Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Evangeline (Part Eleven)

Grandma Shaw had one of those fancy gates at the entrance to her drive way, the kind where you have to push a button and get permission before the gate will open. Tucker was not expecting that. He was hoping to surprise his ol' granny. (This was the first of many miscalculations by Tucker Shaw.)

He pushed the button and waited.

He pushed it again and waited, still no answer. Then he noticed a small strip of paper taped to the mailbox. It read, "Gone to the bank. Leave packages at gate" signed, "M. Shaw." Tucker put the truck in park and turned the motor off. Seemed like a good time for a nap.

He was just about to doze off when he heard someone singing. He sat up and looked around. There was a girl with a head of massive brown curls riding a bicycle and singing as she pedaled along. The closer she came, the clearer her voice became. It was a voice that made his skin want to bubble up and slide right off his body. He covered his ears with his hands and watched her pedal slowly by in the rear view mirror, glancing his way as she rode along.

After she disappeared around the curve, he cautiously lowered his hands. Her voice faded in the distance. Then suddenly, his truck was surrounded and the interior of the old Ford grew dark. Butterflies, thousands of them were flying into the windows their wings beating against the glass. Tucker sat motionless and terrified. Then just as quickly, they were gone.

He laughed uneasily to himself. Then, he thought about the girl on the bicycle and an ice cold fear ran down his spine.

Evangeline (Part Ten)

Tucker’s Grandma Shaw lived on the southern outskirts of town in a fine old Victorian home. Up until her husband died in 1985, the Shaw’s lived a relatively simple life. Grandma Shaw never worked outside the home and her husband Bill worked at the lumber yard until he surrendered to lung cancer, leaving his wife, two adult children and one grandchild.

After his death, Grandma Shaw bought the old Miller place and spent a fortune returning it to its former opulence. There was no doubt that Grandma Shaw had come in to some money. People argued over how she got the money. Most thought her husband must’ve had a big life insurance policy, others insisted that he had been one of the men who robbed the bank in 1965 (the money had never been found – almost $100,000). I myself never gave it much thought, although I did admire what she did with the place. Not only had she restored the home completely, but the beautiful gardens around the home as well. It was a show-stopper.

Both of the Shaw’s children moved away from Sommerville after Bill’s death. Their son Matthew died in the Persian Gulf War from “friendly fire.” Their daughter Leslie and her husband John died in a terrible car accident about five years ago, leaving behind their teenage son Tucker and the proceeds of a $20,000 life insurance policy.

Tucker was 16 years old with $20,000. He had no living relatives except for his Grandma Shaw. He was not about to move to some hick town and live with an old lady. So he immediately dropped out of high school, and disappeared into the under belly of Chicago, only to resurface in Sommerville five years later.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Evangeline (Part Nine)

Tucker served his time and was released on a Friday. His girlfriend Sandy picked him up in an old Toyota she borrowed from her neighbor. She had been waiting 18 months for this day and in honor of the occasion, had purchased a new dress from the Kathie Lee Gifford Clothing Collection at WalMart.

She was all smiles and teary-eyes when he walked out of the prison gate. Sandy threw her arms around his neck and squeezed as tight as she could. Tucker patted her on the back and told her to turn loose before she strangled him. He kissed her pretty mouth and gave her his signature wink, and off they went to Sandy’s humble apartment in Chicago’s south side.

Four months later, Tucker was still unemployed and Sandy was beginning to turn on him. She worked two jobs as a waitress, one at the coffee shop on the corner, and one at an Irish pub a few blocks down the street. She bought all the groceries, cooked all the meals, kept the apartment clean, and did the laundry. Sandy was hoping that Tucker would find a job so that they could get married. She was certain he would propose to her once he found work. But Tucker always had good excuses, the work never came, and Sandy’s patience was transparently thin.

On the four month anniversary of his release, Sandy tearfully broke the news to Tucker. She was pregnant. No doubt about it. He needed to get a job, and she meant NOW. Tucker assured her that he would find a job immediately, not to worry, everything would be ok, and he loved her.

So Sandy headed out to the coffee shop and Tucker headed out to the used car lot. He took the money his Grandma Shaw had sent him and bought a 1979 Ford F150 for $500. Then he drove to the Army surplus store and bought several pairs of desert camouflage pants, four black t-shirts, five pair of socks and one pair of black boots. He drove from the Army surplus store to the liquor store and purchased four bottles of tequila (long drive to Virginia) and from there, he headed to the grocery store where he stocked up on peanut butter crackers, barbeque potato chips, beef jerky, Little Debbie Swiss Rolls and a twelve pack of Coca-Cola.

He drove back to Sandy’s apartment and quickly stuffed his meager belongings in a brown paper grocery sack. He sat down at the kitchen table and wrote her a note on the back of the water bill.

Dear Sandy,
I need to find a job before I can be a good daddy or husband. I’ll be in touch. Here’s $200 to help with the back-rent.

He laid the note on the table with the two 100-dollar bills on top. He stood up, took one last look around, picked up his bag, and headed for the door. Just as his hand began to reach the door knob, he remembered something. He turned and went to the bedroom. There in the top drawer of Sandy’s dresser was her Daddy’s Colt .38 Special, brand-spanking new, still in the box, along with a plastic zip-lock bag full of bullets.

Tucker took the gun and the bullets, gave his handsome reflection a wink in the mirror, and kissed Chicago goodbye.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Evangeline (Part Eight)

Tucker Shaw weighed the facts. His girlfriend was pregnant, he didn’t have a job, and there was nothing at all worth watching on daytime television. So, he did what any man of his character would do, he left town.

Tucker never finished high school, but while he was incarcerated at the Federal Prison in Pekin, Illinois, he managed to earn his G.E.D. He also decided to try to establish contact with his only living relative, his Grandma Shaw who lived way down in Sommerville, Virginia.

The first few letters Tucker sent went unanswered. Then one day, he received a pink envelope that smelled like roses and he knew before he looked at the postmark, that it was his Grandma.

And so, Tucker and Grandma Shaw became pen pals. Once a week he would get a letter from her and once a week he would write her a letter in return.

He didn’t get much interesting information out of Grandma Shaw. She seemed to ramble a lot. But there were two things she mentioned frequently – spending money and a girl who sang like a angel. It was the “spending money” part of the letters that got Tucker’s attention.

A month before he was released, Tucker asked his Grandma for a loan so that he could get back on his feet. She was generous enough to send him $2,000 which he hid in an old mint tin under his mattress. He had big plans for that money.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Evangeline (Part Seven)

After the initial shock of the diagnosis, the Goodman family accepted the Lord’s will and began to prepare for the baby’s arrival. Every day that passed they grew more and more happy and anxious to meet the new member of the family.

Evangeline sang to her mother often. Sometimes, Mrs. Goodman would fall asleep in the recliner to the multi-toned notes of her daughter’s voice, wrapping herself in the sound as she fell in to the deepest sleep and most beautiful dreams.

Now, don’t think just because I haven’t mentioned it, that Evangeline and Prissy’s relationship got any better after the library incident. On the contrary, it cemented Prissy’s determination to ruin Evangeline. Since Evangeline and Megan were good friends, Prissy took out her rage on both of them, everything from hiding a dead cockroach in Evangeline’s tuna salad, to telling lies in an effort to get them suspended from school. Yet, even with all her power, Prissy was unable to seriously hurt, discredit, or shame Evangeline or Megan – not for lack of trying mind you.

Sooner or later, our debts come due and Prissy's were on the way in the shape of an old Ford pickup truck.

Evangeline (Part Six)

Evangeline had just turned 16 when Pastor and Mrs. Goodman discovered they were going to have a baby. The couple was in their mid-forties by then, so I believe it was something of a shock, to say the least.

By this time, Evangeline was getting requests from churches as far away as Texas to come and sing. Everywhere she went, her incredible voice continued to fill hearts with joy and bring people to the Lord.

Once she heard the happy news that her parents were expecting a baby, Evangeline decided to stay close to home. She doted, worried, and fussed over her mother. She began to cook the meals herself and do all of the housework. Being 45 years old, Evangeline knew her mother needed to be especially cautious.

Pastor and Mrs. Goodman, and Evangeline, went to the doctor’s office to see the baby on the sonogram for the first time. Everything appeared normal, but there were lots of blood tests that needed to be done due to Mrs. Goodman’s “advanced” age.

One week later, they were back at the doctor’s office to find out about the tests. As soon as Evangeline saw Dr. Pratt’s face, she knew something was wrong.

“I’m very sorry to have to tell you that…. your baby has Down Syndrome” he said quietly. Then, he went on. “Down syndrome is a chromosomal disorder caused by an additional third chromosome 21,” he paused to take a breath. “Researchers have established that the likelihood that a reproductive cell will contain an extra copy of chromosome 21 increases dramatically as a woman ages. Therefore, an older mother is more likely than a younger mother to have a baby with Down syndrome.”

Pastor and Mrs. Goodman sat motionless and for the first time in her entire life, Evangeline’s eyes filled up and spilled over with tears.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Evangeline (Part Five)

Evangeline’s troubles began when she started the second grade. Miss Baker, the second grade teacher, made labels for all the students’ little cubby holes (the place where they keep their jackets, lunch boxes, etc.) There were two girls in the class that had the initials E.G., Evangeline Goodman and Ellie Garrett. So Miss Baker decided to use the middle initials as well, which of course meant that E.G.G. was printed over Evangeline’s cubby.

Naturally, this became a source of ridicule from the bullies and the mean kids in the class. She was called Egg Head, Rotten Egg, Deviled Egg, and Egg Salad, to name a few. One child in particular loved to needle Evangeline. Her name was Margaret Allison Davis (initials M.A.D.- another parental oversight) but she went by the name “Prissy” as she was just exactly that – prissy. Prissy’s father was the president of the largest bank in Harris County and they lived in a fine house with about 400 acres of prime real estate.

Prissy was accustomed to being the center of attention and the prettiest and most popular girl in Sommerville Elementary. But by the time the second grade started, Evangeline and her miraculous voice began to steal Prissy’s thunder. The newspapers had printed several stories about Evangeline, and the t.v. station out of Portsmith taped a human interest piece complete with video of the crowds gathering outside the Tabernacle Church on Sunday morning.

Yes, Evangeline was a thorn in the side of Prissy Montgomery.

But Evangeline was oblivious to Prissy’s simmering hatred. Not because it was subtle, mind you, but because Evangeline had a loving, innocent way about her. She seemed to always see the good (no matter how miniscule) in a person. Prissy did everything in her power to torment and bully Evangeline – but nothing seemed to provoke her.

It was about this same time that my granddaughter Megan and Evangeline became fast friends. Megan was born with a hole in her heart, and at the tender age of 3 months, she had open heart surgery. The scar ran the length of her torso, and Megan did everything she could to keep it covered up, including wearing turtle neck shirts in the summer.

Megan was a library helper at the school. (She’s a bookworm, just like me.) One Friday, Miss Mollie Jo, the school librarian, told Megan that there was going to be a Book Fair and Open House on Monday, and that she should wear a white buttoned-down shirt and black skirt to school. Miss Mollie Jo wanted her helpers to serve the punch and cake to the visitors.

So, when Monday morning came around, Megan showed up in her white buttoned-down shirt and black skirt. Her buttoned-down shirt was buttoned down all right, from the top button to the bottom button, so that she could keep her secret hidden.

When it was time for the second-graders to come to the Book Fair, Evangeline made a bee line for Megan. “Megan,” she whispered, “Can you come and look at the books with me?” Megan looked up at Miss Mollie Jo who nodded approval.

The books were in stacks on tables. Stacks and stacks of books. Books on history, science, art, music, and literature. Books on crafts – beadwork, cross stitch, calligraphy, and candle making. Fantasy books on fairies, elves and magic forests. Books on birds, flowers, and butterflies. The girls were in book heaven. The smell of new books was all around them and they were lost in their book joy bubble when suddenly Prissy Montgomery tapped Megan on the shoulder.

I think you should know that everyone thinks you look like a geek with you shirt buttoned all the way to the top button,” Prissy said with a smirk.

Evangeline could see Megan’s jaw tighten and her eyes begin to fill with tears. “Well…I….get cold sometimes,” Megan whispered. Her face was now a deepening scarlet.

Prissy reached over and quickly unbuttoned the top button of Megan’s shirt and before Megan’s hand had time to reach up and cover the opening, Prissy discovered Megan’s secret.

Ewwww, gross. What happened to you?” she said as she reached up in an attempt to pry Megan’s hand away from the spot below her neck where the scar began. “I want to see it freak, show it to me!” Prissy whispered through clenched teeth as she began to push Megan between the tall rows of bookshelves.

Suddenly Evangeline was between Megan and Prissy. She wrapped her hand around Prissy’s wrist holding it firmly. “Leave her alone Prissy,” Evangeline whispered. “Get out of my way Egg Head,” Prissy hissed back. “I will not,” Evangeline replied.

Then Prissy slapped Evangeline on the face. The sound was like a crack of thunder in the quiet murmurings of the library. Evangeline slowly turned her face to look Prissy in the eye and calmly turned her head to offer her other cheek. Prissy accepted the offer and right about the time her hand was at its highest point before soaring down to smack Evangeline on the cheek, Miss Mollie Jo grabbed it.

Prissy! What on earth do you think you’re doing?” she scolded. “Come with me right now to the Principal’s office.”

Prissy turned to look back at Evangeline, intending to send her a message that “this is not over,” but Evangeline’s crystal blue eyes had turned a dark, deep blue and there was something there that told Prissy that this was indeed, over.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Evangeline (Part Four)

For a small town, Sommerville has had its share of strange happenings. There’s been UFOs, Big Foot sightings, and the time the clock on city hall started running backwards.

I’ve noticed that whenever something inexplicable occurs, people polarize in to three groups. The first group believes that the event in question is God’s doing, the second group believes that it’s the devil’s doing, and the third group believes that there must be a scientific explanation for it, no matter what.

There was no shortage of inexplicable events while Evangeline was with us. Many of the stories can’t be confirmed because there was only one witness. But I can tell you first-hand what I saw one summer when Evangeline was about 8 years old.

The girl wasn’t like other girls her age. She didn’t care about Barbie Dolls, or television, or make-up, or the right way to wear her hair. She loved singing and being outdoors. Her parents would find her lying in the tall grass watching the wind move through the tops of the trees, or picking wildflowers, or wading in a creek. Evangeline loved the rolling hills, green pastures, and blue skies of Virginia.

There are a lot of dairy farms here in Sommerville. One of the largest is about a half a mile from my house. When I go for walks, I walk that way. The pasture is full of cows grazing lazily and not paying attention to much else. I was walking along the fence that summer when I realized the cows were missing. I thought maybe the dairy had moved them to another pasture, so I kept walking. Up ahead, I noticed a blur of insects hovering over the tall grass. As I got closer, I realized it was butterflies. Hundreds and hundreds of butterflies of every color, shape and size you can imagine.

Then I saw Evangeline, lying on her back, eyes closed, and hands folded on her chest. In a circle around her were the missing cows. Every one of them lying on the ground as well. Above them, the butterflies. It was a strange scene to say the least. I stood there for a moment, and when she opened her eyes, the butterflies disappeared in every direction. Now I taught science for 35 years and I can tell you truthfully, some of those butterflies are not native to this part of the U.S. And when was the last time you saw cows lying in a circle? Inexplicable.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Evangeline (Part Three)

Pastor Ken and his wife Barbara began to notice things about Evangeline when she was just a toddler. Unlike most two-year olds, Evangeline was a sweet spirit. No temper tantrums or fits of hysteria. She was a happy child. In fact, she was so good, that the pastor’s wife never had to leave her in the nursery during church. She sat up front with her mom, eyes fixed on the choir. Whenever the choir would start to sing, Evangeline would begin to sing along, in a tiny voice, in perfect tune. She didn’t know the words, but she knew the melodies and was singing before she was talking.

By the time she started elementary school, Evangeline’s incredible voice was famous all over Harris Country. The Tabernacle Church was filled every Sunday with pilgrims come to hear the tiny girl with the miraculous voice. Rumors began to circulate that Evangeline’s voice had the healing powers. Cancer went in to remission. Heart disease disappeared. Tumors shrank, and arthritis dissolved after experiencing the voice of Evangeline, or so they said.

Now, I’m not a member of the Tabernacle Church. I was born and raised a Freewill Baptist and will be one ‘til the day I die, but I must admit I was curious. So, one Sunday, I decided to attend the Tabernacle Church. I know the other pastors in the area were dismayed by their shrinking attendance. I also knew that my pastor would notice my absence because I always sit on the same pew, in the same spot, like I have for over 60 years. I did feel bad about it, but I just had to hear for myself what everyone else was talking about.

I remember walking up the steps of the Tabernacle Church. There were people of all walks of life walking with me, all religions, all colors, and all classes. I worked my way through the crowd (one of the good things about being an old woman is that people make way for you) and found a narrow spot at the end of a long wooden pew.

I could see Evangeline in the front row of the choir. She wore the same robe as the adults, just a smaller version. Her delicate features were framed by a mass of golden brown curls. I have never seen a child so young with so much hair.

The choir stood up. They sang the first verse of Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow, and then Evangeline began to sing. Right here and now, telling you this, I get the same gooseflesh I got that day. My body was covered head to toe with it. My scalp tingled and my heart fluttered in my chest. “Impossible,” I thought to myself. “It’s a trick.”

You see, Evangeline was singing harmony...with herself! It’s impossible to conceive, but I tell you it’s true. Her voice was the voice of more than one – it was melody and harmony and layers of sound and tones and perfect, clear pitch. It was a voice that could only be described as...angelic.

Evangeline (Part Two)

I have a little vegetable garden in the back yard. There’s nothing like fresh vegetables in the summer time. I grow tomatoes, peppers, peas, and red potatoes. I have flowers too, mostly roses. Sometimes my arthritis in my hands bothers me real bad. But if I get out in the garden, I forget all about it. Time just stands still when I’m in the garden.

I was out there watering my tomatoes one afternoon when my granddaughter Megan came skipping around the side of the house. She had a smile on her face and a handful of purple clover. She came over to me, threw her arms around my legs, and gave me a bear cub hug. Still clinging to me, she looked up and said breathlessly, “Grandma! Evangeline made the clover bloom!”

Friday, May 19, 2006

Evangeline (Part One)

I’ve been sittin’ on this porch for over 60 years. Every evening I come out here to drink my iced tea and watch the sun set. I’ve been a witness to a lot of things from this porch. I saw the bank get robbed in ’65 and I was sittin’ here when ol’ Doc Callaway crashed his Piper Cub in to the hardware store. They didn’t find too much of him. The paint caught fire and that was that. I’ve seen funeral processions and motor cycle rallies - lots of stuff. But the strangest thing I’ve ever seen happened five years ago this Christmas. See, that’s when Evangeline stepped through.

Evangeline was not a pretty girl. But there was something about her that made people want to be near her. She was an orphan, left on the steps of the Tabernacle Church in a laundry basket. She was naked as a jay bird wrapped in old newspapers. They say she didn’t cry one bit and if it hadn’t been for Jack Tanner’s hat flying off and landing nearby, she might have been out there all night and froze to death.

The authorities searched high and low, and put notices in all the papers, on the television, and on the radio. But no one came forward to claim her. Finally, the pastor at the Tabernacle Church and his wife adopted the baby. They didn’t have children of their own and believe me, there was much speculation about that. So, they took the baby home and named her Evangeline Grace Goodman. Which means her initials were E.G.G. People need to think about things like that when they name their children.

….to be continued.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Déjà Vu

If I close my eyes, I can smell the flowers. Roses. Lavender.

Memories of Provence linger like wisps of smoke. When I reach for them, they disappear. But right before the dawn, in that place between dreams and daylight, I hear the wind in the cypress trees, and I feel the sun on my face.

In Provence, I heard the murmur of ancient generations and sensed my own insignificance in the timeline of history.

It felt like home in some deeply Daja vu kind of way. It was an uncanny feeling of familiarity.

It pulls at me, tugs at my primeval memory to remember....remember.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Provence Day Four

Today was vineyard day. We visited Le Chateau Sainte Roseline

and the Domaine Le Font du Broc

We did some wine tasting, olive oil tasting, and toured the wine-making facilities. Both vineyards were lovely and have a wonderful history.

Tomorrow I'll be in meetings most of the day, so I won't have photos. Then I leave Sunday morning to return to the U.S.

Thanks for sharing my travels with me!

Today's photos at link below, click on Provence_4

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Provence Day Three

I had a very long day today. After an early breakfast, it was off to the Provencal village of Fayence to see the market. Fayence is another picturesque French village perched on a hilltop. Three days a week there is an open market. It was wonderful. Fresh fruits, vegetables, every kind of cheese imaginable, fresh fish, bread, sausages, fresh pasta, wine, olives and olive oil, just to name a few.

After we walked the market, we went to the oldest perfume factory in the world, the Fragonard in Grasse. There I learned about the flowers and plants that are used in the production of perfume. We also got to see the manufacture of the fine soaps and bath salts made in Grasse.

From Grasse we drove to La Vignette Haute to see a French cooking school and observe a cooking class.

We then drove to another beautiful, ancient hilltop village called Mougins and visited with a couple of chefs. While in Mougins, we dined at L’Amandier on a high balcony overlooking the valley and mountains. In the 17th century, L’Amandier was a place where olive oil was made.

From Mougins, we drove to Cannes, home of the famous “Film Festival”. The festival is next week, so there were giant movie posters everywhere.

While in Cannes, we visited the Chateau la Napoule, former home of the eccentric billionaire artist Henry Clews. The Chateau is centuries old, and stands right on the coast at Cannes.

We left Cannes and drove to Esterel to see L’Auberge des Adrets.

Then it was on to Fayence for a mountain top gourmet dinner at Le Castellaras.

Click on “Provence_3” at the link to see today’s photos.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Provence Day Two

Today I visited the charming ancient hilltop village of Saint Paul de Vence. The village is filled with art galleries, boutiques and sidewalk cafes. A walk through its winding streets reveals elegant fountains, vine-covered stone walls and romantic archways. There are breathtaking views of mountains and the sea. Even the ground below is attractive, as the cobblestones are laid into the shapes of flowers.

The fortified village itself is a site, with its medieval fortress walls surrounding the city. The entrance was erected in the 1400s, and features a canon muzzle that was a trophy from the 1544 Battle of Cerisoles in Italy.

As I walked towards the south side of the village and climbed the steps, I discovered a gorgeous ancient cemetery, surrounding hills and mountains. In Saint Paul, you can see the snow-covered Alps to one side and the glistening Mediterranean Sea in the other direction.

I can’t help but wonder about the people who lived there thousands of years ago.

See today’s photos at: - select “Provence_2”

Bonne nuit!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Travel Day

Today was a travel day. We flew from London to Nice, France, arriving around 3:30 pm local time. After making it through customs, there was a 30 minute drive North/Northwest to the hotel. Once at the hotel, we were too tired to go out to dinner, so we ordered room service and ate on the patio overlooking the mountains. I didn't have a chance to take many pictures, but will take a lot tomorrow.

It's getting late, so I'm calling it a night.

See you tomorrow!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Highclere Castle

Today I did a tour of the English country side - Windsor, Hampshire, Eton. I visited Windsor and Highclere Castle and met the Countess, Lady Carnarvon.

The Castle and estate is the family home of the 8th Earl of Carnarvon and was designed by the architect Sir Charles Barry in 1838 for the 3rd Earl of Carnarvon.
Check out my pictures of Highclere at:

and then visit the website at

it was....breathtaking.

Tomorrow morning I'm off to France!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Juste Donnez-Moi Du Fromage (Just Give Me Some Cheese)

Passport? Check. Flight pillow? Check. French phrase book? Check. Global cell phone? Check. Alka Seltzer? Check. Suit case large enough to hold a family of gypsies? Check.

I’m off to EU for a business trip. I’ll be in Hampshire, England for three nights and Provence, France for five. Having just finished reading A Year in Provence, and Toujours Provence by Peter Mayle, I admit I’m more than a little worried about the French food and the extraordinary consumption of wine.

The French, so it seems, are serious carnivores. They will eat anything that slithers, crawls, flies, hops, scurries, swims, or walks on all fours. They don’t just eat the meat either. There are a lot of parts that are made in to French delicacies – like Foie Gras and pate and sausage. I grew up in a family that was essentially vegetarian, so this will be a challenge for me (just pass me the bread and olive oil). Add to this, my deadly shellfish allergy and you get a désastre dans la fabrication.

I do look forward to sampling the French wines, although I won’t partake of the French custom of drinking wine at breakfast (yes breakfast).

I hope to do a better job of posting on my blog during the trip. If nothing else, I will have photos to share.

Until next time, Au revoir mes lecteurs fidèles!