A French Family Reunion

family 01

A fantastique day!  The sky was blue as the azure hues of the Mediterranean dotted with big puffy meringue clouds and temperatures holding in the 70’s.  The promised rain had not come and the Mistral took a day off.

Walter, Lisa and I ran off to the Cavaillon intermarche for party supplies only to once again fill our cart with way too much cheese, saucisson, wine, fish and dairy products.  I simply cannot help myself.  There must be some 12 step program for gluttons.  Hello, my name is Francois and I have a foie gras addiction.  The menu for today’s madness is grilled fat white asparagus, tomato salad, roasted potatoes, various cured meats, my cousin Andre’s favorite Cioppino, Emincer de Boeuf Smitane and an assortment of grillable sausages.

family 13

We had Francois, Marc and Muriel from the Alps (Lolo’s family); Anne, Luciano et Annie (cousin, cousin’s son and aunt) from Marseilles and Aix en Provence; Andre, Lolo, Genevieve and Arlette (cousin, cousin’s wife, cousin and aunt) from Marseille; Catherine, Roland and Auguste (cousin, cousin’s husband and son) from Toulouse; Dan, Stephanie and Simone from California; Walter and Kathy from Sacramento and Lisa, Beaumont and Myself.

family 07

Today made me feel as though I wish I had spent more time with my family in life.  I really do not regret much in life.  It’s just I love my family a lot and want to be closer to them.  A large ocean should not separate us.  Another thing I realized is my mother’s paw print, if you will, on me.  Every child has a more dominate parent who they are most like.  I am definitely my mother’s child.  And by virtue of that fact, the France I know existed 50 years ago.  SACRE BLEU!  The music I adore, Georges Brassens, Edith Piaf, Jacques Brel, etc.  The non-compromising attitude towards food and wine, I love my maman.  I wish she had come with us to France…

family 18

It was wonderful spending time with everyone in my family.  Lisa and I both wished the day would last forever.  So many times in my youth I sat at tables like the small children seated today.  This meal has been played out 100’s of times throughout life.  It is the family gathering anywhere.  I look back in pictures and see my uncles and aunts in the vitality of their youth.  Now it is time for us to stand in the pictures that form the child’s imagination and memories.  It is our part in the wheel of life.  The moments of Beaumont’s life he will cherish and remember to his dying days.

family 03

When you press me to your heart
I’m in a world apart
A world where roses bloom
And when you speak, angels sing from above
Everyday words seem to turn into love songs
Give your heart and soul to me
And life will always be la vie en rose.

Good Night!  La Vie en Rose…