As the week draws to a close, I am flooded with thoughts about some recent happenings.
Today is the 70th anniversary of D-Day. President Obama is going to be in Normandy, France with French President Hollande to commerate the day.
I started to think about the war and came across this photo below.
I am grateful for the men and women who have served and is serving our country. It fills me with pride to be an American, and it fills me with pride to be an adopted French. But, unlike some French people, I have never had to live in a war zone. I have never had to want for anything and I am thankful that I have never been forced into a bomb shelter or have had to live off rations and live in fear and chaos.
And this reminds me of Lydia. She is an amazing woman who I admire and respect, yet find very annoying at the same time. She is one of my English students. I am an English teacher. During the war, Lydia being self aware as she was and as if she had a choice, never complained about situation. She was scared, yes, but as she would say, life has a way of happening. She did however, say she missed chocolate during those dark times. Lydia had made a scrapbook filled with metallic candy wrappers that she would admire and pet like a rabbit. Her story made me weep. My heart sank the first time I saw the photo above. I couldn't imagine what his life was like after France had fallen to Germany.
I work as a tour guide in Bordeaux, as well as being an English teacher.
While I was giving a tour, I struck up a conversation with one of my clients, when he suddenly became very serious and pensive. He said a Frenchman thanked him personally for coming to France's aid during the war. He was touched, a little surprised, "You don't hear that everyday," I remember him telling me.
Even though he was too young to have stormed the beaches at Normandy, his French experience will forever be etched in his mind and now, mine.
I came across this genius of a little e-book written by an American GI in a question and answer type book aptly named 112 Gripes about the French.
Here is an excerpt.
"We came to Europe twice, in 25 years to save the French. "
We didn't come to Europe to save the French . either in 1917 or in 1944. We didn't come to Europe to do
anyone any favors. We came to Europe because we in America were threatened by a hostile, aggressive and very
In this war, France fell in June of 1940, We didn' t invade Europe until June of 1944 . We didn't even think
of "saving the French" through military action until after Pearl Harbor -- after the Germans declared war on us.
We came to Europe, in two wars, because it was better to fight our enemy- in Europe than in America .
I absorbed the book and it helped me understand my fellow countryman more.
If you would like me to send it along to you, please contact me. It is a PDF file.
Earlier in the week, I particpated in a dance festival. I am also a bellydancer and belly dancer teacher, along with being a tour guide and an English teacher. It was the SECOND time performing at a festival in France, the FIRST was at a Medival Festival in Loupaic, just 30 minutes outside of Bordeaux. Notice the château behind us? It may look like it was destroyed by dragon fire, but the reality is, it was the Germans. They used it as a headquarters and on a clear day, you can see the city of Bordeaux.
I performed, as did my beautiful students, and also did a dance demonstration. I had so much fun! I had a little booth and even enjoyed the eye candy! I can't wait for next year.
Other big news is that I am now 40 years old. Honestly, even though I feel exactly the same, somehow everything is different. I feel good in my skin and happy. Even when I am mad, it's pointless to dwell. Don't get me wrong, it is still a work in progress, I just feel good.
I had a really nice birthday party last week. More than 25 people showed up and we ate, drank and were merry! My sweet friend, Marisa Raymond, was a gracious hostess and the weather gods were smiling down upon us on that day. Luckily, no one spilled any wine, but there was a broken arm. As the saying goes, It is not a party until something gets broken!
Thank you to our servicemen and women. Take care of yourselves and give thanks.
Until next time, thank you for reading.
Bonjour et Bienvenue!
Thank you for stopping by for a spell!
I am a 40-something year old American woman. Born in Texas, raised in Las Vegas!
Frenchified for Life
is a fabulous little lifestyle blog about truly embracing French life!
My intent is to simply inspire you to create something unique and beautiful in your everyday life. The French have this wonderful and annoying habit of seeing the world through rose colored glasses, might as well learn something from them!
That said, I lift my glass to you!
By the way, I mention the name Cachou (or The Cash) a lot, I'm referring to her...