Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Things I forget to remember

So much to say, today.

The girls are both at "camp." Camp is a euphemism for daycare. I like to think of it as total French immersion.

Isla is going to an African village to make masks. Esther is off to Tonnere to watch a stage of the Tour de France. She's probably yelling "allez, allez, allez!" right now, and waving one of those giant foam fingers, as I write this.

I'm sitting here, in the kitchen of the farmhouse, alone, listening to the ticking, and regular chiming, of the kitchen wall clock. The clock, made of lovely carved wood, belongs to the woman next door. She grew up in this house, and her mother was born in this house.

I'm also listening to the incessant trickling of the leaky old toilet which hides in the corner behind a shower curtain. Have I mentioned the French habit of always locating their one and only toilet directly off the kitchen? No need to leave the dinner conversation behind just because you have to wee, or whatever.

I'm struggling to make the best possible use of my free time when all I really want to do is go out back, lie down in the reclining lawn chair, and feel the warm sun on my face and listen to the crickets and birds and occasional, loud, conversation of the neighbors.

They aren't really shouting. Not all of them. It just sounds that way. Especially since I don't really understand what they are saying. But the farmer, a huge man, seems to be hard of hearing so he technically is shouting. For a while I thought he had Tourette's or something, but I'm pretty sure he's just deaf from years of driving tractors. He comes over to visit with our neighbor every morning, has a cup of coffee and shouts at her for fifteen minutes or so, then walks back to his barn.

I love hearing him yell at his cows at milking time.

The neighborhood boy, Theo, isn't hear to pester me since he's at the same camp as Isla. I hope he's being nice.

Ian has gone to Avallon, a nearby town, which I would call a city, but folks around here are very picky about nomenclature--there's hamlet, village, town and city--in Vermont they're all towns, no matter how few or how many people live in them. He's there to find out about insurance. It seems he's always trying to find out about insurance.

It's probably a good thing since I seem to be dying of strep throat. Okay, so I'm not dying, but I've had a debilitating sore throat, and accompanying ear ache, for 10 days now. I've been to the doctor twice and twice have I been instructed to "take ibuprofen and aspirin together, stay away from drafts, and wait it out."

The fact that the doctor actually takes time to chat, despite our language problems, he often consults his French-English dictionary, then only asks for 20 Euros, makes me want to trust him. I told him that in America, I would be charged close to 70 Euros, or is it more, once all was said and done. He put his hands over his ears.

But I'm getting tired of waiting. And I'm tired of wondering how much ibuprofen I can take before my kidneys fail. Anyone know?

In the meantime, you can read about my recent nasty bout with the grass- is- greener syndrome, or was it just your basic case of whinitis?

And, just to prove I am indeed enjoying the moment, or each moment as it comes, I've included some snippets.

One of my favorite views.

You go first.

On the school steps at the end-of-year Kermesse.

Pink roses and pink peeling paint.

Bouquets from Esther.

Yes, they do still make, sell, and wear house dresses in France.

We don't care if it's bedtime. We're not ready to go.

Little girls at the big-kid school.

Ridiculous views.

At the cafe in Auxerre.

Ceramic lettuce head.

A girl and her bear.


Anonymous said...

So jealous of Esther getting to see "Le Tour" - I watch on TV every day and vow that I will go some day, even though I don't speak a word of French!

me said...

Gorgeous photos as usual! So sweet that you get bouquets from your girl!

Emma said...

Oh LOL!!! That photo of the 2 girls together with arms folded is priceless! Hope you feel beter soon Betsy! Sore throats are miserable. Have you tired gargling with an iodine gargle?

Kingsmom said...

Loved the photos. I think you could safely take some time to lie out back in sun. You deserve it.

Ticia said...

I just wanted to tell you about a little home remedie for strep throat I have used for years. Get a can of coke a cola, warm it up, as hot as you can stand it and gargle with it. Some really nasty stuff will come up from your throat. Do that a few times a day. I swear by this , it works every time for me.

Maggie May said...

The pic of the two girls in the field is so pretty! Lovely travels.

Emily said...

so, they still make and wear house dresses...are their waists that tiny?? Oy...

Sounds like you're having a great time, despite the cultural barriers! Much love from this side of the Pond!