Friday, October 9, 2009


One day we drove into Sabres where Dh and his family used to live. This is the school that he attended. It has been expanded and renovated. He, Laurent, and Nicole had a great time visiting this school. They found some custodians and had a great, very long and detailed conversation about the school, the area, and the people who used to live there and who still live there.
Behind the glass enclosed room is the classroom Dh attended in 1953 and 1954.

This is the apartment where the teacher used to live. It is now a pre-school in the complex. They were surprised to see everything look so nice.

A bakery across the street. They all used to go to this bakery, but, of course, it too has been upgraded and renovated.

We drove around the city and they were looking for the house of their cousin Anya. They found the street, but couldn't find the house. After asking a lady they found out that Anya and her husband had recently moved to her parents house further down the street. Then they were able to find it and we had a nice visit with both of them. Anya was at the beauty shop when we first got there, but she soon arrived and what an hour plus of reministing took place.

At one point the husband of Anya very un-tactfully said to Nicole. "I didn't recognize you. You used to be so skinny." Anya replied to him, "And you should be talking. Look at yourself." The years do have a way of taking their toll on the body. I felt so badly that he said that to her, but she was very gracious about it.

This is the little house they used to live in. It's the one Dh's Mom decorated with colored pencils. When we visited France 30 years ago, this house was nothing more than a little shack. It was abandoned and I remember seeing it's small main room with a dirt floor. At the back of the room was the fireplace on which they prepared their meals. To each side of the main room were 2 small bedrooms. This house has been renovated, enlarged, and improved. The 3 of them were so disappointed that everything is so different. The fields are gone. The trees and bushes they loved are gone. Every single thing looked different. They all 3 said that it is so difficult to go back and see the changes.
This was Nicole's house. She lived here with her Dad. Her Mom left them when she was less than 3 years old. She almost didn't let me take the picture because she said the house made her feel so sad. It's just kitty corner from Dh's old house. The 3 of them spent many hours playing together, going to school together and enjoying each other's company. They did have fun and a lot of laughs remembering the things they did.

Right Across the road is the "big house" where Dh lived with his family for about a year. This house has been completely renovated. It is really pretty and very nice now. It used to be small and shabby. Noone could even recognize it. An English lady owns this house now. She rents rooms out to people who come for one, two, or three week stays where she runs seminars teaching French. She is probably going to sell soon because she said it's too much work for her to run all by herself. She was very friendly and graciously let us walk all around the property. On the side of the house is a gorgeous swimming pool. I teased them about saying that they were all so poor in those days and had nothing at all and that actually they had a house with a swimming pool.

The expanded barn. Again, much larger and very nice. It used to be so small and very, very shabby and falling apart. The horses were in the pasture.
An outdoor kitchen.

Another shot of the kitchen. They used to do a lot of cooking in this fireplace.

The front of the house.

More shots of the destruction of the forest. This used to be land covered solid with pine trees. The clumps are unrooted tree trunks.

We saw piles of logs like this all along the roads and highway.

Christine and Jean Marie's beautiful daughters. Marie Laure is 25. She is a social worker. Leah is 17. She is a student and she is also an apprentice at a florist school. They are Laurent's granddaughters.

We had a great day visiting and seeing places.


txmommy said...

Marie Laure looks like her mom.

Yvonne said...

It is always hard to go back and see things so different, but i guess that is what happens.

The Texas Bakers said...

I am really loving seeing all your pictures. Reading your posts just makes me feel like we're back in your living room having a visiting-teaching chat. I am so glad this mission is turning out to be such a great experience. They're lucky to have you guys! And all the food pics are killing me!