September 8, 2014


We just moved for the third time in 60 days. Three houses in 60 days, worse than college. The boys go with the flow throughout, though the oldest has found that being in bed with his parents eases any discomfort he may be having with his new surroundings. 

This third place, in the tiny village of Vianges, is an old clergy house next to the church. The owners use it as a vacation house and have generously loaned it to us for the month of September before we return to our original house in October, where we will stay until at least the end of June 2015. Needless to say, we are looking forward to unpacking for real again once we are there, but for now we are taking advantage of our new surroundings. The best part of the Vianges house is that the TGV train track is only a kilometer away. Though I am not sure I would want to live so close on a permanent basis, it is the best gift the boys have ever received. We walk for a few minutes and stand on a bridge under which trains going north of 220km/h pass, making our feet shake. Archie waves like crazy, Luke says, "WHOA!" every time, and, if we get a honk from the conductor, general euphoria results. 

The next best thing is Therese. She is the mother of the proprietress (and the mother in law of the proprietor) of our house. Therese has the house across the street where she comes for the weekend. So far, in the 10 days we have been in Vinages, she has: given us three enormous zucchinnis; twice delivered cherry tomatoes; picked and delivered raspberries; cut fresh flowers for us; offered instructions on how to start the lawn mower; helped to fill the gas tank on same; babysat for the boys during the day for an hour; babysat for the boys for the evening while we went out for an anniversary dinner; called her sister to ask if she could babysit for us on a Monday night while we went out in Arnay-le-Duc; plucked carrots, turnips, black radishes, and leeks out of her garden for us; and generally endeared herself to Luke to the point that, when he is "indisposed" and hears her in the hallway, he calls out, "Mamie Therese! Je fais caca!" He just wants to make sure she knows what he is up to. 

She is living proof that not every French person is cold and reserved, words that the French use to describe themselves with great regularity (in addition to chauvinistic [in the patriotic sense of the word], grouchy, ungovernable, and gastronomic). We have been bowled over by her generosity and her eagerness to help and assist us. 

And now, despite all the hassles of moving, we have roots and connections in three different communities all within 30 minutes of each other, relationships and experiences we will build and lean on in the months to come.

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