Sunday, January 24, 2010

Love to France...

Care packages are fun and people have asked what we would like here if they wanted to send something. So I thought I would write out a few things. Some would fit in an envelope with a letter, others would be in a box.

Tacco Seasoning... (yes we miss taccos)
Chap stick
Thank You notes (very hard to find here)
Peanut butter
Fishy crackers or animal crackers
Kids vitamins
Note pads

We are getting more used to what we can find here and how to make it work. I love a granola I found for breakfast with vanilla yogurt on it. We eat sandwiches for lunch almost every day. (Jeff picks up a baguette on his way home with the kids.) And dinenrs have been random. Quiche, frozen pizza, lentil soup, grilled cheese, rice and sauce. Meat is very expensive here and frozen dinners are cheap. So we are using the more 'unhealthy' frozen dinners most school nights so I don't have to put much brain power or time into cooking after studying all day.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Lessons from The Little Prince

Jeff has been reading The Little Prince to our kids at bedtime since we arrived in France. The other day while he was reading about the Fox being tamed by the little prince I found myself very moved. The reasons that have been hard for me to leave my friends and all that I find comforting and familiar is that I have let myself be tamed by them. The fox talked about what it would be like to be tamed by the Prince like this…

“If you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music out of my burrow. And then look: you see the grain-fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the color of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat…”

So the little prince tamed the fox. And when the hour of his departure drew near- “Ah,” said the fox, “I shall cry.”

“It is your own fault,” said the little prince. “I never wished you any sort of harm; but you wanted me to tame you…”

“Yes that is so,” said the fox.

“But now you are going to cry!” said the little prince.

“Yes that is so,” said the fox.

“Then it has done you no good at all!”

“It has done me good,” said the fox, “because of the color of the wheat fields.”

Then as the little prince left the fox he gave the little prince some advice… “What is essential is invisible to the eye” and “it is the time you have wasted on what you have tamed that makes it so important to you.”

Many things remind me of dear friends and family. I am glad I was tamed by you, so that I am reminded of you as I see things that we shared in common. It is hard to be away, but the memories we share make it worth the sadness.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Shopping in France

I am starting to get the hang of this kind of life... I bought a shopping cart that I can pull home from the store... now the trick is only buying what fits in there so I don't also have bags to carry alongside... more trips but less weight per trip. It goes so against my Costco/stock up shopping mind that I have trained myself for. Luckily the store are not far... all within one Kilometer I think. That between half and three quarters of a mile. I have not been real creative with my cooking yet, just eating the basics, but I might try a quiche this weekend. Maybe I should get the Julie Childs cookbook and work through it like in the Julie and Julia move... NO... that would never work at this pace of life we are living. But I would like a french cookbook... it would call for things that I can actually find in the stores.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A New Year with New Challenges

January 1st, 2010

I have to admit, I brought in the New Year with tears. I don’t know why this adjustment has been so hard for me. It is not that I don’t like being here. The people I have met are great. I like getting lots of walking exercise and exploring. Trying new food sounds exciting.

But I miss the familiarity of home. I miss being able to be surprised by a phone call or instant message from someone. It all started with Jeff asking why I really want internet at our house. We can go over to our school everyday and we have free internet there. So is it really that big of a deal to also have it here in our home. I don’t know why this is such a tough issue for me to let go of. I had ideas of hearing the Skype phone call and being surprised that someone had reached us. Maybe they were awake in the middle of the night and knew we would be up. Or after I am home with our new baby, getting on and talking to people from my bed, letting them see our new baby. Or even keeping up with your blogs and emails so I know what is going on with my friends and family back home. Not that I cannot do that from school once a day, and plan times to Skype people from there. I guess the ability to be connected to the world any time I want was much more deeply imbedded than I realized. I feel like Jeff was surgically removing it from me and it hurts. I believe he has good reasons and it will be good for our family on different levels. But why is it so hard for me? I don’t know. It was not one of the things I expected to have to give up this year.