Everyone's flying the coop! Our son, Max, moves to Montpellier. Jackie, I told you, moves to Aix-en-Provence. And my Mom is moving to Mexico after her husband, Mr John, flew the coop to Paradise!
"But your mom already lives in Mexico..." you say. No. She lives in Puerto Vallarta--with the rest of the gringos.
Of course my sister and I are alarmed. Mom, all alone now, will be living on the fringes of the city, "in the jungle," as she is fond of saying. And from our phone conversations (which systematically cut off after 11.5 minutes, owing to a telecom hitch), I can't quite make out just what it will look like, her new place, which she has alternately referred to as a cabana and a casita. I finally pinned Mom down....
"So it is a freestanding structure? It has a toilet, a shower, and a sink. That's all? Is that a corrugated roof I see in the picture? Are you sure this isn't a converted garage?!!!"
Heidi is there now, helping our Mom move from the marina to the barrio. My sister is going to stick out like a sore thumb with her blond hair! What will the locals think of the new neighbors? (Neighbor, singular--Heidi heads back to Denver in 3 days.)
"Don't worry!" Mom says. I've already figured it out. I'm going to tell them that I am the foreign mistress of Rocky's father (my mom's housekeeper's brother--a champion boxer who she has appointed as her official Chief of Security--and who also lives in the hood).
"And that makes Heidi Rocky's Swedish half-sister? Is that the story?"
"Don't worry, Honey. Everything will work out!"
I just got off the phone with my sister, who doesn't even know the word heydo (not that I can spell it--but I did once work in a Swedish vineyard!), and who has bug bites from head to toe. "That reminds me to pack mosquito repellent," I said, staring at the solid roof over my head. "Can you think of anything else I should bring when I get there in three weeks?"
"Pack a baseball cap!" Heidi laughed. "...to hide all that blond hair when you get here. No one speaks a word of English."
I guess my sister hasn't heard about Mom's plan. Meantime Rocky (not his real name. I'm already feeling my role of protective sister!) and I are talking on Facebook messenger. He's learning English. Me, Spanish. I'm sure he has plenty of questions--given he thought his mom was Aztec!
I just know Mr John is watching the whole colorful scene from Paradise. I can hear his favorite message: Don't worry about a thing. Just enjoy life! With that, I leave you with today's French phrase, in theme with Mom's new chapter in life. Please wish her all the best. And if anyone out there does dry wall construction--Mom's going to need a new ceiling beneath all that corrugated metal. And insulation as thick as my sister's American accent!
Hasta la pasta, and thank you for reading!
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TODAY'S WORD: voler de ses propres ailes
ECOUTEZ - Listen to Jean-Marc pronounce today's word:
Voler de ses propres ailes, c'est d'être indépendant, subsister par ses propres moyens.
To fly with one's own wings is to be independant, to get by via one's own means.
Improve your spoken French. Try Pronounce it Perfectly in French or Exercises in French Phonetics
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My sister, Heidi, and my nephew and niece. Photo taken in March.
HAVAIANAS: One thing both Heidi and I will be packing are a good pair of flipflops! Mom gave me her pair of Havaianas last time she was in France, and I wear them everywhere (even hiking the local calanques!) Click here to order
Colorful Foutas - I will of course be bringing my favorite towel. Maybe I can wrap it around my head and forego the baseball cap? Click here to order.
Mosquito spray or bracelets! Here are some options in case you, too are in the market for some. Click here.
SUNDRESSES! It will be too hot to wear anything else. Click here to order.
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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety