I am feeling rather guilty now that I haven't posted anything for the beginning of December. I've just been so busy with the official arrival of the Christmas season as well as my recent changing of families this past weekend of the 8th and 9th.But instead of throwing a pity party and inviting all of my readers to come to this event acknowledging the lack of a recent blog entry, I chose, instead, to write a blog entry.
Just to show everyone that I am still alive, and I am thinking of everyone, with all the other things and people I am already thinking about.
Take this gift I gave my first host family, for example. Because I have no money to buy them an expensive bottle of fancy wine or anything of the sort, I chose instead to buy a picture frame (only 8 euros thankyouverymuch) and frame this drawing I did of them and me. I do believe they like it. It was displayed in the living room on the fireplace last I saw it.
|I am sorry if the amount of bags I ended up filling bothers you, mom.|
HOW COOL IS THAT?
|peering down from the top|
|the landing between the second and third floors|
Along with the books, there is the old furniture. My grandma's room has this 200-year-old armoire hand carved in the Normandy region of France, as well as this book shelf from the 1920s that her father used to mark the height growth of her and her siblings (the marks still being there, of course).
Then there is the piano room, which I absolutely adore. For one thing, there is the piano; for another, it reminds me of my piano teacher in Oregon's house, and of course it has all the shelves of old books too. And the sheet music. I am learning a polonaise using sheet music that's about a hundred years old. There is also this old writing desk, among various other antique-like decor.
|with Christmas flair!|
|the piano room (though the piano can't be seen)|
|the writing desk|
|this bookshelf goes from floor to ceiling|
|I live in a bookworm's paradise|
|one of the smaller bookshelves|
So what did I do my first weekend here?
Okay you probably weren't asking yourself that question, and I just posed it rhetorically assuming you would be interested to know. If you are, great, if you aren't, je m'en fiche.
Christmas is my favorite time of the year, and it just makes me so happy with all the festivities and celebration and joyful atmosphere. I have not felt homesick spending Christmas here, which is unusual. Perhaps it's because I have already spent Christmas away from where I spent it as a child. Perhaps it's because I can't believe I am spending Christmas in magnificent Europe, and everything just has this glow to it. Either way, who knows when I'll get a Christmas like this again? A Christmas in France! I am not letting feelings of homesickness spoil the wonder this season brings.
One thing that has kept me occupied is the writing of Christmas letters to friends around the world. Like I mentioned earlier, I am too poor to buy those pretty Christmas cards at the store, so instead I just cut out envelope-sized pieces of drawing paper and customized each card depending on its recipient. I had heaps of fun doing it. Here are some samples...
|"Merry Christmas from France to India," with a letter for Shank written in the back|
|Merry Christmas in French, Romanian, and Arabic, going to my Romanian friend Adela and Egyptian friend Klare!|
|I got lazy with trying to figure out a drawing design so I just cut out letters on wrapping paper (this is going to my counselor in the Tualatin Rotary Club, Barbara)|
By the way, did you know that December 5th was my 100th day in France?
By the way, did you know that I have my next Rotary weekend this weekend and I can barely stand the wait?
I'll have so much to say about it on the 19th. Until then!