Friends have emailed me recently asking when we’re returning to the United States. I looked back at this blog and realized that I’ve been remiss. Let me catch you up, we’re not. At least not to live. Not yet.
After a year in Paris, I said we’d be moving to Ireland, but we didn’t.
After two years in Paris, I said we were moving home, but we aren’t.
Next year, I assume friends, family and readers of this blog will not believe anything I say. Let’s agree to that now.
In fairness, the challenge of moving home is not trivial. Yes, we have boxes stashed in our son’s basement, but they contain nothing more relevant to daily life than a cornucopia of outtakes from Antiques Roadshow: A hand-painted sled that once belonged to my father. A box of century-old Christmas ornaments. My grandmother’s framed marriage license. A three-foot tall Santa Claus dressed like a cowboy.
What we lack is anything practical: Pans. Towels. Cutlery. In short, we own nothing sold at Bed Bath & Beyond.
So here we stand at a cross roads, or maybe it’s a stalemate. Moving back requires a level of investment that feels permanent. Onerous. I’m not ready for that.
All those plans I shared here have changed as well. Three months in Italy have shrunk to three weeks. The mission to find Charity Bird is on hold. As is the western road trip.
Of course all of this assumes that our application for another year of French residency is approved. No worries. Come January, I’ll be armed with every document they might request, plus a fist-full of contingency plans.
In the meantime, my pilgrimage to Paris continues. With the life of Louis XIV complete, tomorrow I will head to Versailles. It will be me and seven and a half hours of audio guide content. I’ll scamper out before dawn and slouch home after sunset.
We will celebrate Thanksgiving with our neighbors, Mark and Mary. Bouba will roast the turkey. I’ve already procured the cranberry sauce. My cheese man will select something celebratory–a pâté perhaps. My wine man will scrunch his face as he contemplates what to pair with rotisserie turkey. Next Thursday, Parisians will scurry off to work while a sliver of American tradition is reenacted on Rue Ternaux.
After that, I’ve scheduled a handful of overnight trips: London to see Hamilton. Lille to try a friend’s newest restaurant. Épernay to sip champagne at the Christmas festival.
My current mantra is: Keep Calm and Stick to Two-Hour Train Trips.
Of course, we’ll fly home for the holidays. There, a south Philly row home will be festooned with antique Christmas ornaments and a cowboy Santa. I can’t wait.
Categories: Life in Paris