Thursday, February 8, 2018

Walking: Our Own Moveable Feast

I re-read A Moveable Feast the week before we arrived in Paris to get into the spirit of Americans in the City of Light.  In one chapter Hemingway writes about how he couldn't write about Paris when he was in Paris.  He wrote about Michigan, where he spent his boyhood summers.  There is something about being transplanted from one place to another that makes details of the former place stand out vividly and make it easier to write about.

One thing I noticed about Alabama when we were home for Christmas is how gray-brown it is in the winter, especially when you drive by woods without the benefit of pine trees to provide some green.  But you can't tell that about Alabama from these pictures I took one freezing January day.  The sunniest days have sub-zero temperatures.

One of the best things about our living in North Yorkshire is that it taught our kids to walk "a fur piece" without complaining.  We didn't want two months in the land of cars to ruin them so we thought a walk in the woods was in order.  The day before this K.J. took James for a walk along the roadside where James was embarrassed to be seen walking " poor people.  This isn't England, Dad.  Everyone drives."  Oh, buddy.  

We saw deer tracks and busted up the ice on the shore of the lake, sending it flying.  You know it's cold when lakes in the south freeze.

The good news is everyone is faring well walking all over Paris.  Praise the Lord forever that I no longer have glass in my foot!  And the kids, who felt tired after the first few outings, are now walking everywhere like champs.  And James is no longer embarrassed because everyone--rich, poor, and in between--walks in Paris.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Month that was January

January 1 - A Pugh Family Reunion on K.J.'s Birthday

January 2 - Sunsets from the Interstate

January 3 - Game Night

January 4 - A Cold Walk in the Woods

January 5 - Date Night!

January 6 - Twilight Time

January 7 - Reuniting with Old Pals

January 8 - National Champions Again!

January 9 - Playing Pokemon

January 10 - Avocado and a Poached Egg on Toast

January 11 - Nighttime Coloring

January 12 - Frosted Windowpanes

January 13 - Late Night Antique Store Browsing

January 14 - Antique Store Scores

January 15 - A Birthday Bookstore Visit

January 16 - A Little Snow

January 17 - Lovely Cardinal Friends

January 18 - A Place You Shouldn't Go While Packing

January 19 - A Long Day in the Car

January 20 - Movie Night

January 21 - Sun's Out, Shirts Off

January 22 - Crazy Cousin Good-byes

January 23 - The Most Peaceful Place

January 24 - The American Robin

January 25 - Second Cousins

January 26 - Back in the City

January 27 - Successful Bakery Experience

January 28 - Sunday Night Walk Home from Church

January 29 - Monday Explorations

January 30 - En Route to the Library

January 31 - Full-Time Homeschooling Again

Saturday, January 27, 2018

5,500 Miles in a Week

The streets of Paris are still dark outside the window, though a few lights have gradually been lighting up the windows across the street.  It's just before six a.m. on a Saturday morning, and after a solid week of traveling, our bodies and our possessions have landed where they are going to stay.  For a little while at least.  Last Friday we loaded up the car, and by we I mean K.J., who played the most important Tetris game of his life fitting eight suitcases in the back of his mom's Santa Fe.  Who needs rear-view mirrors for driving anyway? 

We (and by we I mean K.J.) drove to South Carolina to spend the weekend with my sister-in-law and her family, and K.J. (not me!) preached Sunday morning at the church my brother-in-law serves.  He shared about what we would be doing in Paris, and we met a couple who had recently returned from serving many years in several French-speaking African countries.  After a week of sub-zero temperatures, we had two days of sun in the 60s, and the cousins played outside non-stop.  The way they love each other makes our hearts glad.

Early-Morning Sword Fights
Playing old Super Nintendo Games



No one looks forward to saying goodbyes, but we felt so loved and supported and prayed for in leaving and so confident about this next right step that the goodbyes felt easier.  It also helped that we were driving in a rental van with way more cool and modern features than any car we've ever owned.  The kids even get excited about electronic windows since our car we bought in England has manual roll-up ones in the backseat.  In a world where so many things are high-tech, I'm kind of glad they have that experience, though.  It's good to work with your hands, even if it's just rolling down a car window.

We stretched our legs in Savannah because we'd never been before, and though I took pictures of beautiful houses and old trees, this sight may live in our memories longer.

She's just a modern-day Fern, right?  One small dog in particular was just totally losing his mind as he sniffed around this Wilbur.

Some four hours later we were back at Lake Santa Fe, where we soaked up the quiet of the middle-of-nowhere feeling before exchanging it for the constant motion of city life.


Have we talked about Santa Fe sunsets?  Sunset on the water just can't be beat.

We had the best last day in America with cousins in Orlando.  They are kindred spirits indeed.

And after what feels like missing a day of our lives, we have made it, and thanks to having spent a few days here in November, it felt like coming home to arrive in a familiar apartment where our hosts had so graciously even put our books on a shelf while we were away.  And when your books are on a shelf, you can't help but feel at home.