Last night I was struck by the realization that the experience we were having right then was exactly what Melinda and I wanted for our family when we first imagined the sabbatical. There we were, in the cozy living room of a delightful French family, sipping wine in front of a fire, having spent the better part of the day with them acting as our tour guides. It was just prior to dinner. Chloe and Ella were playing cards with a couple of sweet French girls. In our imaginings Melinda and I couldn’t picture this exact scene, of course, or others like it that we’ve had. Living it, though, is like having a dream come true.
We’re back in Nantes now. I’ve updated the last two days with my reactions to our visits to two of the D-Day beaches. What I haven’t done is express our appreciation for the Bertail family, the people who have made this particular dream come true. Their kindness to us and their generous hospitality is something to behold. To try to hint at the depth of our appreciation, I present this photo of Monsieur and Madame Bertail, Bernard’s parents, outside of their home in Normandy, the place where we spent the last three days/two nights, as a lasting tribute. When we are back in Seattle and enjoying this record of our experiences, we will look at this picture with great warmth and appreciation.
Of the many things for which we have to thank the Bertails, one involves making sure Chloe got her Caen-Paris train ticket yesterday and then to the Caen train station on time today. I’m pleased to report that Chloe is safely and contentedly in Paris right now with her friend Alex. She returns to Nantes on Thursday.
Thank you, Christine. Thank you, Bernard, Thank you to all the Bertails, our friends.