Though technically this is not my first post of the new year (see my post on Chenonceau Castle, January 1st), it’s really my first regularly-scheduled… somewhat ‘normal’ post of the new year.

Say WHAT!? … 😱

Oh dear, things are not improving over the last half of last year…

Nevertheless… let me bring you up to date a little bit, since we’re both here after all…

Let me start by giving you news about the kids and their gallivanting…

Dominic… back to Madrid

The first weekend of January saw us down to Bordeaux to see Dominic off. He was headed back to do another internship in Madrid, Spain. (You’ll recall that he spent 2 months there last summer.)

This time ’round, it was just a one month stay and I can tell you that he was extremely excited to go back. He did his internship with a different company, one that manufactured & marketed elevators, and the work was a bit more interesting than during last year’s internship.

He was also glad to be back with the church in Madrid as he’d made numerous and great friendships there last year. It’s sooooo much easier to go someplace new when you can immediately surround yourself with people of like, precious faith.

He’s already been back for 2 weeks now, as you’ll see below.

Sophie… off to Bucharest, Romania

Just two days after Dominic’s return from Spain, we did a quick up & back to Charles-de-Gaulle airport, north of Paris for Sophie’s departure to Romania.

It was a bit brutal because Liz & Soph were leaving on a 9:50am flight, which meant arriving at the airport before 8:00am. Well… morning traffic in Paris is such that you do NOT want to cut things close by any stretch of the imagination. So we left Châtellerault at 2:30am and arrived shortly after 6:00am.

Driving to and through Paris at that time is a dream. We were able to stay on cruise control pretty much the entire time as there were so few on the roads.

Because of ongoing Covid restrictions, we found out, upon arrival, that only travelling passengers were able to enter the terminal meaning that our planned coffee & croissants together could not happen. (😩)

Since there was no use sticking around the (exorbitantly priced) parking lot, the boys and I hit the road. Crossing Paris (which had taken us 30min coming up), took us a full two hours, but we were home by noon (and napping by 12:05).

Liz went with Soph to help her get settled in and since Soph had taken a slightly larger room in the university residence, the two were able to stay together… like two sorority girls!

They were able to get the lay of the land, stock the room with groceries and make it a little bit homey, find their way to church and spend some quality time together.

She will spend the next 5 months attending the University of Bucharest, doing courses in languages, in line with her degree here in France.

At present, they are doing courses from a distance, so there will be little on-campus interaction for the time being. That’s a bit of a disappointment to Soph, but we’ll see how things progress. Romania has one of the lowest vaccination rates in Europe, so they’re playing the caution card.

Boys at Home

With Liz & Soph gone, it meant that things at the house were a little “loose” shall we say. We ate well enough (though not nearly as well as when Liz is home) and on Sunday… Dominic & Timo made up the entire worship team at church – Dominic leading while playing guitar. This was a first for him and he did a terrific job.

They also had an in-person youth meeting on the weekend as well… the first in a long time. Soph beamed in from Romania and one of Dominic’s friends beamed in from home, but other than that they were here at the house and another of Dominic’s friends joined in as well. Great stuff!

Mama Returns

Liz flew back on Wednesday. Her noon-ish flight was rescheduled, meaning that she would depart Bucharest around 6:00am. This, in turn, meant a departure from the university residence at around 3:00am. (UGH! what’s with these early morning, no-sleep departures!?)

The nice surprise, though, was that I was supposed to have been teaching all day, requiring Liz to take a taxi home from the train station. Upon arrival at the campus in Poitiers however, I found out that all classes had been cancelled due to a water main break…. so I was free for the day.

(It was like waking up to a snow day back home.)

I didn’t tell Liz and was waiting at the train station with a bouquet of flowers in hand (*insert sappy, stereotypical movie scene here*). She was glad of the surprise and glad to not have to ‘arrange’ the final leg of her homeward journey.


So… that’s a very quick catch-up for the first several weeks of 2022.

Thanks for stopping by today!

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