Thursday, January 7, 2010

Snow DAY!

In France, when it snows and you're not on red alert, you go to school if your teacher made it to school. Eleanor's had, Iris's hadn't, and I didn't go into Oliver's building. After bundling the kids up and driving really slowly through snow, it hit us that maybe classes were canceled today. Duh! But I loved finding out how it works: red alert, everybody stay home; orange alert (that was us), it's "cas par cas" - on a case by case basis. They're not used to snow here, so the whole town was in festivities (and lots of Good Samaritan moments of folks getting other folks' skating cars back under control). We walked all over kind of all morning, starting in the town square, which was just beautiful. The snow was crunchy (with ice underneath) and gave way to gorgeous sunshine at about 9:30 a.m. - above are Iris and Oliver rounding the corner from our house to the square.

The real fun to be had, of course, was on the promenade - Oliver and Mac got right to it, throwing snowballs, and the girls started making a snowman. It wasn't really good packing snow, so it wound up being more of a snow face emerging from the ground, actually. I'm always amazed by children in snow - it's like in water: they just come alive with glee and frolic like crazy - until it's time to go home, and then it's as though in that moment they realize just how cold their hands and knees are, how chapped their lips, and freezing their toes. I love it. - their passion and endurance, and then total collapse (because of the passion and endurance). It made the soup at lunch that much more delicious - and the bread and cheese and saucisson sec (which Eleanor calls "complicated pebbles" - this would be the yummy variation of color of the salami), too. Oliver and Mac went back out in the afternoon, but the girls and I stayed in: read, colored, napped a bit. I haven't had a day like that in years - yea, snow!

I can't resist this shot of the girls in the snow because of the church steeple in the background. The sun was brighter than the net of trees above lets on - but everyone is still talking about the cold, and it's all the news. The snow is moving east and south, so we may have some relief and return to routine (not that we've had one!). The tavern keeper's kids were in the tavern today when Mac went for his after-lunch coffee, and they actually claimed to miss school, having just gotten started. Our crew has decided that France is just the best, what with all of this playtime. Tomorrow, we're back to school - with fingers crossed for the kids to get just what they want for lunch! :-) I forgot to mention yesterday, when they were describing their lunch, it was clear that they had been served chicken on the bone, and that someone came around to each kid and cut the meat up for them. Oooo, but I wish that I could be there for lunch. Not allowed. No matter - Mac and I share baguette and cheese and a soup and then retreat to the study. We've only done it two days, but I'm already looking forward to our return tomorrow!

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