Friday, December 26, 2008

CHRISTMAS LETTER 2008

Now that most of my xmas cards have been recieved, I can post this years Christmas letter.

As another year flies by, I hope this letter finds you all well. We have had a few highlights this year. To start I guess it's unnecessary to mention we all survived being buried under 10 feet of snow last winter! Wow..it brought back childhood memories of one year in Fernie BC when we couldn't see the house across the street because the snow banks were so high. Dad actually fell off the roof while shovelling that year but didn't suffer a scratch!

Chris was like a kid in a candy store with each snow fall..he loves our Canadian winters. Every chance he gets to call home to shock his family with the weather status is a joy for him!

In April I was able to escape the remaining 8 feet of snow, as Chris took me home to France. I can't begin to express how welcome I felt and how enchanted I was with the country of my ancestors. Ironically, although we left a harsh winter, last spring in Paris was uncharacteristically cold. So everyone enjoyed making fun of the Canadian girl who was freezing! Let's make one thing clear. I dressed for a famous spring time in Paris and I had also lost 80lbs in the last year so this chick felt like she had no plumage on a few different levels! Thankfully we had some nice weather also.

My accent was a source of much amuzement all across France. Although I am fluent my accent isn't quite quebecoise nor is it english...so Chris had to translate a few things..as much for me as for them!

I must say I had the best tour guide. Chris drove over 4300 klms with the rental car! We spent some days in Paris, his parents live near Versailles and his sister Frederique and husband Chef Bernard, have a restaurant in the region of Normandie. I swear I have never eaten anything so good in all my 45 years on this earth!

We also went to the Haut Pyreennes to stay with his grandmother. It is 1 hour from Spain, so we spent a day there. We also had Chris' daughter Mahault age 16 and son Thomas age 14 with us for 2 weeks. It was a great time scouting out castles to visit and sites to see together. As we travelled towards Brittany where the kids live, we stopped in the Basque region...in Biarritz, a beach on the atlantic famous for great surfing and ofcourse topless sunbathers. I decided to refrain from exposing my ample attributes only because I didn't want to make the locals jealous or block out the sun, which ever came first...cough cough. It was hot and beautiful so the kids got their suits out to swim..and Chris and I had fun getting our feet wet on the shore.

We made our way to Brittany as the kids holiday was over..to then go onto visit a sight to be seen in ones lifetime. Mont Saint Michel. It was jaw dropping to see something built over 1000 yrs ago. Like a fortress raised above the ocean out of nowhere like a fantasy. We spent hours exploring and had supper there. To finally drive 4 hours back to Versailles. Our travels over the weeks had us almost going in a full circle.

The last week took us to the city of Lafleche in Normandie from where my paternal family ancestor came from. In 1653 Michel Bouvier among others travelled to Montreal when it was being colonized. I had the privilage to meet the towns culteral attachee who greeted us with a warm welcome. I was also presented with a beautiful book published of the the history of that very voyage. We also recieved a book of present day Lafleche depicted with lovely photos . I was taken to the archives to actually hold the oldest book of registrar they had. Written on the second page was the baptism of our ancestor in 1633! Had he been born 1 month earlier, they would not have had that record! The gentleman then spend an hour with us walking around the town center showing us many landmarks and the church where the baptism actually took place! It was quite an experience for me.

It was truelly a trip of a lifetime. His whole family also made me feel very welcome. Imbarrasingly for Chris, I got to hear all the childhood horror stories he was a part of growing up.

Last summer, we stuck close to home. Our deck needed to be rebuilt. It had seen better days so Chris rebuilt it with Cleo's help. I had visions of them killing themselves, swinging 8 foot planks around like Laurel and Hardy..but they did a great job. Cleo has never been afraid of power tools..unlike her mom. Give me a a sewing machine and a stapler anyday but just going near *man* tools gives me the heebeejeebees. (psst Truth be told, I always figured if I learned how to operate them I would be expected to actually use them...they fall under the same catagory as lawn mowers and snow blowers...not going there!)

Cleo is very busy in college in an arts program. She is still doing her classical piano lessons and learning guitar. Needless to say, she has a full plate. Oh and her hair is blue. It actually looks great but incase you are wondering, her father was NOT a smurf.

She turned 18 this past Sept. I think that all parents cosmically age 10 years when their children become adults. Our brain clicks a cog that says..OK what now?.But wait! They are grown, our job is done. I hope my parenting has enabled them to make the right choices for their future. Then we realize, ARE YOU INSANE!? Remember how you were at 18! OMG!.Then our brain reclicks the ..OK what now?!

Well, this sums up the highlights of our year. I wish my letter contained an electrical charge to automatically wake you now as its over. We hope you all have a terrific holiday season and the new year brings you new adventures, good health and happiness.

Till next year..sincerely Monette, Chris and Cleo ...0x0x0x

6 comments:

Granny Annie said...

Great letter and recap of your year. Happy New Year to you and yours!

Ramona said...

You obviously had a very memorable year...it sounds wonderful!
Wishing you and your family a very Happy, Healthy and Safe 2009!

Bob-kat said...

Sounds like you all had a great year and I remember your trip well :) I hope the next one is even better!

Belated Merry Christmas and best wishes for ther New Year.

kenju said...

I remember your trip well and it sounds as if the rest of 2008 was good for you as well. I hope that you all will have a great your in 2009!! Happy New Year!

Melody said...

I *heart* hearing about your tours of France - oh how one loves that country. (I cannot wait to return myself either)

What a great year you've had.

Wishing you a belated Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2009.

Pez said...

What a great year for you! I hope you have another wonderful year in 2009!