I made allusion, last week, to the fact that I’ve got a longer post coming. There are some things I’m mulling over and haven’t quite gotten there yet… it’ll be a bit of a “shout to the wind” post and I want to be half-wise coherent.
It’s been a bit of a watershed year and a half or so (Missions, indeed the life of Faith, isn’t always a cake-walk) … and we’re not out of the woods as yet.
While I’m working my way through that though… let me share with you our Saturday. It was a wonderful, feel good day in many ways and one that did me a whole lot of good, even though it involved a whole lot of waiting.
Bible School Saturday
Bible School Saturdays used to mean driving up Friday, teaching, then back on Saturday. Since I stepped back from that last year though, Dominic has begun as a student and his work schedule means that he frequently works late on Fridays. By the time he’s done, there are no trains, and he’d be too tired to drive himself (before a day of classes). As a result, I drive him and we leave around 4:00am (in time for his 7:30am start time). This time though, I had extra company: Sophie, Timo & Melanie Majdling, from Bordeaux.
We dropped the boys off (Timo was going to spend some time with friends) and made our way out to Versailles since we had the whole day ahead of us. We got there just as the sun was breaking the horizon and were surprised at the thick land fog that enveloped the city. It gave the city a mysterious feel.
I love the way the light plays through the majestic tree-lined boulevards and lights up the incredible architecture.
Since it’s Versailles (still associated with wealth), we also just randomly walked by a bright red Ferrari, parked nonchalantly on the side of the road. It was slightly ghetto to be honest… If I had a bright red Ferrari, I hope I’d also have private parking somewhere as well. 😂
We managed to find free parking (a rarity in Versailles. Otherwise… it runs around 35€ / 4h), and as we made our way toward the Palace’s main entrance, we saw a couple of signs that chilled our enthusiasm: “Due to strike, the palace is closed”.
*Ugh! Quell the voice of disdain in my brain*
(No people on earth strike the French… I’m convinced.)
We tried scaling the gates (photo below) but to no avail. If the French Revolution taught them any-thing, it was this: “Build taller gates”. We tried looking for other solutions… but none revealed themselves immediately.
While the gals contemplated the closed gate, I walked down to take a picture of good ol’ King Louis XIV on his trusty steed.
Quite a picture really… so simple in its composition, but so powerful at the same time… the softer edges of the tree-lined boulevard, marked with the clear dominance of the equestrian statue of the Sun King. I’m sure he’d be proud of how it turned out.
I’d texted Liz to let her know that plans had gotten up-ended and as we were wondering “What now?” … she texted back “Is there a Starbucks?” What a treat! There was, and only about a 7-min walk away.
Starbucks is an absolute rarity since the closest one to Châtellerault is about an hour away.
I got one more pic of the statue, from a different angle. I was going for a certain look (which I didn’t quite achieve), but wound up instead with something that looked like he was getting ready to throw a fireball… the King was channeling his inner Avenger.
Another Change of Plans…
Round about the time we were finishing our coffee & breakfast treats, we got a call…
Timo had been forgotten by the friends he was supposed to have been hanging with. After a 3h wait, he was not impressed and decided to come back to Châtellerault with us, rather than spending a few days.
We made the hour-long drive back as quickly as we could to try quelling the disappointment.
By now it was lunchtime and our strapping lad was particularly famished. Admittedly… we were ready to eat as well, and since there’s no place to cheer spirits and eat well than a 50’s burger joint… we headed to one.
Our mission, for the rest of the day, was to lift the spirits of one great kid. So after lunch, we kept ourselves occupied while awaiting the end of Dominic’s day.
The last place we ended up was Blandy-les-Tours, a tiny village about a 15min drive from Melun. There’s a fortified castle at the center of the village, built between the 13th and 14th centuries. While it wasn’t open at this time of year, it remains a cool little spot to take in sights and stretch your legs.
Easy to Please…
In the end… despite the various changes in plans… it was a really wonderful day.
I rarely get to spend time with my kids just hanging out, with no particular plan or schedule, away from the house (where it’s easy for everyone to be doing their own thing). We joked, we laughed, and we acted the fool just enough to laugh a little more.
It doesn’t take much, in the end… simple pleasures (even better when unexpected) are enough.
p.s. In the end Timo will head down to Bordeaux for a couple of days instead of spending time up north… so he’s still a happy camper!
Thanks for sharing our Saturday.
The other post is still in the works, but it’ll be a little less cheerful overall… so it feels good to share something positive today.
I love ythe misty pictures-so glad you got Timo . I am sure he was too! delightful day as all turned out well. You all make a lot of sweet memories-good for you! Michele
Thanks Michele… I’m a lover of the mists as well. It adds such drama to pictures. Yeah, we managed to redeem his day!
I love those days when the time spent with our offspring is an unexpected treat to treasure 🙂 it seems it is the time of year for mist as we have had some unexpected quite heavy mist here on a few early mornings 🙂
You’re so right Carol. As they get older, those times are a little fewer and further between, so they become sweeter and sweeter. Remind me Carol… where is ‘here’ for you? I’d initially assumed the UK, but then something I read, somewhere left me with the impression that you were elsewhere on the grand ol’ blue orb.
Thailand is my home, Mike…but I have family around the world…I am lucky that one of my sons and his family live with us …Thais live as families it is the norm the grandparents look after the children while their children work and as the grandparents age they in turn are looked after by their children all one happy family and it works…we could learn a lot from them 🙂
Ah yes… I love that. When I was a kid, growing up in eastern Canada, the “far grandparents” lived about 2h away. My dad’s parents lived on the same street, about 6-7 houses down, so the notion of a fairly nuclear family was pretty much the norm… we were always right there for each other regardless of the need. As the world has gotten smaller and we’ve traveled more (both our families are good examples of that), we’ve lost one or two of those little things along the way. We’re thankful that our kids aren’t in a hurry to head to lands abroad (at least at this point). 😅
Yes I had grandparents about an hour away and one just a few doors away so its quite the norm for us…There is always time and travel is so easy now, Mike as you probably know all mine are well travelled and it opens minds as well…:)