We've asked these questions to each other several times the past few weeks. But, without exception, after a few laughs and even fewer tears, we know the answers and are assured that this is the right time and place for us to be here. We are grateful for the opportunity to live and serve in France. At first I kept pinching myself and finding that doing so didn’t wake me up from a marvelous dream. Definitely a dream come true.
baguettes from our
I have to confess that there were also a few days when I wanted to click my heels and end up back in Midway, at least for a few hours. How we miss everyone! And to say the learning curve is steep doesn’t begin to describe how overwhelmed we both have been with taking over the tasks assigned to us. Doug is the financial secretary for the whole mission—such a huge responsibility and one that weighs heavily on his shoulders. Learning and functioning in Excel has been extremely difficult (he sometimes still asks me, for instance, where the “carriage throw” on the keyboard is). I think we’ve moved him from the 19th century into the beginning of the 20th, but we have a long way to go. What a trooper he is to take this all on without a strong financial or computer background. He’s amazing. We’ve found that the “gift of tongues” relates to computer language as well as French.
OO Other day-to-day nitty gritty things we will want to remember:
· We are temporarily in a very small apartment that used to be occupied by Elders. It has two bedrooms, kind of; a kitchen, kind of; a small WC (water closet); and a bathroom with a sink and shower. One of the bedrooms has a set of bunk beds, a dresser, and a closet—the dresser and closet are things on our “we are grateful for…” list. The other “bedroom” serves more as an all-purpose room. It has a small bed on the floor, two desks, a small table for eating, four chairs, a book shelf, and the clothes dryer. So it is really our bedroom, study, dining room, living room, and laundry room. Compact and efficient! The kitchen is very narrow (two people can pass by each other—barely) and has a stove, small oven, very small refrigerator, and a Barbie Dream Home-sized clothes washer. The commute to the bureau (office) is 30 minutes on a good day and an hour+ on other days. The worst thing about it, though, is that it has NO INTERNET!
· We are driving a small Toyota hybrid. It’s taken us some time to get used to not hearing the car run when it is on—we always think it has stalled at the stop lights, etc. We’re glad to have it, though. Doug is doing well with the driving and keeps us safe. He doesn’t think he’ll be up to riding in the car with me driving, however. I remind him that I drove a van around both New York and Tokyo and did just fine, but he isn’t yet convinced. I’ll probably have to explore on my own one day (senior missionaries aren’t required to stay together like the young missionaries are). So we explore a lot and enjoy it—thank goodness for the GPS!
· Shopping and cooking are fun and exciting—lots of new products to try and lots of old favorites nowhere to be found. We did find white marshmallows and Rice Krispies yesterday in the “Foreign Foods” section of a new grocery store we explored. Can’t wait for Doug to fix his famous “Rice Krispy Candy!” I made Rocky Road brownies last night to take to the President’s house for dinner tonight and they turned out great! Different flour, different butter, different sugar, and different eggs, vanilla, and cocoa (and, of course, different measurements). But, they worked.