One of the downsides to renovating a home in another country (versus near one's permanent residence) is the logistical nightmare it creates! While we are grateful for this opportunity and have always felt good about doing it, the renovation does not come without its challenges. For one, you pretty much have to be here to make sure anything happens. That being the case, you have to figure out a way to come over here for periods of time to work and make sure they work too. This can be very tricky with work situations, even if you work for yourself as the Husband currently does. Trips end up being planned last minute as work projects allow, making us all feel like we're flying by the seat of our pants.
During the last six months, the Husband and I have been apart on 3 different occasions for a few weeks at a time--one being in the wish-it-were-more-peaceful-but-often-ends-up-being-chaotic month of December. Although necessary for the completion of the renovation, it's very difficult to be apart from the one you love for weeks at a time, especially during the holidays. At the end of the day I've a new appreciation for single mothers. It's a tough, tough job.
This last trip over to France needed to be an extremely productive trip. Many things were happening all at once and subsequently a month-long trip was planned. The Husband didn't want to leave me again with all 3 little ones for so long so he volunteered to bring our oldest daughter with him. I consented knowing it would be good for her and good for him. We pulled her out of school here in SLC and off she went on an adventure with her daddy--something we hope she'll remember all her life. She was both nervous and excited at once.
To save money, they camped at the town's little campground in a little mini-trailer. In the morning when it was time for school, they consumed a simple breakfast before readying themselves in the public bathrooms at the campground...and then off she went to school. I can still hardly believe it. What a good sport! We are incredibly proud of her for 1. being willing and 2. genuinely trying to enjoy it and learn from the experience.
School let out at 4:30 and then our daughter accompanied the Husband up to La Maisonnette so that he could continue working through the evening. Our daughter amused herself with a craft box I created prior to her departure and with other creative projects she came up with on her own. When she tired of those things she set off to selling off all the odds and ends that came with the house we bought (dishes, pots, pitchers, etc.). She basically held her own "brocante" or "vide grenier". Given that I used to sell baked goods at my parents' tag sales, I'd consider that a hereditary trait :)
The Husband and I knew we didn't want to be apart for such a long period of time, but didn't exactly know a way around the situation. One night when expressing my feelings to my sister Cherilee, she volunteered to help out. What that ended up translating into was a drive down from Seattle with her 3 kids in tow, just so she could tend my two youngest while I skipped town to help out the Husband and child. What a sister! (Is there a sister-of-the-year award out there?) I packed up my grubby work clothes (the idea of looking remotely chic tossed out the window), work shoes, gardening tools (stuff like that is so expensive in France), Hefty cinch sacks and off I went. Eighteen hours later I arrived in the beautiful village that we fell in love with just under a year ago, but this time if felt so different as so much has changed in the past 10 months.
So there you have it...more than I ever intended to write but I guess a few hours at a hotel by
yourself makes for a rather prolific post :)
One of my daughter's craft projects using extra supplies from one of the contractors; not a bad place to hang out, eh?
Reading Charlotte's Web near the gate to the house