Thursday, February 18, 2016

“I Can’t Stop Smiling” (Love and Theft)

Add to Google Reader or HomepageWe arrived at our apartment in France last week. A friend from Aix en Provence came to the airport to greet us. Our neighbor had driven from Vaison la Romaine to pick us up and bring us back to our “pied à terre” (“pied à terre” is our term to describe our 400 sf villa <]; > ).
The next day, we were sorting clothes and organizing things at the apartment for our séjour here. Since we rent out our apartment when we are in the states, our return often includes the exercise of finding objects and returning them to where they belong (where I think they belong.) There have been times when I have found a kitchen utensil at a spot different from the one I had chosen and then decided that whoever moved it had made an improvement in our kitchen arrangement.
As I was working at nesting, I found that I was smiling. At one point Ellen looked at me and asked: “What?” to which I replied: “I can’t stop smiling.”
I know that part of the curve in my smile comes from recognizing how lucky I am to be able to live this dream. Another part of the smile comes from how much I enjoy the French language and things French. Being here makes me happy.
Looking at the differences between here and there is pronounced this year. I smiled when I saw that diesel fuel costs less than a Euro per liter! That translates into almost $4 per gallon in the states but I have never seen fuel prices as low as they are now.
The taste of a French baguette is something I miss during our time stateside. I don’t know whether it is the flour or the climate or the way they bake them but I take a bite of a baguette from one of the local bakeries (there are six in our village) and it makes me smile.
“Exotic” foods are not so exotic in France and thus a whole lot cheaper (and that makes me smile). Lamb is affordable and fresh and local but one can also find rabbit and duck and fresh mussels and… and I won’t even discuss the differences in cheese selections.
We have the good fortune of having wonderful friends in the states as well as in France. I am probably being repetitive given other blog post that I have written but friends enrich life and make me thankful and make me smile. In fact, I can’t stop smiling.


  1. I am sitting in my kitchen reading this and smiling just knowing you are there! I love to live vicariously through you and Ellen. Enjoy your time!!

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    Hoping I'll get it right this time …So happy to see you back! Smiles are greatly needed ! You may remember the lab classroom you and Ellen visited , Laureen was in this group, she was a smiling character sand said to me though she was hardly speaking during the classes' It is my first meeting with Americans!' You may find more info on the regional newspaper Est Républicain . Although we get support from specialists, it is something beyond words for me . .. Make the most of your visit!

  4. I am smiling too! Keep writing so we can live vicariously through you! Love and hugs, Tim and Dusty

  5. Enjoyed your description of your French home; I’m happy you get to live your dream. I’d be envious but Judy and I are fortunate to be renting a very small apartment in a Chicago neighborhood as of last August (our pied-à-terre). We stay there 2 to 3 nights each week, experiencing the wonderful city life, mass transit everywhere, and taking care of our 1-yr old granddaughter who lives a 1-mile walk away. Bob Riepl

    1. Bob, It is so great to hear from you. You know that when we are in Lansing, we are only four hours away... It would be wonderful to see you and Judy.