I Didn’t Expect To Be Sad…
This was our final week in Provence. It has been a week of lasts:
- The last trip to the market to buy olives, pasta, and cheese and practice my bad French with the very patient people who sell their goods there
- One last picture of the Grignan castle sitting at the top of the incredibly picturesque medieval village where the girls go to school
- The last Wednesday pizza from Ivan des Pizzas – a Hawaiian, the American kind with ham and pineapple, not the French version with chicken, green pepper and onion (pineapple optional!)
- One last pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant) from the best bakery of the many, many, many we’ve tried during the year.
- A last trip to the clothesline… one last walk to the garbage and recycling station… one last mad dash to catch the school bus…
- And many, many, many last bisous (kisses) with the wonderful people we’ve met during the year
This year has been intense. It’s been incredibly good in so many ways, but it has also been difficult. Everything was strange which meant it was also hard – like the time it took four hours to buy lightbulbs!
I fully expected that right now I’d be feeling glad we came, but ready to get back to “normal” life in California. I didn’t expect that leaving would make me sad.
It was hard to say good-bye to so many people. Claudine, Jacqueline, Augustin, Alain and the other wonderful Chansojeux leaders who immediately embraced our children as part of the village; Emma, Christine, Vanessa, Genevieve and the lovely English-speaking people who let me have a real conversation; Caroline and the other parents who let me practice my French while we waited for the school bus; Genevieve and Jean who introduced us to raclette; Vanessa and Jerome who taught us the traditions of the galette des rois; Julien who gave us homemade pate from his own pig; JP and and his amazing food (takeout fois gras – yum); Gilbert who gave JM tips about growing crops in Provence; the staff at the village cafe who kept us supplied with coffee, bread, pastis, and great conversation; the wonderful teachers at the Grignan school …and…and…and…
We hate to leave. As the girls say, we’d like to stay in California AND stay in Chantemerle.
Our very warmest and most sincere au revoir and merci to the incredible people who have touched our lives this past year! Vous allez nous manquer!