Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Settling In

Thank you to those who have written to ask what is going on with me. It's been a few months and you might think that was enough for me to get my life in order. However, it's taken me a lot longer to organize my life. Nothing about the move was traumatic. In fact, it's been far easier than I imagined. But it has still been a slow process for me.

What I wasn't prepared for was the amount of time it takes to get acclimated -- renewing old frienships, starting new friendships, getting used to the American school system, getting the house we bought over the internet into shape. It's a great house and we are happy with our purchase, but it needs a lot of updating. I've already painted 5 rooms, changed light switches, put together bookcases.... some days it was a bit overwhelming... and I still have two more rooms to paint.

Some adjustments made me laugh. My daughter came home one day and said she learned about the "pleasures of Egypt." Since she is only in kindergarten and goes to school for just 3 hours a day, I was surprised, but happy and started to ask her questions. She stopped me and said that wasn't what she learned. It took a minute to realize she meant "the pledge of alligence." I didn't think about some of the more basic cultural differences for the kids, like learning the pledge of alligence, which they recite every morning.

As I am beginning to feel my life settle down a bit here in DC, our family is preparing for our first trip back to Paris in November. The kids are so happy and excited about the trip and seeing their friends. We all miss our Paris friends a lot. My son will actually go to school, with his former classmates, for a day. I am already writing lists of the items I want to bring back to the US with me.

Here is a picture of me in my empty Paris apartment the day we moved out.

After we moved out we headed over to my sister's apartment in the 6th. We spent the night there and then left Paris the next morning for our new life in the US. I took some final pictures that last morning. Here is one...

Finally, as we were checking in for our flight from CDG, the woman at the counter asked us a few questions and we explained that we were tired because we were moving back to the US after 5 years in France. We learned when our names were called in the boarding area that she had upgraded us to business class. Although we all slept on the flight back, my daughter didn't even bother waiting for take-off. Thank goodness for those wonderful business class seats.

-- said Auntie M in Paris
3:14 PM