Saturday, March 21, 2009

Missing France, Missing You!

The arrival of spring announces our departure time from France so we can work on bringing spring to Michigan. I have already started taking stock of the things that have become part of the fabric of our lives and of those, the things that I will miss the most. I will miss (in no particular order – except that Gigondas might be close to the top of the list):

· The “Bonjour, monsieur” greeting as I walk into almost any store (followed by: “Au revoir, monsieur. Bonne journée” as I leave a store – even if I didn’t buy anything.
· Our neighbor and her kind but persistent way of improving my French
· The blue skies – like the Rocky Mountain blue skies
· Walking to the wine cooperative and filling up our wine jug @ 1.80 € per liter ($1.35/bottle at a 1-1 exchange rate…)
· Being awakened by the gate at the crèche next door
· Gigondas
· Hearing the sounds of kids playing at the crèche
· Leaving the apartment at 5:25 for a 5:30 movie and being on time
· Benoit, Marie & Morgane ; Dominique ; Eliane ; Frederique ; Gabin ; Hélene ; Lina ; Mag ; Maria & Bill ; Marie ; Marie Dominique ; Maryse ; Michel ; Michele ; Phil & Margaret ; Romeo ; Suzanne & Charles
· The owner of « Les Gourmandines » who is so gorgeous, I KNOW that I would willingly say “okay” if she asked: “Shall I add these rotten potatoes to your bag at twice the price of fresh ones?”
· Gigondas & Vacqueyras
· Playing with the kids at the crèche next door
· Tuesday MARKET day and the fresh vegetables, fruits, meats and fish, cheese, honey, sweets, olives, wine, clothes, shoes, table cloths & souvenirs, music, carry away lunches
· Seeing people throughout the day whom we recognize and who recognize us!
· Meeting people
· Our world-class cheese store, in spite of being rebuffed in true French style when I asked to purchase cheese (Roulé) that the owner denounced as “industrielle” [not natural or handmade therefore not for sale in her shop]
· The daily air shows and the tight formation flying of the jets from the Air Force base.
· Fresh rabbit—which I can purchase entier [whole, with eyes staring and innards intact] or rablé [cut in serving pieces] , pheasant, quail
· Gigondas & Vacqueyras & Cairanne
· Walking (everyday) to purchase food items for dinner
· The View! from our small but viewalicious balcony on the 3ème étage (4th floor)
· Buying a loaf of bread each day (mostly at Pain Romaine)
· Gigondas & Vacqueyras & Cairanne & the lovely white wine from the bio-dynamic producer in Buisson
· Lunch in Faucon at the bakery/restaurant where the spectacular view is an equal match for the fabulous food
· The spectacular views!
· Being able to clean the WHOLE apartment while standing in one spot (almost)
· Gigondas & Vacqueyras & Cairanne & the lovely white wine from the bio-dynamic producer in Buisson & Chateauneuf du Pape
· Getting notes from all of our friends!
· Getting telephone calls from those few friends with no fear of international calling (Thanks, Marge/Charlie and John/Arleen) and Skype calls from those in-the-know of how to call free via the Internet (Mark/Dan, Tish, Karlice, Susie/Bob, John, and Marie)
· Visitors! (Bruce & Judy, Jim & Taffy, Marie, Karlice & Ed, Mark & Dan, Tish, Nancy & Tony)
· Did I mention wine?

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  1. Take a close look at the picture that Tony took. It is a wind vane on which the cat chases the mouse...

  2. Very cat like behavior, but that feline will never feel the victory of the hunt. May your return to Michigan be safe. I am sure your new found friends will keep in touch, or come to visit, and I am just as sure you will find a local source for your french wines. Thanks for the 6 months of travel. It made the winter a little more fun.

  3. I am in awe. I so admire that you a)set a real goal after loads of time, "wouldn't it be nicing", b) began testing it with vacations and internet surfing, c) got serious and actually identified, maybe loosely, but still identified criteria,d) found a place, e) overcame mountains of obstacles to purchase and move in, f) created a vision of what you would do when you actually moved, g)learned to clean standing in one place and shopping each day, h) overcame mountains of obstacles to do the thing you visioned you would do when you actually moved, and, i)now are able to look from the other side - having accomplished this your wild and winsome goal... and said, this is good. Who does that? Oh, yea. No surprise. The Sullivans.

    Carry on.

  4. Hi to you both
    I have only just found you site. How my husband and I have enjoyed reading about your days in Vaison. You like the area for all the same reasons that we do. We have been visiting Vaison for about 18 years on and off. How we envy you having 6 months there. Hope you enjoy your stay back in the USA. Thankyou again
    all the best,
    Valerie Carr..