It's amazing what can come up on a gentle winter morning.... We are in a frustrating weather pattern, every morning dawns sunny and full of hope. We spring (OK... grown and limp) out of bed with great expectations only to find that after a cup of coffee the sky has turned somber and checking email is all I have the energy to do. But then Oscar is off to school and Pat takes the excuse to head out into the crisp (cold) morning to accompany him on bike, until Oscar catches sight of other kids and then he pleads for the autonomy we are waiting for to continue on alone. He pedals off to school, and Pat pedals off to do laps around the country side for her exercise regime. Back home, on my third cup of coffee (small cups), I am dressed for labor and tuning up the internet to watch yesterdays Daily Show with John Stewart. I stretch for 10 minutes while laughing at yesterdays headlines and try to get out of the house before Pat gets home.
But not monday...
Instead I get a phone call from Pat asking for a ride as her brakes have broken and she has been bitten by a dog!!! She is fine. She was out on her normal route, and for the first time a large Rottweiler was there too. She kept her cool, didn't fall, but the wound was ugly enough. A large bruise and two small holes! She's on antibiotics and the dog is being "observed" by the vet.
There is a saying that "French people like their children and they love their dogs", so you can imagine the original conclusion that everyone comes to when they hear this story. It usually starts with "he's such a gentle dog" and after a few minutes might approach concern or apology in the dog owners case. They get over it, we get over it, and now everyone's on good terms, but it was a process.
It's a narrow road we bike down with our lives in France, never quite certain how any French habitue might interpret our actions. We have been approved for our ten year residency permits, which doesn't mean we are here for ten more years, but rather that we no longer need to plead for the right to stay here every year. And we got our latest building permit approved in record time, allowing us to add a few skylights and replace a few windows.
So for the week we are up, two acceptances of our existence and one reminder of whose territory we are on anyway.