Sunday, August 18, 2013

Dreaming of France -- Country Homes

Please join this weekly meme. Grab a copy of the photo above and link back to An Accidental Blog. Share with the rest of us your passion for France. Did you read a good book set in France? See a movie? Take a photo in France? Have an adventure? Eat a fabulous meal or even just a pastry? Or if you're in France now, go ahead and lord it over the rest of us. We can take it.
Maybe we can all satisfy our yearnings for France, until we get there again
This is the time of year when the French leave the city and head to the country or the beach or the mountains.
In August about 25 years ago, I spent a month in a family home near Bourges, France.
It looks like Bourges is in the exact center of France, doesn't it? Bourges is known for a special candy called Forestines. I recall it as a kind of hard candy with a melty, chocolate center.
Once Earl and I were driving in France and meeting our friends at the train station in Bourges. We would follow them to the country house from the station. The word for train station in French is "la gare." As we searched for the station in Bourges, I asked several people, in French, where the train station was. But I said it like this, "Ou est la guerre?" That means where is the war rather than where is the train station.
The family house apparently was given to our friend's family during the time of Napoleon. The Americans used it as a base during World War II. And our friends with their extended family gather there every year.
It gives me a warm feeling just thinking of the big rooms with the tile floors and oversized, shabby rugs. French doors lead out to the yard, and our friends had their wedding there.

I've visited three times.
Once as an au pair.
The girls on either end were in my care. The girl on my lap and
 the blonde  next to me were the children of our French friends.
Earl and I visited on our first trip to Europe.
Here I am dreaming of a family  home of my own in France.

Here's Earl luring the cows to the fence. The family home has sheep and chickens too. 
And we traveled there again with all three kids when they were ages 2, 4 and 6.
I can't find photos from that trip, but I know Grace was in love with the sheep and the shutters that we could throw open.
Have you ever visited a country home in France? What's your favorite place away from the cities of France?


Esme said...

HOw fun. Is that the last time you saw them?

Paulita said...

No, we see them every time we go to France but usually at their home in Nantes or in Paris.

Just Me said...

Where is the war is hilarious. Have not been to France yet. The country home and your description is beautiful.

Louise said...

Rural France is so beautiful isn't it? I've got two posts this week, so linked twice (it isn't a mistake for once)

Jeanie said...

How very pretty! Not a spot I know! And the girls are adorable!

Joy said...

How cool to have this connection!

Joy's Book Blog

Virginia said...

Reminds me of the few weeks we spent in a small French village a few years ago.

Linda said...

That a nice country home. I don't really know of any that aren't chateaux. I guess my favorite place away from cities is where I am, on a beach. The Atlantic coast is really fabulous. It doesn't have that fantastic blue of the Cote d'Azur but I'm loving it.

Maria said...

Hello Paulita,

I'm shy to admit, but having a French boyfriend, I'm also dreaming of a nice and warm country home in France. They have a winter home in the mountain that he's always telling me about and I truly can't wait to see it and also, Paris -- with which some of it's attractions are featured on one of my latest posts :)

Hi from Manila,

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Another place to go :-) Bourges , I think my good friend Barb has just been there , but she lives in Paris ,, I do not venture from Paris ,, did once to Rouen , which I loved and then down to Lot valley ,, and you were an Au Pair :-) :-)

Joy said...

Paulita-- I just wanted to make sure that you see the Google Doodle today. It's fun!

Joy's Book Blog

Patricia said...

Hi Paulita - it's taken me ages to get back here but I don pop in from time to time. Just had to comment on this beautiful home. I can imagine the wonderful memories you must have from your visits there. How is the new semester going? And your next novel? We are waiting! Hope your summer was splendid!

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