Our first Christmas in July


That is what I think anyway. Yesterday was warmer than most days here, with the sun shining brightly all day long. It is hard to put up lights and aim a laser Christmas light display in full sun, but I got that done while Mireille baked a pudding chômeur inside. When that was done baking, we ran to the grocery store for a few things we would need, got some ice and put it in a tub with some water to get the beer frosty, and waited for everyone to show up.

A large group of Mireille’s family arrived, and before long we had anywhere from 10 to 17 people (depending on whether the kids were swimming, or at the park, or doing whatever they were doing inside Charlie) sitting and talking and having a great time. It was hot, and I was worried that people would be uncomfortable because at that time of day there is not much respite from the sun. There is a large bush that is on our spot, and as the sun set behind it, we just huddled in its shade, kept adjusting the seating to take maximum advantage, and partied on.

If any group on the planet has mastered the art of conversation, it has to be French Canadians! These people are serious about talking, and they are good at it…better than I am for sure! At one point, of the ten adults there, I counted six of them talking at the same time! That means that some people are talking in more than one conversation at a time. I can follow a conversation in French pretty well when there is only one going on at a time. When people switch from one discussion to another and back, I am easily lost, no matter how much of my dictionnaire Français (beer) I might have had. When six of ten people are talking like they were last night, I just sit, and smile, and do my best not to look stupid.

The kids went swimming and then they were back and forth to the playground they have here. About 7:00 we started cooking. Our guests brought everything for dinner, we just supplied the location and condiments. We grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, and it was all delicious as it always is. Dinner over we sat and talked some more.

We all drank a toast to Uncle André with some Calvados we had in the freezer. Everyone had some of Mireille’s pudding chômeur (it was terrific, just a small scoop of vanilla ice cream on top) and finished the evening as we bumped up against the start of quiet hours at 11:00.

One terrific day!

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