Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Sweet nothings

The first thing Tess did when she entered the house was walk straight to the piano, sit down, and begin to play Hot Cross Buns.
Our first night home we walked down the street to Meg and Chris' house. Their two kids, Emily and Edan, are best pals of our two kids. We ordered a couple of pizzas and ate them out of the box while sitting on the backyard deck. The hug has taken the place of the bisous. Tess and Colm spent a year acquiring the habit of kissing people on the cheeks hello and goodbye, already that has fallen out of use, though not quite out of memory. When they are approached by someone I can see them lift up their faces a bit reflexively in anticipation of the ritual kiss. But it never happens here. One morning while staying at Tanya's house in Portland, we received a visit from a young girls. Tanya was extremely conscientious (by American standards) about introducing her to everyone, adults and children alike, yet there was very little movement. People smiled, nodded hello from where they were. It was all over in half the time it would take in France. I miss that ritual.
We had homemade chicken tacos for dinner last night... and then raspberry milkshakes for dessert...ummm - talk about comfort food. Nearly all the ingredients came from the local Saturday market where the vendors are also the people who grow and produce the stuff they sell. A group of local musicians played bluegrass music while people milled about in the market square. I'm starting to see that double take that people do when they realize it's me they're looking at. I had a welcome home message on my phone from a student (Tess's piano teacher), someone I wish we could have packed in one of our suitcases and brought along with the family. The kids love going downstairs and opening boxes we stored down there...it's a bit like Christmas as they remember toys and books and clothes they used to have. Tess and Colm keep saying, "I remember this!"
We've had a very soft landing here...even my visits to DMV, the insurance office, the bank, the telephone company, and the supermarket have had a personal and friendly touch them.
We took the kids to the public pool yesterday to try to combat the heat. The water was like bath water.

A bit later as we were leaving, Beth mused aloud over how the kids were probably going to miss the pool we so enjoyed at our house in France. Colm heard this and immediately spoke up.
"But we have a pool!"

God love his sunny optimism.


Anonymous erin said...

Ahhhhh... Home. I liked thinking about you all in France, but I really like thinking about you in La Grande. Hope I can come see you soon!

7:52 PM  

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