The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Trip of a Lifetime

       In exactly two weeks, I'll be winging off on a trip of a lifetime. The destination, as well as the company, makes it so monumental.

      I'll be going to southern France--a small village outside of Pau--and my daughter and granddaughter will be going with me. (My daughter said she is not going to return... she is sure she will be so in love with France, she'll want to stay forever. However, she know Jason will insist that their daughter returns. That will be a tear-filled au revoir...)

      This is my fourth trip (and surprisingly, never to Paris). On my first trip, I went by myself to visit my French sister. (She lived with my family for a year--through AFS-- when I was a senior in high school.)  On my second trip, I took my son. (At fourteen, he discovered how delicious sangria and all alcoholic liquids were.)  On my third trip, I went with a high school friend who was the Charmaine in the Virginie and Sioux threesome.

      This time, it's going to be two weeks to languish over lunch for several hours--every day--as we talk and laugh and relax and drink. It's going to be time spent at the beach with Virginie's older brother Olivier (who is also my older brother--if life allowed us to choose our own family members). It's going to be two weeks of savoring life and taking the time to enjoy every moment... with the three women in my family I love the most.

     Here are a couple pictures I took on an earlier trip (I would post more, but blogger is being persnickety):

This was taken in the Basque region, which straddles France and Spain
in the middle of the Pyrenees. Those are strung dried peppers
hanging on the upper story of the shop.

Those are the Pyrenees looming in the distance.

Last summer I worked to save the money for the airplane tickets. This summer, I worked (am working--I have one more week) so we would have spending money--money to perhaps rent a car. (Virginie is taking a week off. The other week, we might tool around the countryside during the day while she's at work.) Money to buy groceries. Money to keep our cameras' battery habit satiated...

Luckily, I am fluent in French. I can say, "I'm thirsty." I used to be able to ask in French, "Does this water taste like sh**?" I know what "Ca va?" means and can respond appropriately. ("Ca va.") I know how to say "My name is Sioux," and "Do you speak English?" and "sh**" in French. Beyond that, I'm clueless.

So I'm counting on my nine-year old granddaughter. She's going to be our translator. She and my daughter have some app on their phone (duolingo, I think) and even though they just recently downloaded it, she's picking it up quickly.

Out of the mouths of babes... will hopefully come the phrase, "Where is the toilet?" when we need it. 

What are your plans for the rest of the summer? And if you're retired, don't rub in the fact that the rest of your life is one long summer season... 'cause I don't want to hear it.

Monday, June 29, 2015

A Face Only a Mudder Would Love

Believe it or not, this is a golden retriever. Actually, he's quite a handsome golden, but with all the rain we've been getting, he becomes a mud puppy... every time he goes outside.

         Some people complain about their dogs not wanting to go outside when it's raining. Sometimes, I wish I had that problem. Once Radar's out for five minutes, he might as well be out for five hours, because after a few minutes, it would be impossible for him to get any muddier...

         This dog loves the water and loves the mud. 
         When he comes in from prancing and galloping in the raindrops and digging in the mud, he's covered from nose to tail with mud... and has a face only a mother would love.

        It makes me wonder if my WIP is the same. Will I be the only one who loves it (or likes it slightly)? Will I think it's a seamless, entertaining and moving story... but no one else will have the same opinion? Right now I'm up to 65,000 words, but have reached a crucial point in the storyline. Will I muck it up? Or, will I be able to successfully navigate around the obstacles so that--eventually--I'll be able to finish it?

       Only time will tell...

       What story do you have about a pet or a kid who did something--and only you were able to laugh about it?