Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The Last Minute Always Arrives

Yes, the movers have been here for the last two days packing up all our stuff, and today is Move Day. I finally took the time to throw bag after bag out of broken toys and other unused items. We also brought a few bags of things to a local church that collects items for the poor.

We slept in our apartment for the last time last night, surrounded by mountains of boxes. While the move has gone smoothly overall, there have been a few problems and we've learned a few lessons.

1) Dispose of your car prior to one week before leaving. We didn't sell the car. This happened when we left the US as well. Our friend is going to try to sell the car when people come back from "les grandes vacances."
2) France created Bureaucracy, but the US is a willing student -- don't bring wine back to the US. We received a number of lovely going away gifts. One wonderful gift was a case of Bordeaux wine. Our moving company has given us a lot of grief because of US customs procedures about bringing the case back. The moving company had a three week notice rule so that customs procedures are met. Well, our friends didn't give us a three week notice about the gift. What are we to do? That question took up a lot of time and energy over the last few days.

I was feeling a bit down about the move and the problems that we've had when I went to the park yesterday with the kids. My son met a little boy the other day who spoke English. I called him over and asked where he was from. It turns out his parents are from Columbia, he was born in Mexico, he was living in Brazil, he's here in Paris for a month before his family moves to India. He is 7.

The boy had such a nice time playing with some English speaking kids (he attended an International school) that the mother asked when we were coming back to the park. We told her we'd be in the park Tuesday. The child met us at the park yesterday. He came with a babysitter and the boy's 5 year old sister.

The little girl has autism as well as some other concerns. The babysitter, who has studied autism, never sat down. The girl kept picking up leaves and putting them in her mouth. She would run off, sometimes near the street. That's when I realized my "problems" were small indeed.

For those of you who continue to read the blog, thank you. The move has been exhausting and I'm sorry I haven't written back to your comments. If you do have specific questions, please email me at my gmail account.

For now, I still have pictures and stories I want to talk about on this blog, so I will continue it for some time. I have a few posts already written and my sister will publish them for me, but I will be out of internet access before our return to the US.

Once I have figured out my next steps, I'll let you know. I've received several suggestions -- A Day in Washington, a Book, a rest from it all -- all sound good! Thank you for being there. I do appreciate your comments and read them all with interest.

-- said Auntie M in Paris
9:22 AM



Wow,it seems the last days came fast. I hope the transition for the family goes smooth ane you all get some good rest from all the moving work that you've done - whew!

Gee, I guess I can read your archives for my daily read :) Take good care, Terry in SF

# posted by Anonymous : 11:49 AM  

Good luck. (smile) Thanks for a great Paris blog.

Ce n'est qu'un au revoir, Chere Auntie, j'en suis sur.


# posted by L'Amerloque : 2:06 PM  

I've enjoyed your accounts of life in France - even though I discovered you only a few months ago and clearly missed a lot (now I can go back and read the archives.) DO consider continuing to post, or perhaps even starting a new blog on some other topic that interests you about your new life back in the States. Best of luck and I hope you'll enjoy your new home. Thanks for sharing your French life with all of us!

# posted by Lisa Taylor Huff : 2:24 PM  

thank you for giving me a little taste home. i wish you and your family all of the best in adjusting to american life again.

# posted by maryse : 2:53 PM  

Please keep your blog up when you as you settle in Washington. It will be nice to see it from a different view.

# posted by Mia : 3:39 PM  

I just found your blog a few months ago and am sad to see you leaving Paris. I love hearing about your adventures and especially the schools. I'm a retired teacher and all I can say is that the French teachers must be much better paid, each class must have an aide, the class sizes must be smaller, and the curriculum must be less stressful (they don'T have Bush's testing!) I hope that you continue your blog back in the US. I have gone back and read your archives and am making notes of places to visit the next time I'm in Paris. Haven't been there since 2002 and your adventures make me anxious to go again. Good luck with your move.

Ann in Illinois

# posted by Ann in Illinois : 5:34 PM  

Time has passed so quickly since I first read your blog. It's one of my favorites and I hope you can keep it up for others to enjoy. I love your stories and your pictures and encourage you to keep it up while you back in the US. I would hate not having such a wonderful daily read!

# posted by kristin : 6:02 PM  

The best of luck to you and your family in this difficult time. Good luck with the adjustments back in the homeland, especially for your children. And thanks for writing in your honest and clear manner.

# posted by NARDAC : 6:35 PM  

I wish you and your family the best of luck with the enormous adventure that is ahead of you, and I hope you keep this blog up in some form!

# posted by Katia : 6:57 PM  

Every day I've enjoyed seeing Paris and other parts of France, as well as the French personality thru your eyes. I know you're anticipating "life in America", but I'm truly sorry to see you leave France : ) Perhaps you will miss it also. Best of luck on your move, and try to relax (as tho that's possible!). Hope you will continue to blog from Washington.
Take care, Annette in Omaha

# posted by Anonymous : 7:05 PM  

So the end is here, Auntie! But with every end there's a new beginning (isn't this so prophetic)! And I'm really looking forward to hearing of how your life in DC goes.

Especially because I will be living in Washington as well come next May for three months. So I'm looking up to you to find out where the best places and everything are before I get there! But don't ruin too much for me! :D

Oh, and welcome back! I bet you'll be in for some culture shock the first few days!

# posted by Joe : 7:34 PM  

I just left Warsaw after two years there. It was so much harder than I ever imagined. I am getting ready to move to Paris, as I have a new job there. I don't know if the impact that warsaw has on me will ever lessen. Going somewhere else is always special too though. Good luck!

# posted by Anne : 10:03 PM  

Good luck on your move back to
the US. I have enjoyed reading
your blog and will miss it terribly. I hope you will continue
to update once your're back in
the US. I wish you and your family
a safe trip. Take Care

# posted by Aisha : 10:45 PM  

I too only discovered your blog a few months ago, and we tried unsucessfully to meet up in Paris, alas... I'm off for a taste of the states for a few weeks, and when I return for "la rentrée", I look forward to your archives as a rich source of inspiration... after 17 years here, you've done so much more than I have, and I now have lots of good ideas for the cherished few free hours I have with my two young sons... like the taxidermy store, the Musée Rodin, etc. etc. Godspeed and I hope to one day read "A Day in DC"? Tu nous manqueras....

# posted by Magillicuddy : 11:09 PM  

This is all so exciting!!

# posted by mrsmogul : 12:06 AM  

So sorry to see you leave, but I am sure you will enjoy re-introducing America to your children.

I wanted to leave a comment for "Ann in Illinois" too. As a child schooled partly in France, I know first hand the part my parents played in my education. I was the cliche, as most of my peers were-- we went home after school and completed hours of homework without cable, TV, computers, phones or playdates. Education is serious and so are French parents. American children have so much, but sometimes too much for their own good.

# posted by Bevroot : 1:13 AM  

I too have thoroughly enjoyed your site and do hope you will continue with it. Good luck on your move.

# posted by Anonymous : 2:49 AM  

Hope the rest of the move goes smoothly.

I'll talk with you later,

# posted by BohemianMama : 4:00 AM  

Oh Auntie may you move go smoothly. And I do especially hope you'll keep blogging!

# posted by Sammy : 8:29 AM  

Hope that you settle back into life in the US okay. If nothing else, you've created some wonderful memories for your children.

Thank you for sharing your life in Paris with us.

# posted by Anji : 11:49 AM  

Au revoir - and thank you for your blog and all the pictures, they remind me of the time I lived in Paris.

All the best,


# posted by Anonymous : 12:38 PM  

have a good move. I know it can be such an adventure.
I enjoyed reading your blogs past months, and i hope you will write it again when you will be in washington.

# posted by Melanie : 12:45 PM  

Oh... you'll be back and I'm sure we'll still be here. Call us up, email us, you know our blog homes! I hope everything goes smoothly for you and your family! I hope you keep blogging...

# posted by Flare : 1:54 PM  

I discovered your blog before we moved to Paris, and you gave me some good advice about schools and neighborhoods. I am really sad that you are leaving Paris, as I've learned so much and have gotten some great ideas for things to do with my family. So for all that - thank you!!

Good luck with your move back to the States, and I will echo the others in saying that I will really miss reading your daily posts!

Janet (now in Paris)

# posted by Janet : 3:32 PM  

M, Best Wishes, enjoy your new home, see you all in November in Dublin!

# posted by Anonymous : 9:20 AM  

Have a safe journey ... anywhere you live will give you (a natural writer/author) fodder for a blog ... I look forward to reading it.

# posted by Becca : 3:30 PM  

I have enjoyed your journey. I cannot thank you enough for sharing. Best wishes to you and your family.

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