Here we are back in our home town, Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A. It's great seeing family and friends. We're even staying in our old house, so it's as if we had never even gone away. The kids are out playing with friends. We've had family over to celebrate Christmas and we had a New Year's Eve party last night.
But all the fun here is coming to an end in a couple of days. Back to our lives in Paris (life is hell, n'est-ce pas?). It's going to be hard saying goodbye to everyone again. And there is the next year to think about. Will we stay in Paris? Will we head South toward Nice? Will we return to Cincinnati? Where will the kids go to school? If we return to Cincinnati after one year, will they remember how to speak French in a few years from now? If we stay in France, will we ever want to return?
What we've missed from Cincinnati while we've been away:
Family and friends (of course)
Pearl (our dog)
Our neighborhood, our house, and the woods that we wake up to every morning behind our house
Seeing a big stretch of sky with no buildings blocking the view
Hiking in the woods
Knitting and singing at the CWS
Hopping in a car and traveling all over the city running errands in a couple of hours
Speaking our native language and communicating with little trouble
A lifelong connection to a city and its people
What we miss about Paris while we've been away for only about 10 days:
Walking a great amount daily
Taking public transport, especially buses 92 and 84, as well as my favorite, the Velib
Specialty shops- cheese shops, artisanal bakeries, boucheries, as well as fabulous open air food markets
The simplicity of apartment life
People watching and eavesdropping
The thrill of discovering a new city
So, we hope to enter 2008 with hearts and minds open to all of life's possibilities. On with the adventure!