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

Thursday, October 16, 2014

40 years of adventure

Diana 01Today is the 221st anniversary of the death of the Queen of France Marie Antoinette.  Forty years ago, not only was that not foremost in my mind, I wasn't even aware of such a historical date.  As you can see, I was on my way to the hospital to give birth to my second daughter.

Yes, today another one of my kids turns 40.  While that was one of my own most exciting birthdays, as I was starting my new life in France, my kids don't seem to understand they are not allowed to do that.

It makes me feel old, and I don't like that!

Diana 02
Camping in Key West, Florida
Diana 03
Oldest and youngest
Diana's life has never involved anything normal typical.  She started out by going camping with her family and her grandparents when she was only five days old, then at two months she drove the whole East Coast from South Florida to New Hampshire to see her great-grandmother, who had just celebrated her 96th birthday herself.

Diana 04
Yum yum
Diana 05
This is my look, and I'm keeping it!
As a baby, she was totally unlike her big sister.  While her sister fed rock food to her beloved stuffed animals, Diana couldn't be bothered with fake animals, she preferred to dine with the living cats instead.  At only half a year old, she was already becoming the Master of Dirty Looks, a title she retained her whole childhood.  When you got the Evil Eye, you were totally aware!

Diana 06
I'm too young for this boo-boo
Not only did she climb out of her crib before she could walk, she started walking by nine months.  While she had no fear of anything, she got set back a little by sitting behind the neighbor's car just before the neighbor drove away.  Fortunately for her and everybody else, the wheels straddled her, and she only ended up with a broken leg from being flattened faster than she could unbend. It actually was rather amusing to see the grease stripe down her back, which really wasn't funny at all.
Diana 07
Such a cute couple
That wasn't the end of her weird maladies.  She broke her pinky finger hanging onto a friend while they jumped into a swimming pool at camp when she was in grade school, she developed some odd growth syndrome mostly boys get, she has shingles, and now she has thyroid problems and Graves disease, something that is usually hereditary, while there doesn't seem to be a single family member with anything remotely similar.

On a happier note, she got to be a flower girl next to a really cute ring bearer.  Not only did Mom make the wedding cake, but Mom also had to copy the bought bridal party dresses so she'd match.  Not one of Mom's talents in the slightest!  But didn't she (and he) turn out adorable?

Diana 08
The big nounou
Diana 09
Always a goddess

For her Sweet Sixteen birthday, or thereabouts, she got to move to France. 

Her first summer, she got to go on vacation to a French resort as a babysitter, including taking the urchins on the train to the South of France.  With the family, she got to tour Munich, where she had a great time being a goddess at the Temple of Diana.

Diana 10
The Ugly Duckling, by Milne
Diana 11
Sorry, Wrong Number
While in high school in France, she managed to star in several plays, an opportunity she would not have had in Florida.  Our French neighbors even went to see her perform a couple of times.  Not only did she perform leading roles, she also participated in set design.

Diana 12
The Importance of Being Earnest
Diana 13
Earnestly being important

Diana 14
Class of 1992

Despite informing her teachers on major exams that they asked ridiculous questions, she did manage to graduate.  She had managed to stay at the top of her class while in Florida, and she ended up being the valedictorian equivalent in France. 

She went to an American section of a French school (not many other Americans, most of them went to the official American School), and as part of the course, they did an American style graduation ceremony, which isn't French at all.

Diana 16
On turning 30
Diana 17
Birth year Armagnac
After graduation, she left home and went back to the US for university, then continued to make her life there, eventually starting her own business as a massage therapist.  To celebrate her big 3-0, she visited us down in the South of France for the first time and brought several friends. 

Diana 15
Last pose before leaving home
Diana 18
Ten years later, to celebrate the big 4-0, she and her friends will take a trip together a bit closer to home.  It would have been nice to see her ourselves, but this kid full of surprises surprised us again by coming over last Thanksgiving.  For which we will be thankful, until the next visit, when or wherever that may be.

For the child who always felt like she suffered with the dreaded Middle Child Syndrome, I think she's managed to lead quite a life.

Happy Fortieth Birthday, Nana!


  1. We had a nice visit in NH with Diana as she represented her grandmother's line of the Craig Family at our little reunion!

  2. Happy birthday, baby girl!

    At first I thought that camping photo was supposed to be you with a baby doll, and I thought it odd how much you looked like me. Then I actually read it, and realized you were the "doll" and the little girl really was me. Ha!

  3. Happy Birthday,Diana! And congratulations mom & dad for raising a splendid young woman!


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