Chez Soi

Adventures of a Year Abroad

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Who are we…

Yesterday afternoon, I made sure to make the bed, wash the dishes, and put things away neatly because the house was being shown to a potential renter from Connecticut. (Apparently, my closet was a big hit.) It looks like we might have a renter for our house in LG, thanks in large part to the aid of the real estate agent who sold us our home. Still have other people interested, and the lease to finalize but… progress.

As I was relaying all this to Hubster who is traveling for work, Kiddo groaned loudly … which he does anytime (every time?) we discuss the move. I wonder and worry a lot about how this trip affects him. One part of me wants to cocoon him up into a soft protective bubble, so he is never hurt. To give him what he wants which is to stay in the home he’s grown up with, with the friends he already has. And, yet, being insulated would also mean he is buffered from life. I’m reminded of the movie Finding Nemo and a particular dialogue between Dory and Marlin.

Marlin: I promised I’d never let anything happen to him.

Dory: Hmm. That’s a funny thing to promise.

Marlin: What?

Dory: Well, you can’t never let anything happen to him. Then nothing would ever happen to him.

Hubster and I are doing this because we  want something for our son that we never had. It is the gift to understand the world more fully.

And, yet, a part of me wonders, who are we to impose that on him.

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One Down, 3 To Go.

The move is going to require us to do many (many, many) small things but the “big rocks” that are key — having a work visa, getting kiddo in school, finding/renting an apartment in Paris, and of course leasing our place in Los Gatos.

We (finally) got the official clearance that Curt’s work approved his status change to work from Paris. That means he now has a work visa. So 1 thing done, many more to go. But it feels good to cross that one off the list. Whoohooo.

The House That Built Me

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We are partly a function of where we’ve lived. The person who experienced a cross burning in Alabama is shaped by discrimination. The person who experienced war is shaped by the shrapnel. If Los Gatos has shaped us, I don’t quite know how. Icing on the Cake treats? Perhaps, the idyllic nature of birds chirping every morning to awaken us. Or, the ability to walk to town. Maybe in the fact that is a town, and people know our names.

How will Paris shape us, I wonder?


Why Paris?

When I tell people we’re moving to Paris in July, the first question is almost always this: “Whose Job is Taking You There”. But the reality is our life is taking us there. We move as a family to Paris in July because we want to move. We first imagined this years ago, and then started scouting and then started making things happen that would let us move. I’ve stepped off of Boards. My Husband has made work choices. There’s been tons of tradeoffs and deliberations made. But here’s the truth: Making family important over everything else has literally made life worth living. It doesn’t work when work is the center. All heart is gone. Love, and community needs to be the center for life to work.

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Mise en place

Mise En Place Office.jog

Mise en place is a cooking term that translates to “everything in place”.

It refers to the way chefs have their ingredients organized and prepared, spices lined up, and everything all ready to go before they start cooking.

I’m in the process of writing books 3 and 4 and will probably (hopefully?!) finish both projects during this year abroad. A writer in Paris. Is that cliche? Well, even if it is, it’s a bucket list item for me! As we browse the apartments we could live in, I find myself seeking out the spot I’ll write. Perhaps I’ll get a standing desk, with some space for flowers, a monitor, a lamp, and a note book. While I know I’ll head out to cafes every now and then to break up the monotony of working from home, I imagine “base camp” a certain way. Perhaps with a view of an iconic spot, ideally with natural light, and, of course, quiet enough to focus.