Fête des Pères

In case any of you were concerned – don’t worry – I was shown just as much love on Father’s day as was shown on la Fete des Meres.  The kids started asking on Friday if it was Fathers day, and if they could give me the presents they had made in school. In contrast to Mothers Day – the celebrating of Dad’s is the same day in France as it is in North America.  The kids couldn’t even wait until after breakfast – not to mention any thought of waiting until we got home from church – to give me what they had made.  I was instructed to sit on the couch – and open presents.  The whole thing is quite touching.  Yes -they made things that they were given time and instructions to make in school – but the excitement, the anticipation that they show – they so desperately want to show me what they’ve made.  They also all insisted on making breakfast. 

I was reminded the other day of how as a Christian perhaps the most fundamental thing I have to do as a Dad, is to be a bearer of the fatherly love that God has for all his children. It’s scary and encouraging at the same time – but it also helps me to understand how natural an outpouring of love – like what my kids show me, really should be for all of us.

Fête des Pères

In case any of you were concerned – don’t worry – I was shown just as much love on Father’s day as was shown on la Fete des Meres.

The kids started asking on Friday if it was Fathers day, and if they could give me the presents they had made in school. In contrast to Mothers Day – the celebrating of Dad’s is the same day in France as it is in North America.  
The kids couldn’t even wait until after breakfast – not to mention any thought of waiting until we got home from church – to give me what they had made.  I was instructed to sit on the couch – and open presents.  The whole thing is quite touching.  Yes -they made things that they were given time and instructions to make in school – but the excitement, the anticipation that they show – they so desperately want to show me what they’ve made.  

They also all insisted on making breakfast.

I was reminded the other day of how as a Christian perhaps the most fundamental thing I have to do as a Dad, is to be a bearer of the fatherly love that God has for all his children. It’s scary and encouraging at the same time – but it also helps me to understand how natural an outpouring of love – like what my kids show me, really should be for all of us.

On our way home

We left Pézenas / Caux on Sunday morning – and headed home. Unfortunately it seemed that 35% of the French population – plus what appeared to be every Dutch trailer and German motorhome were also on the same stretch of autoroute. 

We branched off the main road – and headed for Nyons and its market.  We got there in time to look though the various vendors of the truly provençal things:  fabric, honey, olives / olive oil / olive wood, soap, pottery etc. 

Not wanting to head back and pay tolls to sit in a traffic jam we followed the Route Napoléan (the route he took in 1812 when he returned from his exile on the Isle of Elba). It is an incredibly windy yet scenic drive through the mountains back home.  (note: It’s quite striking that after only living here less than a year – the sight of the snow-capped Alpes already gives a significant “ahhhh..we’re home” kind of feeling at first sight. )

All things considered – a pretty nice long weekend trip!

On our way home

We left Pézenas / Caux on Sunday morning – and headed home. Unfortunately it seemed that 35% of the French population – plus what appeared to be every Dutch trailer and German motorhome were also on the same stretch of autoroute.

We branched off the main road – and headed for Nyons and its market.

We got there in time to look though the various vendors of the truly provençal things:  fabric, honey, olives / olive oil / olive wood, soap, pottery etc.

  Not wanting to head back and pay tolls to sit in a traffic jam we followed the Route Napoléan (the route he took in 1812 when he returned from his exile on the Isle of Elba). It is an incredibly windy yet scenic drive through the mountains back home.  (note: It’s quite striking that after only living here less than a year – the sight of the snow-capped Alpes already gives a significant “ahhhh..we’re home” kind of feeling at first sight. )
Let it be known: We know how to pic nic 

All things considered – a pretty nice long weekend trip!

Un Marché

Saturday is market day in Pézenas – an event not to be missed. The market combines the laid-back attitude of the Mediterranean, with shopping outdoors in the southern sun, with enjoying all that the area can produce so well: olives, melons, tomatoes, seafood, plus so many other fruits, vegetables and cheese from neighboring regions. Unfortunately the southern sun that we had turned into a monsoon-like thunderstorm while we were there. The boys and I fled to a side street and ducked into an arched stone entrance to a garage to avoid the worst of it.  The others were not so easily thrown off their quest.  We all eventually retreated back to Uncle Milton & Auntie Sharon’s place in time to watch the downspouts turn into fire hoses which made the narrow streets more like canals.  We enjoyed a ‘market lunch’ – which means eating whatever is bought at the market that morning – which basically is all kinds of good.

We then got a tour of their next project – a significant centuries-old ruin not far from their house.  Wow – some people really know how to take it easy in retirement.

 We went wine-tasting that evening and met up at the winemakers house with some friends from home (home here- not Canada home) who were also spending the long weekend down south and a music prof that taught at the University in the small town that my Dad did 25 years ago.  The whole thing  felt almost more “it’s a small world” than the Disnelyand ride. The wine is made on the main floor – they live on the floor above. The winemakers are a British couple that left their hectic lives in London as Lawyer & Financier – to move to New Zealand to learn winemaking, then find a vineyard outside of Caux.  They now have an amazing production of wine – not in terms of quantity – but quality.  (you can find out more about them here)  To hear of their personal tending to their vines, the hand-picking, the complete lack or chemical treatment – is quite impressive.  But the proof is in the bottle.  Pretty nice wine production for a small town that doesn’t even have a traffic light (not that we have one here either..)