For a long while, the keys to the house in France have been buried in a basket in our junk drawer in the kitchen. Surrounded by rubber bands, measuring tapes, foreign coins, and packets of soy sauce, they have just been another idle, unusable item that sits and waits for its time.
It's a really long story--the story why my dad, my brother, and my uncle purchased the old family home in the French Pyrenees. Nostalgia is probably the best explanation--a strong sense of home, even though we're a hundred years removed. Kind of a romantic, immigrant tale. I'm not complaining!
It's just that France is so far.
The last time we traveled there as a family I was five months pregnant with our littlest. The littlest is now almost nine. But guess what?
We've saved our pennies for all these years, and now we're planning for two and a half weeks abroad. A few days in England, to gather the oldest who is studying there. Then across the channel to Normandy, then south. All the way south. As-far-as-you-can-go-south. And God willing, we'll be celebrating Christmas in Les Aldudes, a village of 300 beautiful souls, plus the sheep. (If you want to join us, here's a home for rent :) )
Those keys that have been in that junk drawer now hang from our baker's rack, in anticipation of old wooden doors, and unused locks. The heat will be turned on--the house will once again have lights that glow through the windows at night, and we simply can't wait.
Long ago, when I was just 18 and spent a Christmas with my French cousins who lived there, I had the most glorious Christmas ever. Two magical three-hour meals, the whole town crowded into the village church to sing, morning walks, and not one present under the Christmas tree. In fact, there was no Christmas tree!
Can you imagine?
Published: October 28, 2014 | Filed under: Far