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Each day I fall in love all over again

As we were walking yesterday, just as we do almost daily now that the weather is warm, I didn’t think much about the houses, cars or the fact that I heard nothing but French being spoken around me. I passed French bakeries with only a small amount of drooling, now have dog doo radar installed (it’s really an art you must learn over time), pass cars parked on sidewalks without a second glace, got over as soon as I heard the little bike bell when before I had to think about what the sound was, admired a stork passing overhead like I do almost daily along with many other sights, sounds and smells that would have struck me as strange two years ago. Now, while I do still appreciate my life as an American living in France, I am home.

France is as much my home as any Frenchman’s. I don’t feel like a stranger in a strange land anylonger. I feel like this is my country and I adore my life in France. Lately, I don’t even think much about my being an American in France.

Only twice during my walk was I struck by this fact. Once when my husband told me that I was scaring him because I was becoming like a real French. This was when I almost threw the apple I was eating at a car which sped past myself and Petite Clown as we were crossing the road. We were near the sidewalk and the driver sped around us too fast for my comfort all because they were too bothered to wait until we were completely on the sidewalk. I was furious and caught myself just as I was raising my arm up to throw my apple at their car. I would have never thought to do that in America. The second time was on the way home just as I was about to pass under a window and the owner reached out and shut the shutters.

For me, as an American who grew up in the land of fake screwed to the side of the house shutters, this simple act of shutting shutters is still romantic and foreign. When I see it I think of old movies that I loved to watch about Europe and in particular, France during my childhood. You see, I have loved France for as long as I can remember. So, when I see this act of shutting shutters I am transported back to the days when I could only dream of walking in French streets filled with windows framed with real wooden shutters that could be shut. I am reminded of the fact that I am still a stranger discovering this beautiful country and hopefully I will continue to each day for the rest of my life. It is an adventure and a blessing.

My true love is…France.
Shhhh…don’t tell my husband, he may be jealous.

Copyright © 2006 FROM MY FRENCH WINDOW. No photographs or content may be reproduced in any manner without express written permission given in advance.

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  • Bernadette/bReal June 20, 2006, 7:52 am

    Pumpkin, I love this post! In fact, I want to thank you for all of your beautiful and inspiring posts about France. I too have always shared that lovely vision of real shutters and life in that wonderful country.

    Today I decided to make my dreams a reality. I am going to France for the first time in my life in October. I booked my hotel today and will be purchasing my airline ticket soon. I will be in Paris for almost a week and then in the South of France for a week or two beyond that.

    This will literally be my dreams coming true. And I really have people like you to thank. Your beautiful posts and photos truly do inspire me and I look forward to finally starting my own love affair with France! Thank you so much.

  • Julie June 21, 2006, 2:55 am

    This is so poetic. I feel like I’m there.

  • Pumpkin June 22, 2006, 11:25 am

    Bernadette, I am happy that you will be visiting France soon. I can remember dreaming of visiting France but in my heart wondering if I would ever do it. I can still recall looking out the plane window as it was landing in France. I saw smaller cars than I was used to and somehow the air was filled with magic. I was so excited that I almost pinched myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. I fell deeply in love with France during that first trip out of America. I hope your trip to France is as wonderful as my first trip.

    Julie, You really must come one day to see Europe. You would love it. I would be happy to show you Strasbourg.

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