Fréjus, France

Fréjus, France
Aqueduc Romain

Saturday, September 26, 2009

September 2009

Life keeps humming along through another transition. After going to the cabin every weekend of the summer, we have not gone since Labor Day so we are getting used to spending all of our time here in Ashland. Irie quickly adjusted to her schedule at her new school, Willow Wind which is an alternative school within the public system. She has restarted piano lessons and we are getting a new (used) piano tomorrow. She is also taking a hip-hop dance class, and Lisa is still searching for a french tutor for her.

While Lisa and I both danced hula together in the park every Weds., the separate official classes have begun so Lisa is dancing on Weds. nights, I am dancing with the kane (men) on Thurs., and Lisa is teaching a beginner's class on Fri., all through our friend Andrea's organization Integral Dance. Last night we were delighted to have the world's oldest touring musician here in Ashland. Bill Tapia is 101 years young and plays the ukulele. Lisa, Andrea and a few other dancers got the honor of performing with him during two songs
Here are the videos:
I Want to Speak Hawaiian

The unusual excitement in Ashland this week was a large fire on the south end of town that destroyed one house and threatened a whole neighborhood.
It turned out to be about 190 acres (while another 4 times as large raged in Medford the same day), and there are other fires in closer to our cabin that have caused smoky hazy skies all week. Our friends, John and Taylor, were not home so I raced over and rescued their two dogs, one bird, and a frog before they evacuated the nieghborhood. Luckily, our brave firefighters were on it and kept it from causing a lot more damage. I filmed from John's garage roof and here's that video. Warning: some foul language from my excited mouth :)

I start University classes tomorrow (finally), but have been keeping busy with a paintbrush. Last week I painted our house, something that was long overdue, and we are loving the new look.
This week I painted for someone else so actually made some novel.

France seems a long way away, though we still think of our french friends and way of life all the time!

Friday, September 11, 2009

La Rentrée

I love this time of year. September in Ashland is generous with good weather, not too hot, with the occasional nippy mornings. But I really love La Rentrée. It could be translated as a return to school, but in France it's much broader than that. After the lazy, vacation days of August, the whole of France goes back to work and school and gets down to business. That's what it feels like for our family as Irie started school this week. She changed to a new school, Willow Wind, which is within the Ashland Public School system but not quite like the other elementary schools. She has a core 4th grade class, 4th grade math and then some electives. This fall she chose a film-making class, a weather science class, and a couple writing classes focusing on stories and heroes.

Though Irie was nervous for her first day she looks more relaxed than she did a year ago when she started Hippolyte Fabre!

This time of year also sees us starting our withdrawal from Bon Pin. The work is completed and we are spying some projects to start next year. We're enjoying cool nights and mornings with the wood stove and assuming swimming is done. We'll only go up about every other weekend through October then close it up. Staying in Ashland allows us to focus on the goings-on here. Like unpacking, still!

While I started my practice up again in mid July it is really feeling on a roll now. I will shift my schedule to taking Wednesdays off, French style. Rick is registered for classes at SOU which start at the end of the month.

Both Rick and I were off and running on our hula endeavors shortly after re-entry this summer. I co-taught a session of Hula in July that Rick participated in. I will be teaching a beginner class this fall as well as continuing my own hula studies. I really miss my French hula dancers and the enthusiasm and beauty they brought to our classes. I feel fortunate to be able to return to a hula community that has grown in ohana and commitment. We thank our dear friend Andrea for her strength in holding hula in Ashland and creating and growing the hui Ka Pi'o O Ke Anuenue.

We're also happy to report that our copine française, Nathalie, has also gotten down to business with her new blog titled "From Frejus to Ashland. We are so touched that she has started this means of communication to us.

Goals for the next few weeks: get a smoothly running schedule hopefully only using one car, finish unpacking, purge clutter, sit in the hot tub with a glass of wine.