Friday, February 09, 2007

First trip to Paris

I just put my mother on Air France for her first ever trip to Paris. At 82 it's best not to delay, even if she is in good health. Mobility counts too, and might make her less able to travel in the future.

My French-speaking brother insisted it was his responsibility to show her Paris. So she and I resisted severe temptation while in Europe. Look, it's the Eurostar, Mom, we could be in Paris in only 2 hours! But no, it wouldn't be right. Must wait for my brother.

And in my case such a trip would have been my first experience with the tunnel between England and France. Imagine what the warriors of centuries past would say about a tunnel under the English channel. Hey, let's invade this morning!

Mom and I have had a roots trip to Germany, where we saw people that look like various relatives; a lovely tour of Britain including my beloved Scotland; and a train tour of Italy and Switzerland. I am grateful to have these times with her. The experiences remain high on the list of my fondest memories of the last few years.

Bon voyage Mother! Wishing you much joy on your journey. You sacrificed so much to bear 8 and raise 7 children. You deserve all the happiness you can get.


egregious said...

What's on your other hemisphere?

Suzanne said...

Kudos to your mom for heading off on an adventure at her age. I can only hope to still be experiencing "firsts" when I'm in my 80's. How long she going to be gone, eg?

NZ Expat said...

Well, egregious, let me tell you what is on your other hemisphere!
Sorry, couldn't resist....But I will tell you we are having a sunny string of days with temps edging up into the mid-70's (hot for here) and the tramping in the bush has been glorious.

I grew up thinking that travel meant you were an elite rich person (we were poor). I desperately wanted to travel, but felt wrong about it (Mennonite upbring...share your money with the poor). But the traveling has enriched my life so much, even though I know it is ecologically unsound.

I do think everyone that can should walk the streets of another city in another country, and I can think of none other than Paris for when you are in your 80's. What is the name of the stained glass chapel near Notre Dame? Oh, I hope she goes there when the sun is full on.

egregious said...


What a nice name;)

She'll be there only a week alas!

egregious said...


You are Mennonite! That explains so much. One of my dear friends in orchestra growing up was Mennonite, the sweetest person.

Then when I worked at Mass General my boss was Mennonite. He had considered becoming a missionary but felt he could better serve God as a physician. Now he is dean of Harvard Medical School so I would say he probably made the good choice.

NZ Expat said...

Well, egregious, my mom was the sweetest Mennonite. I seem to have an unMennonite snarky side that I have to struggle to contain, or at least keep within some reasonable bounds!

egregious said...


My best friend tried to give up being sarcastic for Lent one year.

She loves God but this was out of the question! Apparently this is part of her God-given character.

We, her friends, are the happy beneficiaries.

NZ Expat said...

Geez....just found that I missed out on the recommending book thread. My ideal job would be "Connector." I'd like to connect people to appropriate books, people to ideas, people to people.

Anyway, I wondered if you had ever read any of Laurie King's mysteries. The series I was thinking about that you might like is the Mary Russell-Sherlock Holmes series (Mary is a student of theology). It is wonderful fiction and might buy you more time while the sunlight grows and lengthens. If you look them up, begin with The Beekeeper's Apprentice.