Sunday, June 8, 2014


   You may remember we acquired a kitten while in France. A soft, cuddly thing to love when we were feeling homesick. She provided us with much entertainment and needless to say, had to come back to the States with us. I was dreading the trip with her as getting her into a crate to go to a vet was excruciating. One would think she was being tortured, she would let out deep, loud growls of displeasure. We feared it would be 6,000 miles of howling under our seat on the planes. I had some strong sedatives (for her, not my children) and I kept reminding the kids(and myself), the travel was just for 1 day. One day of headache, embarrassment and frustration- we could do it. Low and behold, Cat did not make a sound the entire trip- no sedation needed.
   We snuck her into the hotel for the night in Albuquerque where she bounced off of the walls for a few hours, then back into the crate for the drive to Colorado. Now she was so used to the crate, she slept peacefully for the 4 hour car ride. Bravo mon petit chaton!
   One thing I missed while in France was to-go coffee and iced tea. I kept one with me for most of that first day back, starting the day with hot coffee to go from the hotel, to iced tea later in the morning for the drive.
   I do miss the rose from France, though.
My roady coffee
Almost home

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Last Market for Me

   I woke up early the day before departure, restless but tired, needing to embrace every last minute of our year abroad. I ran into town to hit the boulangerie for a last Sacristan pastry and bid farewell to our favorite Patissier. It was market day- I will miss these regular village gatherings, listening to the French chitter/chatter of catching up on the week's worth of gossip. After filling their baskets, friends migrate to the cafes for a drink and rest to watch the passers' by.
   Summer produce was just starting. Ripe melons, cherries and apricots were so full of flavor. I will miss the dedication to the taste of food.

Saying Good Bye is Tres Difficile

   Bags are in the car, house is clean and we are very patiently awaiting our return to the USA. Yes, we are all very excited to see our friends and family. But as I watch my kids move about today, there is a sense of mourning. I feel it too. Our neighbors, our commune, have become family. Being 5,000 miles away is significant and while the Internet makes the world a small place, there is no arguing that we are far apart.
   While I fully intend on returning to France within a year or so, it will most likely be longer before I can spring for 4 tickets for all of us to return to Provence. The kids already ask when they can come back, which makes me feel like the year abroad was a success. I can not commit to when we will all be able to return, but it will happen, someday. And even though many miles separate us, I am thrilled to have these new friends and know we will be reunited in the not so far off future.
   So, without much of a pity party, I want to say a bientot to my friends, family and life en France. C'etait un super annee. Merci.