French Gifts

My most prized possession wasn’t handed down to me from generations, packaged in a fancy box, or delivered by a stork. (Actually, it would require two different storks and to pick one would be unfair so for the purposes of this assignment I’m skipping that.) It wasn’t delivered by a child’s hand or a newly ringed finger. (Because I love my husband, I don’t own him.) It is not a gift I received with curling ribbon in my hair or a hat on my head, unless you count my high school and college graduation hats. 

The ability to speak French has provided me endless opportunities to travel and meet new people. These opportunities give my life purpose, meaning, and adventure. For these reasons, French is my most prized possession.

(Rather than write out the events, I’ve chosen to use a timeline. I’ll expand the stories in time. Sorry, no pics. Yet.)

1971- Little bald baby listens to French Canadian radio in rural upstate New York

1986-Scrawny girl finds her identity in high school French class

1991- Girl declares French major in college

Sept. 1993- Girl heads to France for study abroad program

  • Travels alone in France for ten days. It took five days before she called her worry-sick mom.
  • Picks grapes and cuts her finger. Still has scar on her pinky.
  • Oct. 24-Turned 21 and could legally drink, except she already could in France.
  • Nov.1- Is locked (due to a broken lockset) in a French bathroom for four hours.

1998- Girl and husband go to Paris. He falls in love with it as much as she had.

2000-Husband takes pregnant wife to Paris before baby is born. Funny Article about getting sick.

2001-Husband, baby, mom-wife go to Italy. (This doesn’t involve French, but it gets interesting.)

  • 9-11-2001 Husband, baby, mom get stuck in Amsterdam for eight days.
  • We have to buy new clothes for the baby. Mom wears same clothes all eight days and throws them out as soon as she’s home.
  • We are the first tourists to visit the Heineken brewery twice in one vacation.

2002-Husband, toddler, pregnant mom go to Nice, France.

2003- Baby #2 is born. Nothing exciting happens for a few years.

2007-Family goes to Nice, France.

  • We are in a small bus crash. Mom has to detail the event to the police.

2009-Family goes to Paris. Meets new friends who invite us to Marseille.


  • Mom volunteers for Alliance Française and meets a lot of people.


  • We have French exchange student at our house.
  • Family goes to Marseille. We get stuck in a traffic jam for two hours.

June 2012-Mom and husband go to Amsterdam for a friend’s concert.

  • She meets Jack White.
  • Husband-wife duo go to Nice, France.
  • They discover they’re beaching in front of Bono’s (U2) house.
  • July 4th- Flight delays bring them home to their kids two days late.

Dec. 2013- Family goes to Paris for Christmas and visits friends.

The future remains uncertain….






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