September 08, 2004

FRANCE

When I was 18, my grandmother gave me an address for a distant relative in France and asked me to write to him. He and I corresponded for two years, and then when I lived in France, I went and met him and his brother. I returned a few months later with my mother and uncle, at which point they rolled out the red carpet in our ancestral village and we drank champagne with the mayor. After a disappointing year of study in France, I came home, changed my career goals and really felt bitter towards all things French, even my distant family. However, I wrote a month ago about how this kind man passed away recently and how I regretted letting politics get in the way of family. So Mom and I packed up and went.

First of all, I can't believe it takes five hours to drive across an entire country. My husband and I lived five hours apart while we were dating! Mom and I traversed all of Germany and crossed the border to find a freaking plethora of roundabouts. I had forgotten how much the French love their roundabouts. (Unfortunately, on the way there, Mom and I took three lefts off these roundabouts and ended back up in Germany!) We made it safe and sound back to see the family I had neglected for so long.

And the reunion was a wonderful one. My French was a little rusty, but one of my "cousins" had worked for a year in the US, so he helped with the translations. We ate, we chatted, we met even more extended family, we ate some more, we hugged, we laughed, and we ate again. They invited me for Christmas, and I just might consider it.

I swore I'd never set foot in France again, but I'm glad I went.

Posted by: Sarah at 04:19 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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1 Family has a way of doing that to you, if you have a nice family. Spent labor day myself at an uncles in chicago, good times had by all.

Posted by: John at September 08, 2004 06:56 AM (crTpS)

2 Hi Sarah, I have been faithfully reading your blog nearly every day. Anyway, that is neither here nor there. I am so excited that you went back to see the French family, so to speak. Granny will be very happy to hear about it. It sounds like you saw cousin Thomas? I hope he is well. I remember sitting at the "dinner table" (ok, a picnic table on the side porch) with you and Russ, and Thomas and his sister, I think? Love you, Kate

Posted by: Kate at September 08, 2004 03:02 PM (L2+yu)

3 As an Aussie, the notion that you could take a wrong turn and end up in a different country is wonderfully amusing. Sounds like you and your Mom are having a great time!

Posted by: Pixy Misa at September 09, 2004 07:14 AM (+S1Ft)

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