What could be more Canadian than combining red & white?
What could be more French than lavender?
Put them together and you have the story of our life…
This year, when potting up a small fig tree I rooted, I opted to surround the base with red & white petunias. Such a vibrant contrast was going to be my little nod to home. I’d taken lots of cuttings from the two mother petunia plants & figured I’d fill several flower boxes in time for July 1st (Canada Day). Alas, the snails & slugs made quick work of the poor, defenseless cuttings and only a couple survived.
The potted fig is in a spot surrounded by several lavender plants… also started from rooted cuttings.
Like this image… our life is a place where cultures collide… France and Canada connect…
France & Canada Connect
It hit home to me again when I was watching a short excerpt of the Olympics’ opening ceremony. I watched the French team enter the arena and I found myself getting a little emotional.
(I didn’t even see the Canadian team enter… just a photo. How bizarre.)
I’m more aware of French politics than I am of Canadian politics
Our family makes the odd mistake in English now… we’ll make the same mistakes that French speakers make when speaking English. (“I took an appointment.” (from the French “prendre rendez-vous) as opposed to “I MADE an appointment.”)
We even kind of forgot that it was July 1st until later in the day… and we didn’t drape the Canadian flag over the window rail like we had at other times. (In all fairness, we kind of missed Bastille Day, July 14th, as well… celebrations were muted here because of Covid).
Living abroad for this long surely comes with its unique-ness!
Dominic’s Back in France
If you follow the kids on Instagram, you’ll already be well aware that Dominic is back with us in France.
He arrived 2 weeks ago after an overnight bus from Madrid to Bordeaux, a 5-hour wait, then a relatively quick train ride back to Châtellerault.
In true ‘young person’ fashion… he made the absolute most of his final few days with the church folks there and, as a result, only slept something like 8 hours in three days.
As a result… he went to bed early Monday evening and slept for a full 16 hours before waking the next day.
You can see here that he’s getting a warm and enthusiastic bear-hug from Timo. He’s also opening the birthday-care package that Liz had sent in late May. It went round and round the Spanish postal system before coming back to us here in France… a month and a half after having been mailed!!
It’s 3-strikes you’re out with the Spanish postal service!
He was able to catch his breath for about a week before starting a 1-month summer job at a local bank. He is thrilled to be earning a bit of pocket money to make up for what he spent in Spain! It’s a great opportunity for him!
Last Sunday following service, just about everyone stayed afterward and we picnicked in the back yard of the church.
The man that we baptized a last month, along with his family, drive roughly 1.5hrs to come to church and usually pack a lunch to eat somewhere along the drive home.
Last weekend, knowing that they did this, we suggested that as many as wanted to, bring their own picnic and we’d be able to all eat together in a time of fellowship. It was a great way to spend a bit of extra time together and get to know one another better.
It was truly a wonderful time and it amazed me how easily this new family integrated into the church body and fellowship happened so naturally.
I started out taking some of the younger kids for little tractor rides around the property and soon, Timo was asking to take over (he does a MEAN job mowing the church yard!)
It wasn’t long, however, before all of the smaller kids had had their turn and Timo offered his services to some of the older ones…
Dominic was the first to take him up on the offer… note the laughter!
We got home sometime between 3:00 and 3:30pm, ready for a Sunday afternoon nap, after having been in the sun during the hottest hours of the day… not to mention carrying church responsibilities in the morning.
I’ll say it again… a truly wonderful day!
On the Homefront…
Once back home it’s nice to settle into our little corner of the world… just about everything we planted is coming up nicely and thriving. We’ve had a decent amount of rain the past couple of weeks and things are only now beginning to get hot (whereas June was already taxingly hot in years past).
The one thing that did put a bit of a downer on the week was that our 14 year-old car gave us a couple of headaches and there’s a possibility that the cost of repair could surpass the value of the car itself. It wouldn’t be surprising if that were the case and while there’s never a convenient time to have to consider changing vehicles, this one has served us well over the 200K km (125K miles) we’ve put on it in the past 6.5 years.
Oh dear… let’s see how things go.
A Special Occasion…
…is coming up this week… and I’ll tell you more about it next week.
Until then, Thank you for stopping by. Allow what you read, to inform your prayers for us and for France.