Store Clerk: Would you like to be put on our mailing list?
Me: No, we are just visiting for the Holidays.
Store Clerk: Oh, we ship all over the U.S.
Me: Well, we are living out of the country right now.
Store Clerk: Really! Where are you living?
Store Clerk: Paris, FRANCE! Wow, how exciting! I bet it's beautiful (or fascinating or interesting...)
Me: Yes, yes it is.
But oh how I will miss you U.S.A.
I guess it is true that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Everything just seemed easier this trip back. Things were available and plentiful. The drive from North Carolina to Florida on Christmas morning seemed somehow shorter. It was as if the dreaded drive through South Carolina was now made pleasant because of the lack of traffic and the wide roads.
I was talking with my mother-in-law and we both agreed that it takes living in a foreign country (she's is from Berlin) to truly make you realize how easy living in the United States is. I know I used to think places where "backward" or agonizingly slow. Ha Ha! There is a different pace of life in the United States. It all now seems so fast...... right down to the laundry which only takes 25 minutes to wash in the U.S. vs. the 1 hour 20 minute cycle on my machine in France (which is the fastest cycle!).
So we are now 10 months into the first year. The kids are loving school. Patrick's work is going well. The dogs are now better leash walkers and actually learning some "new tricks". We are all learning new things daily and learning to appreciate everything more. So, things take a little longer to get done now. The language is difficult. The apartment is small. The dogs have no yard. But just think how much we will appreciate coming back when our time is up in Paris!?!? And of all the things Paree will have taught us along the way about how to appreciate "takin' it slow".