Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Buses, Bows and Airplanes

Papy and the children have been very busy. They spent Saturday making a bow out of bamboo for each child, strung tight with a string, they shoot straight and true as any bow. They collected "arrows" from the mowed grain in the field; spiky remnants that were perfect for the job.

Sunday was spent flying a Styrofoam airplane Papy built for them, back and forth they flew it to each other for hours. They swung on the swing-set, did some knitting and reading and played soccer. They also made time to crash two model airplanes over the weekend, one after dark and one in broad daylight.

Puck is so happy with his five birthday Lego sets that he chose to stay home and play with them today. Aragorn has projects of his own; reading up on guitars (he has requested one for his birthday), reading in French and listening to new books on tape, he is home today too. Last I heard from the other house, Arthur was out in the field with his Papy flying a new airplane and the girls were playing "Quatre Chevaux"* with their Mamie.

Our mornings have become more fun since we learned a new skill last week; how to take the town bus. It is incredible that I never hesitate to figure out a transportation system in a big city, but the smaller ones always boggle me. We have lived in the same town for nine years and I have yet to figure out how to get anywhere by public transportation. Part of this is accessibility, in a big city there will be a bus or tube every ten to fifteen minutes, in a smaller one it may be every two hours. Part of it is laziness, I have a car, so I don't need to bother. I am glad to have this under my hat.

Now even Lily, with her sore ankle, can go downtown easily. It is only a fifteen or twenty-minute walk, but that is too much for her. We've been to a doctor visit, to the market, shopping for a swim suit, and today, Lily, Puck and Arthur came with me just to toodle around for an hour or two. I love the independence it gives me, the children love to be downtown. For such a little town, the center is big and lively; full of shops and people and cafes. What a change from our hometown where the only place people gather is inside a mall. If the weather cools down we may make it yet to the library. It is only open from 4:30 to 6pm on odd days, so it has been a challenge. There is a new exhibit of sculptures in the streets we are enjoying, and I know there is an art museum around here somewhere as well. It is so much easier to convince them to have a "diablo menthe"** than to seek out a museum, but there is much to be learned as well sitting at a sidewalk cafe with the world going by and the adults chatting.

*Quatre Chevaux is a board game Pierre played when he was small, his parents have taught a new generation to play.

**Diablo menthe is the kids' favorite cafe drink; it's fizzy lemon-lime water poured over and mixed with mint syrup. It's bright green and they only get one bright green drink per day here, dang it.


  1. Oh what beautiful days you are having there! You are so lucky to have such amazing inlaws :D How often do you travel to France and how often do they come to the US? Such lucky kids and an amazing family! I'm so enjoying coming along on your adventures and hope Lily's foot heals soon!

  2. Hi Jen,

    Not often enough! The last time we were all here...well, we weren't, since Puck had not been born yet, it was four and a half years ago. Two years ago my in-laws came for a visit, two and a half years ago Pierre had to go to France for his job and I packed up a couple of kids for him to drop off at the grandparents while he worked in another city.

    When we had 2 children, we managed the trip more often. Now that we have five, all out of diapers, we are determined to find a way to come a little more often, quick before they all grow up!

    If it does not happen, we will have had this incredible opportunity and we will have made the most of it, every day.

    Thank you, Lily's foot was sore but is looking better each old mama's muscles are another story!




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