The last time I mentioned my book project was back in March, but things have moved along since then and Rachel finished her beautiful sketches for potential illustrations in late June. So I sent it out digitally to 11 different publishers with a cover letter describing the void that this amazing book will fill and am awaiting replies this fall. One rejection has already come in, so I have officially joined the ranks of thousands of authors! I have plans to write another children’s book with an Alsatian theme once we have moved. “Just keep writing,” as my nephew writer says. I think I will.
At the same time, I was getting emails from a BFA graduate who had reached out to Rachel, needing a safe place to land in France while running from church/family trauma. So for the next 3 weeks I got to be a mother again, making sure she took care of herself physically, while coming against all the lies she believed emotionally from the victim spirit. It was nice to have another young lady in the house, but she wasn’t ready for inner healing and needed to get a job back in her hometown to try to support herself. I hope to see her again when she’s ready to forgive…
During this time we were trying to pre-order our new kitchen, but things really slow down in France in the summer, including our house. Exact measurements were impossible to obtain, (incorporating the tricky roof slope and angles) until the drywall is up, but at least I’ve picked out my styles!
In August, when everyone’s schedule is lighter, we enjoyed lots of relational time with new and old friends and my energy levels seem to be getting better with the help of abundant sunshine! This was a good thing, since there were 2 big pushes to do before the end of the month:
- Get Olivia moved into her own apartment for her last year of school (and before our move, where she won’t have a room of her own.) She found a nice roommate in a lovely place and David was able to get the job done in a day with the help of a pro mover from church and a rented van.
- Put together as many Lego models as possible to sell at the local flea market, along with lots of other toys from our attic, on Sept 1st (the day after returning from our vacation!) We learned that vintage Lego sells for decent prices on-line, and I was motivated to earn some money, since my part-time work dried up over the summer. Discovering that we still had most pieces to create 35 models was more satisfying than I expected, despite the physical discomfort of digging through drawers and following instructions with heads down intensity. It ended up being a real bonding time with David as well. He could find pieces that I could not and became my superhero many evenings.
All of the above made us very ready for our annual anniversary getaway and Italy had been on my bucket list for many years. We found an Airbnb with a balcony in a tiny village far from tourists 4 hrs away for 30 euros/night and grabbed it. We really needed quality time apart as a couple and it was really special. Knowing French helps to decode Italian, so the language barrier wasn’t as bad as we thought it might be. Instead of touring museums or churches, we went to the best grocery store in the region – Wow! We also discovered the joys of electric bikes, renting 2 to ride around a lake. We might just need them and use them once we move “up the valley” (hopefully before the end of the year).
The romantic finale was 6 hours at a personal chef’s house for a cooking class and then eating the meal in his backyard woods at a fancy table for 3. (Unfortunately, the mosquitoes were eating us at the same time!) But what a treat to eat pasta you’ve rolled yourself with white pesto you mixed with a mortar and pestle! Lots of conversation with a real Italian chef in English was a great bonus. This was followed by sausages, polenta and Portobello mushrooms. And while he went back to the house to prep the raspberry coulis for the chilled panna cotta, we renewed our vows there at the table. Then David gave me a ring that belonged to my grandmother to replace my engagement ring that broke (and stone lost) over Easter – a little detail I failed to mention in my April newsletter! And guess what he presented it in?
A little hinged box that he made of Lego bricks. 🙂
I was undone… and with our vows still echoing in our heads, we’ve been acting like newlyweds ever since.