Since I am terribly behind on emails and responding to the comments you have left me I thought I would try to answer some of them today on my blog.
How did you meet your French husband?
One never knows when their life is going to take a different road. I met my French husband at a gay dance club in San Francisco, an unlikely place to meet a straight man I must admit. I like to tell that story because at the time I was working for the Catholic church (another unusual place to meet a single man.) But as my friend Ellen often said, "When you want to meet someone do the things you love and the people around you will most likely being do the same. You will have things in common."
Church and Gay dance clubs, now that is a mix bags of tricks. But God provides.
I went to a gay dance club (The I-Beam) because my fiance had died. I was broken. I loved to dance, and dancing was my therapy...and at a gay dance club I figured nobody there would be looking at a woman. I needed space to be alone amongst others. The I-Beam fit the bill.
French husband went to the I-Beam with a friend who told him: He had to see this club because people there loved to dance. Because it was so new, so hip! Because the I-BEAM was an institution in San Francisco a must see like the Golden Gate bridge. So he went. Saw me and asked me out.
When French husband asked me my name in his broken French accent, I looked at him as if he was a man from Mars...
What happened next is another story.
How did Victoria and Somerset find out about you?
Through my blog. They read it, liked what they saw and contacted me. When they wrote me I had to re-read the letter several times just to be sure I was reading it right. Then I started screaming! French husband thought something terrible had happened and came running downstairs. When I told him that the editors of Victoria and Somerset contacted me, he smiled a mile wide and went out bought me a new lens.
Are your Children more French or American?
Well if you ask Patti, Andy, Sam, Jack or Joe (the older nieces and nephews in America, Chelsea and Sacha's cousins,) they would say Chelsea and Sacha are French with an American twist.
The other day when Sacha was talking to his cousins on the phone I heard him say, "I have never played basketball...well you know other than throwing the ball in a hoop..."
When Chelsea's graduated from Lycee (French high school,) her classmates chipped in some money to buy some Champagne. Then in the class room with their teachers and the director of the school they toasted each other farewell.
What was it like to live in a monastery?
I was 19 years old when I went to live in a monastery in New Mexico. We prayed most of the day. As it was semi cloistered we didn't get out much. Other than praying each of us had tasks to do during the day. I worked in the kitchen and cut hair (and no I did not use a bowl!)
The daily life followed this pattern:
7:00 a.m. Morning Prayer
8:00 a.m. Breakfast
9:00 a.m. Private prayer
10:00 a.m. Activity tasks (I was in the kitchen, or cutting hair, or up to mischief.)
Noon - Lunch
3:15 p.m. Eucharist
5:30 p.m. Dinner
7:30 p.m. Vespers (community prayer)
8:30 pm Compline (evening prayer)
9:00 pm The Grand Silence.
Will you write more about your experience in the monastery? Yes, I will...promise. It was an amazing experience. Full of depth and full of humor too. The humor is the easy part to write about, though it would be unfair to share just that part. I am still thinking how to share this story on my blog.
Do you take the photos on your blog. Yes, I do.
What do you miss most about America? Other than my family and friends, I miss Mexican food, being understood in English, and the American attitude that if there is a will their is a way.
How is Shelley doing? Thank you for asking. I believe prayer and positive thought can send healing energy and gives courage. I appreciate the prayers and energy you send to her.
Shelley is on a breathing machine, she is having a hard time talking, she has an amazing amount of love and support around her from her family and friends. She can move one finger barely, though with that one finger she can access the Internet and she surfs all day long. Shelley loves your emails and comments, if she could she would write you all a mile long letter to thank each of you.
Thanks for asking.