* Between The Sea (the Med) and The Alps -- {Pronounce: ontruh la mair eh lay zalp}

Sunday, August 24, 2014

When a family restarts life

24 Years 1

When we were young, we moved all over up and down the East Coast of the US, searching advancement with better jobs.  When we ended up staying a whole 11 years in one spot in Florida, that was amazing. 

Then we made another move in 1990 that changed our lives completely.  On this date 24 years ago, our family minus one arrived in France.  With absolutely no idea what that would mean for our futures.

(We had just come back from a graduation trip to Saint Martin in the Caribbean.)

24 Years 2
Always changing cultures with a Mayflower

Our family history involves a couple of Europeans (English) coming across the Atlantic on the famous Mayflower.  After ten generations, our personal family trekked back across the ocean using the Mayflower moving company.  Quite appropriate, I would say.

24 Years 3
The sun sets on the old life

When the sun set on our American life, we didn't know it would be permanent.  Not only have we been in this country for 24 years, we have now been in our second location, in the South of France, for 11 years, the same amount of time we thought we'd lived a lifetime in Florida.  Amazing how time perspectives change as the years go by.

While we were a family of five Stateside, we were only a family of four starting our new life in Paris, having taken our eldest to Florida State University.  We left on a Thursday night, we arrived on a Friday morning.  I can picture it like it was yesterday.  We won't mention how a certain offspring left a suitcase at the information desk at the airport, which ended up shutting down the entire terminal for security.  NOT the way one expects to commence a new adventure.

24 Years 8
Down to a family of four
One of the first things we did, based on somebody's advice, was to search a restaurant on Montmartre, a very touristic area but which also later became one of my favorite spots in Paris.  Our Florida kids looked around and commented on how it all looked like Disney World!  As for me, I kept setting the dinner table for five, even though the fifth one had never been in that house.

24 Years 4
On the Iron Lady

Before school started, we just had to see Paris from an Eiffel Tower's viewpoint.  It was impossible to comprehend that this city was what we would now be calling home. 

24 Years 5
Our new home!

Such a fantastic experience being up there; amazing how many visitors we later took up there so that the experience almost became ho-hum.

Of course, nothing ever works as planned, including our paperwork, and the moving company wouldn't release our container.  We arrived in August with our year-round suitable Florida clothes, we didn't get anything warmer until December (including household items and furniture).  We borrowed coats; but the day our container arrived, it snowed (which it apparently hadn't done for several years).  So there we were in our borrowed coats and summer sneakers, standing out in the snow.

24 Years 7
Finally!  A real bed!
24 Years 6
It snows in Paris?

There probably wasn't anything that went as planned or expected or anticipated in the beginning, but the memories remain rather fabulous.  That must have been reality, because 24 years later, we are still here.  Both by choice and ability.  And we have absolutely no regrets at how that aspect of life turned out.  Ah, fantastic memories.


  1. Ha! I forgot how curly my hair was back then. I still have that blue shirt, too. I use it for pajamas now as it is, ahem, slightly more snug than when I wore it for this photo.

  2. I can never remember how many years ago you moved there!! Wow! Happy 24th living in France Anniversary!!

  3. And we continue to live in the same house, happily anticipating never moving, ever! You are far more adventurous than we are! Seriously? 24 years! And look at all you've seen and done. Best choice for you guys, I think!


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