Saturday, April 30, 2011

Small Talk

Having Easter in the actual spring time is really delightful, as I discovered last Sunday. Blooming roses and lilacs and sunshine and green grass just can't be beat to celebrate Christ's resurrection. We all went to Pépé's for a 'family' meal, and after several alarms for incoming rain and rearranging of chairs inside and outside, we kids were sent off on an egg hunt around the yard while the adults sipped their champagne and gave out hints or hooted and hollered when two contestants came close. Egg hunting is serious business here; none of those plastic eggs filled with a couple jelly beans, it's all about solid chocolate. The good stuff. Doing an egg hunt is tradition for Cécile's family, even though Romain, Antoine, and Maxime are a bit grown up, and they welcomed the exchange cousins to join them in the annual race to discover the most chocolate. We had a lot of fun, and we shared the fruits of the hunt with everyone. It finally decided to be sunny, so we enjoyed aperitifs and a feast outside in the garden with the birds singing and the dogs laying in the grass. Denis and Martine fixed all kinds of fancy appetizers, and followed them with a course of asparagus (the white kind. Apparently that is the most common type here, which surprised me. I'd always been used to see the green stuff) and truffle sauce with parmesan cheese. The main course was mutton with a fresh salad and fried potatoes, followed up with wine, cheese, and ice cream for dessert. Have I mentioned that Belgians know their food? We kids played a type of blindman's bluff and had fun talking with the adults. Marianne, Denis, and Pépé came and played a few rounds with us too. It was hilarious to watch them get into it, trying to trick the guesser and grinning from ear to ear like 5 year olds. There was a thunder storm a ways off, so it was exciting for me to hear serious thunder, the likes of which never happen in AK. It didn't get close enough to really even rain on us, but we had fun looking for it.
This week we're back in school, although my class has gotten out of school early every single day---the students were there, but the teachers not so much. It's been kinda nice. I have been gorging myself on English novels I picked up in Wales.
We had a real-to-goodness thunderstorm here Thursday, so I was happy that I walked home before it got going. Miss 36 was scared, so I had her in my lap for a while. Good thing she's a whippet and not a Great Dane!
There's a new puppy here at the moment, a little snippet called Libellule (Dragonfly). Someone found her in a garbage bag alongside the road and brought her to Marianne. She's about 9 months old and just the sweetest-tempered little thing you ever saw. She's already found a home, but she's staying here for a week while they're on vacation, so I have been puppy-sitting lately. The bonuses of living with a vet! Poor Piout is quite jealous of the teenier newcomer, who's about half her size (nothing but skin and bones). She's used to being the baby around here. The baby also has some issues with potty-training, but hopefully she'll figure that out soon.
That's all the small talk here for now. Our departure draws ever nearer, with our crises of opposing emotions. July will be interesting.

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