “If the sun is still shining at noon, it’s going to be a sunny day!” Otherwise, guaranteed to rain!!

  • In 1972 my husband came home from Vietnam and we went to Europe and camped in Paris in the Bois de Boulogne and to the best of my memory, it was April and it rained. There was also some sun, though. I hope the sun finally comes out for you. Thank you for the letters. It’s nice to be hearing from you again.

  • April in Alabama is pollen and more pollen.

  • You could be in Chicago where the weather is like a game of ping pong going from cold and wet to unseasonably warm and sunny and back to glumness! Not easy to adapt…Give me gray, rainy Paris any day⚜️Just wait and MayDay is coming with more rain possible and lily of the valley bouquets sold on every corner for sure! Enjoy!

  • Thank you for a very enjoyable update on your time in Paris! Love the colors you have chosen for your granny squares!!

  • I am in Ohio where you never quite know what to expect.still may get snow here this week.some like snow. I am not one of them.I loved your article. Thank you. Aren’t we fortunate that we have yarn? No matter what the situation we have comfort in knowing that we have the ability to make something special for ourselves or others. Thank God for sheep and yarn and a great stash. Blessings to each of you.