Fréjus, France

Fréjus, France
Aqueduc Romain

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Living the French life!

3 1/2 months left, and we're trying like crazy to fight off the pull to get sucked into all the hoopla that will surround our return. We have plane tickets to SF, and a lease here that goes through July 3. But so many other things must be dealt with: how to get Maggie home, how to get from SF to Ashland on the 4th of July of all days, arriving to an empty house whose contents are in a locker 15 miles away, getting our one car back, Lisa reopening her practice and going back to work, taxes, the cabin, the rentals, the mail, phones, and that's on the U.S. side of the Atlantic. Over here, we will be packing and figuring out how to get everything home without going broke (oops, too late!), selling anything we can like winter gear, bikes, etc., cleaning our wonderful little apartment, Irie finishing school the day before we leave, and most important, saying goodbye to our new french friends and our french way of life.

We feel that we are in full stride here and are not ready to go home! We remind ourselves that our foreign study at Kalamazoo College in 1985 (Lisa went to Caen, France and I went to Hannover, Germany) went from late-March to late-June, so that wouldn't have even started yet. We've got 3-plus blessed months still in front of us and want to make the most of them! Lisa is making the most of every minute with regard to her french skills, whereas I'm still working hard just to get the drift of full-speed conversations, but I get by. Irie got about 6-8 inches of hair cut off this week and looks so grown up. She is also starting a beginner's sailing class this Weds. morning that goes until mid-June. I don't think she is fully aware of it, but she is one lucky girl. She's had more experiences by 8 y.o. than many of us get in a lifetime. She also had her spunky little french friend Laly over for a sleepover on Fri. night and watching them play we realized Irie has more french language skills than we ever knew.

Spring has truly arrived. We've had dry warm weather for over a week, and everything is in bloom, so one of the things we did with the two girls was go out and collect all the different flowers we could find, then Lisa helped them press them. Today Laurent and Nathalie picked us up and we went out to le Rocher de Roquebrune for a hike to find "L'Ermite" who supposedly lives in this classic-looking mountain ridge. On our first hike we found old Roman ruins now ingrown with trees and vines, and some fantastic views. On the second hike, not only did we find his cave/home, but Irie ended up inside with a few other brave souls. After climbing around outside I decided I better go check on her, and when I went to his door, he asked, en francais, if I was "le pere American" and there sat Irie right next to him. He is 86 and has been living in this cave for 43 years. It was actually quite cozy with a table, foam mattresses on natural benches for beds, and builts in shelves for books, etc. But I would imagine it's difficult to be a hermit when your home is a hiking destination. Here's some pics from our day.


William said...

As you said, Irie has experenced more in 9 years then most in a lifetime. I hope she can remember it all later in life.

I am happy that you guys are taking it all in.

Dad Browne

Anonymous said...

How amazing! Irie you a rock'n adventurous girl!!!!!