India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam.. Our traveling children flew before they could walk, are fluent in 3 languages, and have always been the most enthusiastic travel buddies e-ver ! Until recently..
Time to listen to the kids
Although the kids experienced a serious culture shock the first year of French school, they have proved to be much more resilient than me. While I was experiencing cabin fever in our little apartment, they were affirming their rights to settle down as loudly and unconditionally as French protesters: “No more moving!! A bas les délocalisations!”
I can’t blame them. We took them on our wings, and they have reached the age where they need their roots and to make lasting relationships other humans than their awesome parents. We contemplated the option of “long distance relationship”, we’ve been there and know far too well how challenging it is for the family to live apart.
So the we agreed to settle down. It implied a lot of changes in our lives (and mindset!) but it’s about time to listen to the kids’ needs too. We are starting a new chapter in our family story, and it’s starting 1h away from Paris!
A new chapter in the country side
I posted this picture of the dream house in my vision board and it’s actually quite similar to the one we bought (yes vision boards are efficient!).
It’s the biggest house we’ve ever lived in and its location meant it was the price of a tiny studio in Paris. Some work needs to be done but we should be done in maximum 3 months. Even though it’s not that far from the capital, it really feels like it’s in the wild.
Getting to understand the basics of our new surroundings
Our garden borders the forest and our retired neighbor has turned his into an amazing vegetable paradise. I realized that I’d never visited a proper vegetable garden (unless you count the Picard Bio section!).. Our chatty neighbor speaks French yet he uses vocabulary that’s totally unknown to me like “winter leeks” and “panais” while showing me his garden. I don’t know what kind of reaction is expected from me so I just nod and smile. He is looking at me as if I just landed from Jupiter (and the feeling is mutual).
What I got perfectly clear though was the part about the wild animals when he mentioned the wild boars visiting our garden and the need to build a little wall with electric fence. “Works with buglars too!” .
The kids’ faces were priceless when the other neighbor Michel offered to give them a couple of little rabbits “so when they’re be big enough we can eat them”. My vegetarian self nearly fainted ! It was my first encounter with a hunter and it took me a while to realize that he was actually being kind and not a psychopath…
The garden also needs to be taken care of. Last weekend, Marcel and the kids cleaned the trees while I was teaching in Paris. They had fun, yet Marcel came back with a massive rash on his forearm, courtoisie of the ivy he proudly removed from a couple of trees. Lesson learnt the hard way. Bought a stock of Panadryl lotion and Aloe Vera gel. So much for consuming like a local. It’s all a work in progress..
Next week I’ll show you the house.
Before that I need to check if there is a way to get a proper connection to the world wide web …
7 thoughts on “20 years overseas.. Time to plant our roots (first one of OUR HOUSE series!)”
So happy for you my friend. 😁 Also, excited to get a glimpse of your new house and your garden. 😄
oh thanks so much my dear! so sweet to read from you after all this time 🙂 Will definitely post soon, hopefully next week should be sunny so it will look more exciting than with this gloomy weather. XXX
How exciting! Sometimes one has to do things for the kids, but I can assure you that here at our house, we have come out the other side and are OK! 🙂 They will be on their own before you know it, and having this stable time with them will be much appreciated. I look forward to seeing more of that beautiful house!
Ouf, so it is manageable😅 It’s a massive transition on all points, place, job to reinvent, getting used to this very special culture of complaining .. But I get to understand my peers better, as long as I don’t find the French attitude totally normal and I still want to create stuff I ll be fine 😉 A tres bientot X
Congrats! A new exciting chapter. Our kids growing up just wanted to be in one place too where they could make lasting friendships. Many of those kids they are still good friends with now, all of them in their thirties. It will be a good period even though strange I’m sure to be still. And here we are just starting a new chapter of life in the Philippines on Camiguin island.
Merveilleux. Je suis vraiment ravi pour tou et toute ta petite famille.
J’ai encore ton mail à lire et commenter. (Pas une minute. Heureusement que je ne travaille plus, j’y arriverais pas.)
Les trucs dans la terre… MDR. Je ne fais normalement pas ça (mettre un link dans le blog des autres, mais je ne résiste pas. Tu comprendra très vite. Cà s’appelle a carrot by the railroad…)
Bon, j’ai changé la config. Je devrais normalement recevoir tes posts dans mon mail. (Ça marche pas toujours, donc j’ai aussi mis ton blog dans mes “favoris” de Chrome…)