Our Schedule:

Teaching English and Art together, putting on the GospelCafé concerts, prayer, meeting with our new French friends. It's a good life!

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Being thankful and Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Yesterday we had a lovely time north of Paris near Meru for Thanksgiving dinner. There were 24 of us. I took Ramen noodle salad and an apple pie. Tons of food was laid out, of course the obligatory pumpkin and pecan pies were there, grean bean casserole - French style (there's no mushroom soup in the can here) It was fresh green beans and home made mushroom sauce - yum yum. Someone must have brought gelled cranberry sauce in the can and sliced it. I always laugh when I see that since it's such a throwback to old times. I do love the flavor even still. But, there was fresh cranberry sauce as well. I mashed the potatoes with Kathryn's kitchen aid mixer, Russell sliced the turkeys. A family on an army base from Germany came to visit one of our family's from Gisor. They brought 2 turkeys. Yay! It's very hard to find a whole turkey without ordering one special, way in advance, and paying through the nose. Really you can't this time of year. We might have been able to find turkey legs or turkey breasts. We are grateful for their gifts. At Christmas time in Paris le charcuterie will sell whole turkeys. We sang old Thanksgiving hymns that I remember singing at school as a child. Each of us had a Bible verse on our place card that talked of blessings and thankfulness which we read and then shared how we were thankful.

It's Armistice Day today in France along with Veteran's Day in the states. We have a holiday and no French language school today for which we are grateful. There is a big test tomorrow which will give us more time to study. In the meantime, a little before 9 am bagpipes were playing outside our windows this morning on the top balcony of the Mairie's office. We listened and watched them from the kitchen sink playing a few songs including Amazing Grace. Then we bundled up as people gathered and proceeded with our camera to go see the festivities down below. Some from the highschool band played a couple of songs. The military and mairie were there. The pompiers (firemen) and gendarmes (national army) and police municipale in their uniforms and little children gathered around and under a canopy. At the appropriate time the children waved their small flags as the band played. Yves, the father of Hermine, one of my students, told us that this is the only holiday where children are involved and it's patriotic. "You Americans are way more patriotic than we are.", he said. He and his wife were both wearing nicely designed paper poppies on their lapels. He talked about the dead soldiers who laid in the poppie fields. It's a sober day.

The soldiers put flowers on the town memorial. Other people came up to lay flowers on the grave as well. They called out every soldier from Chevreuse who died in World War 1 and 2 as people remembered them. There is a mass held in the town next door. I imagine it's to pray for their dead. Yves said the children of today only know that weed comes from poppies and do not realize the significance of the flower. Sad, really.