Monday, June 20, 2016

The Rest of the Story...



6/20/2016

Bonjour mes amis!

Have you ever heard of Paul Harvey?  He was an American Radio Broadcaster who told stories that often had a life lesson involved, and he would conclude his stories with, "And now you know (pause) the rest of the story"?  If you don't know who he was, you should look him up.  He was a great story teller.  He told stories for decades, during some very historical moments.  Anyway, I'm feeling a bit like him today, because I'm going to tell you the rest of one of our stories.  It's nothing of historical significance, but perhaps there's a life lesson in there.

I know you've been waiting to hear the rest of our Dinner Invitation story...


If you haven't read the first part yet, or have forgotten, please check out my post HERE from the 14th so you can be caught up!  We received an interesting Dinner Invitation from a Stranger that we weren't sure we should accept.


Go ahead!  I'll wait while you look.  Meanwhile, I can start telling everyone else about something fun we did the other weekend.

My friend, Solange, has been acting since she was in the Lycée (that's High School).  She loves it, and has still kept up her skills by performing every couple years (give or take) in productions at local Theaters.


We were so privileged that she asked if we would like to see her in a Play (Pièce de Théâtre).  I was so excited to see my friend doing something she loves, and we gladly accepted!


Solange played four roles in a Play by Jean-Michel RIBES, called "Pièces détachées", which literally translated means, detached parts, or spare parts.


Jean-Michel RIBE's Plays are often about the absurd, so there was much to understand from the Play since we are not fluent in French.  Solange prepped us as best she could with each Scene, so we would have an idea of what was going on.


Solange did a magificent job, as well as her Colleagues, and we enjoyed it so much!


Afterward, we had refreshments with the cast, and laughed and just enjoyed the moment with Solange.  It was so fun to be her honored guests at the Play!  Thank you, Solange! BRAVO!


I guess you are wondering when I'm going to get back to my story, huh?  Well, how about I just share a few photos with you from Combleux, while I share the rest.  Poor Dr. J had never been to Combleux, so we took him there after the Play.



As I told you on the 14th, we received a dinner invitation from a stranger at the Carrefour Market.  The whole week, we debated about whether we should actually accept or not.  For one, she wanted us to come on a Friday, and we had considered renting a car to go away for the weekend.  Well, this would be an easy excuse to decline the invitation.

On top of this, Dr. J's Colleagues were definitely concerned about this Invitation.  I mean, who invites total strangers over?  Well, yes, it is uncommon, but we had talked with her for a bit, and she shared things about her family and that she lived close to the Market.


We ended up texting her to say that we couldn't come on that particular Friday because we planned to be out of town, but perhaps the Monday or Tuesday after?  She responded that Monday would work and we could meet her at the Market at 19h, or 7:00 PM.



Still not fully sure about this, we told her we would confirm with her, because we had to be sure we would have a rental car.  She was fine with that and told us to text her to confirm we had a car.



We managed a car, and texted her that our car had GPS.  Dr. J wanted me to try to get her address, rather than just meet her at the Market.  She gladly texted back her address, and when we discovered that she lived just a couple hundred meters from one of Dr. J's Colleagues, we felt a little more comfortable to go.


But still...was this awkward? Yes!  Was this a little out of the norm?  Yes!

I guess we considered ourselves a little adventurous...and maybe a little curious!

We drove up to Sylvie's house and saw that the front gate was left open for us.  As we timidly got out of the car, Sylvie popped her head out the door to greet us!  Okay...feeling somewhat more comfortable now...



We entered Sylvie's home while her dog (not too happy to see us) barked loudly at us for the next 10 minutes.  Sylvie gently patted her dog and spoke softly to her, and told us that she would calm down soon.  Then, we met Sylvie's teenage son, Hugo.  He was a friendly guy, and a typical teenager, but you could see that his Mom was training him well.  He offered us snacks and poured some juice, and we sat in the living room together, while Sylvie worked on a little more meal preparation.

Finally, the dog calmed down, and let us pet her, and then she was quiet and more friendly.


Sylvie spoke good English, though she didn't think she did (her English was definitely better than our French!) and we just got to know eachother for a bit.  She even had Dr. J open a bottle of Monbazillac wine while we munched on cherry tomatoes, pretzels and nuts.


Things were getting more comfortable.  Sylvie invited us to the dinner table, and we found that we were enjoying getting to know her.  She has a good job with an Agency closely related to the Environmental Protection Agency (though more related to Employee protection in their occupations), and Hugo, though he didn't speak a lot of English, tried to talk with us too.  Talking Sports with a teen is always a good idea, so Dr. J kept the conversation going there.

Sylvie asked us lots of questions about living in the U.S.A., and we in turn asked her things about her life in France.  She was quite surprised that we knew so much about France and had traveled to quite a few places in France.  Sylvie was a very gracious hostess, and we mutually enjoyed getting to know one another.  And...we enjoyed another delicious leisurely French meal in a French home!


As for Sylvie's daughter, we never did get to meet her.  She would not come out of her room.  We need to pray for her, and this anxiety she suffers, as well as Sylvie, to get the help she needs for her daughter.

All in all, is there a life lesson in there for us?  Sylvie was looking to know someone from another culture, and she was trying to provide a nice situation for her daughter.  And she was certainly friendly!  Of course, we were cautious (we texted Dr. J's Colleague a code word, "Texas Madeleines" during the evening to let him know all was fine), but we truly did enjoy this stranger's kindness and have come away with a nice memory and the privilege of having gotten to know another French friend!


Quoting Paul Harvey...
"And now you know (pause) the rest of the Story!"

À bientot!
Jan

P.S.  In case you are wondering why we used "Texas Madeleines" as the code word...well, tell you what, I'll tell you about that one tomorrow!

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