Monday, June 04, 2007

weekend on the run

This weekend we were busy, busy, busy! It's not very often that we're on the run like that, but there was a lot going on.

First up, on Saturday afternoon, we went to the in-law's for coffee to meet Stéph's German aunt and uncle. A little background for you: my mother-in-law immigrated to France with her mother and two sisters from Germany at the end of the war when she was six years old. They left behind two (or three?) sisters in Germany. The confusing part is no one's really sure why, so we just kind of acknowledge and move on. So my MIL and one of her sisters in Germany have either kept in contact or got back in contact, and now visit each other. Difficulty: German sister doesn't speak French and MIL only speaks very basic German. Fun, no?

So when we got there, MIL had run to the store, so it was me, Stéph, my father-in-law and the Germans. As soon as we established that we had no language at all in common (I managed to try a "sprechen Sie Englisch?" but got a "nein" back) we all just sort of sat down and looked around the room for a while. Finally MIL came back and we were able to talk a little, sharing pictures of the family in Germany over coffee and tea. We were soon joined by baby C and her parents, which was great but I'm sorry to say that C was terrified of Stéph's very-much-due-for-a-trim, scary beard. She was ok just staring at him from a distance with wide eyes, but when her father put her in Stéph's lap, she decided she didn't like it At All. Very funny stuff. Happily, C still likes me but she must be wondering what I'm doing hanging out with such a great hairy beast! (tee hee)

After running a bunch of errands downtown, we made it home by supper time and I got back to work. Work? Why yes! That's because we were off to see Doc and baby Mélanie Sunday afternoon and I finished up her gifts just in time!

monica tank topanouk girl's pinafore
Ta da! More about the knitting here.

It was so just in time that the pinafore was still damp when I presented it to Doc! Anyway, baby Mélanie is just lovely, and Doc and I left the boys with the baby for a while so Doc could step outside and get some fresh air. The Au Pair That's Better Than Yours and I chased after the older kids under the shade of a big lovely tree and had a nice chat before Stéph called down to me from Doc's room to tell me it was time to go. It was rather like having Mom calling you in to dinner! Well, we did have an hour's drive home and it was getting late. By the way, Doc and Mélanie could be home as soon as today, so keep an eye out for them!

On the way home, Stéph suggested we stop for a cool drink, so about fifteen minutes out from St. Dizier we found a little brasserie with lots of tables in the shade. After the woman took our order, Stéph said to me that she had an accent from Eastern Europe. When she came back with our drinks, Stéph actually asked her where she was from! She said she was from the Ukraine and then asked where Stéph was from! (tee hee!) Actually she was very friendly and once we established that we were both Strangers in a Strange Land we had a nice little chat and she did everything except sit down with us! Then when we went inside to pay we met the rest of the family - her sister who has been here for twenty years and the other relatives that came later - and had another nice chat. It was a really nice little family run business and if it weren't so far away I'd be very tempted to go back and try some of their Russian and Ukrainian specialties. In any case I enjoyed myself very much with the little chat; that's one of the things I really miss about the States. If you catch me on a good day I could sit and listen to any old life story and plenty of Americans are more than willing to tell you theirs. You'd be surprised what you can learn!

Well, if you've made it down this far, you may just be as exhausted as we were when we finally got home last night. This week should be nice and quiet, with a lot of catching up to do, since I left everything at the wayside to get those gifts done. Plus, I think I'm gonna need a nap later!

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