Home Sweet Home

Almost three months since we made it back to France ! Where do I start ?

Well, I intended to post once a month with all the updates of our new life here for all of you who do not follow us on Social Medias but it’s been a real whirlwind figuratively and literately. The Mistral greeted us in Marseille and stayed with us for the first three weeks straight which kept the sky bright blue just like in San Diego .Yes it was cold, freezing temperatures felt like 22F with the windshield but we were prepared for that and to be honest didn’t mind so much because of the bright light and dry air. Surprisingly I haven’t had a sore throat here when I have them all the time in San Diego.

The sweet scent of fresh Mimosa made the house feel like home and the chaos of the first few days melted away…Coming back to a house that has been closed for two years is a challenge but this time around we had heat AND hot water not like January 2020 if you have read the posts about that last trip. So all was fine but the fridge who died a couple of months before with all the freezer content and was thankfully evacuated by my cousin before we arrived.

With the freezing temperatures, the tiny window by the kitchen sink worked as our fridge for the first week. We lived like in the old days , buying what we needed as we needed it. Walking to the farmer’s market and bakery . This is what we had been dreaming about…no more 20 minutes drive to get a good croissant at the French Oven in Scripps Ranch ! The local little supermarket ,the size of a Trader Joes still amazes us by the selection. All this made our daily life much easier despite not having a refrigerator !

My mom’s old car started, we greased the garage door and off we went to the next town where everything is ….we needed a cell phone plan and internet to communicate. As we drove through the countryside we watched a beautiful sunset down on the vineyards. This will be the new normal …

We had gotten our wifi box and needed to prepare before the technician came to hook us up to the fiber which meant drill a hole for the cable. I think a photo will say a thousand words !

Coming into a house absolutely full of my parents things , as well as what we had left before to move , plus my grand parents treasures and junk has its down sides. We have been non stop sorting , cleaning, giving, donating, recycling and trashing 6 to 7 days a week . Our move was set to leave Long Beach on January 7th and arrive in Marseille March 4th . With 6 weeks to go we needed to make room ! Then delays started happening, boat left end of January with new estimated date of arrival for March 12th , then 19 , 23 and as today March 30th we still haven’t received it . That’s when we appreciated arriving in a full house which we can live in. We camp a little but it is comfortable and having more time to get ready was very welcome …a little time to take a breather , do something fun for us , drive around , see some friends , go for hike , research for appliances, bath fixtures, tiles and get Covid the day the container was planned to be delivered . Sometimes I think my mom is watching over us … So as I watch over Pascal and am quarantining, I have time to sit down and write a little …

It is not “Escape to the Chateau” if you have watched that British TV series but “Going back Home” for us. No, my family home is not a Chateau even though it is probably even older than the one in the TV show . It is a Mas de village, a large house where silk worms were raised in the attic at the time . Then my grand parents made it a garage and the facade still bare my name.

No there is no romantic view of rolling hills with lavender fields but this is where I was born and grew up and we will make it work. I have been soaking in all the impressions of these first few days as i am rediscovering my childhood home …here in my bedroom just above my dad’s mechanic shop.

Life as it went down the first months looked like this …

Winter Sunday drive above Nyons where there is no more Mistral !

Opening up the door to the attic …

Lavender field in winter

Back to cleaning up…

And finding my mother’s earrings and dad’s cufflinks in the most unlikely place was unbelievable

Because they went thru wars, our grand parents and parents never trashed anything…plus there were no recycling center or large trash collection like we have now.

When you have to go to Nimes in search of doors and bath fixture….

Love my local flower shop

It starts to feel like spring here too !

Sometimes the most simple things are the best …that ham is seriously The best ! Love my butcher and produce shop across the street !

Le Mont Ventoux from Le Crestet near Vaison la Romaine

Wild violets under a chestnut tree

Lunch with friends in Aix en Provence at Le Grillon

Farmer’s Market beauties

Our door to the garden

Street fair food ! A chichi ( pronounce She-She ) is a French style doughnut , just better 😉 I am a super happy girl !

At the city hall to apply for our French ID card …no more visas, no more immigration paperwork…Going back home is so much easier ! I had a little bit of apprehension, leaving our beautiful life in Southern California, but coming back is just natural, comfortable like I had not though possible…But what makes it so special is that we had left this life so now we appreciate everything like we would never have if we had stayed …

Enjoying Cinema as an Art not just as entertainment .

We loved and enjoyed every minute of our life in San Diego but small village lifestyle is wonderful !

11 thoughts on “Home Sweet Home

  1. oh gosh. this missive was a beautiful escape. thank you so much. what gorgeous pictures! i continue to be so happy for you! and for me (us) because we have been invited in to this wonderful literary and visual adventure with you both. your home is a treasure box! and a lot of hard, hard work. I look forward to tagging along! take care.

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  2. I live near your old shop building here in Mission Hills, so I’m reminded often of all the unique and beautiful things I used to buy. Though I miss both you lovely people, I feel blessed to have known you for the time you lived and worked among us. Thank you for the gorgeous pictures of your once again new home.

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  3. What an amazing collage of your experiences these past three months! Your photography truly captures the moment. I especially loved seeing the beautiful floral arrangements, the winter landscape, and details of your home as you restore it. Looking forward to the change of seasons, the lavender fields in bloom and your new life in Provence! We miss you in San Diego, but glad that your transition back home has been wonderful.

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  4. I so enjoyed reading your beautiful words describing your adventures in your family home full of treasures and memories. I know there is an amazing amount of hard work involved but I can tell it is a labor of love and how happy you are to be home. Your delightful photos add so much to your story. Thank you for sharing. Since I am not traveling, I will vicariously travel with you! Write when you can – your words and photos brighten my day!

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  5. You were wonderful neighbors in San Diego and I’m sure you will be in France. . Thank you for the glimpse of your life in France. Dennis and Carol Wilson

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