Packing It In

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We’re doing everything we can to avoid regret.  Am I going to miss these pans over the summer?  Certainly not.  Are we going to miss Zazou?  Unquestionably, and Beppo even more so.  We’re in non-stop decision mode, which requires touching each and every thing that belongs to us in this life, right down to the most trivial.  Like how about my exercise sheets on the use of the subjunctive?  I could take them back with me, but would I really study them over the summer?  Do we want to have French toothpaste with us or would we be happy to use Tom’s again? Really, nothing is too insignificant for our consideration today.

In the great triage extravaganza everything is trying to find its place in the scheme of the summer, so that we don’t find ourselves somewhere, someday, lacking what seems at the time to be the one essential element of happiness.   There’s what to take back to the US for good, what to take over there and bring back to France in the Fall, what to take to the US with the plan to leave it there altogether, what to throw or give away, what to leave here awaiting our return.  What the heck are we doing with all this stuff?

And there’s even a bigger question, what’s to become of French Letters when I’m not in France? Would you be so kind, dear readers, as to give me some feedback on this existential issue? I’m not 100% certain that this poll will work, but then, nothing’s really 100% certain. Go on, give it a try. You have the opportunity to shape the immediate future of French Letters, and I invite you to speak up. And if you want to come over and help us pack, you know you’re invited to do that too.

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21 Comments on “Packing It In”


  1. Abra, please keep writing.

  2. Rona Y Says:

    Yes, keep writing! Just an update once in a little while would be nice. But if you’re too busy having fun, then of course take a well-deserved rest!

  3. max higgs Says:

    Please keep writing and taking pictures. I live in the desert in El Paso. Your blog has been so refreshing and entertaining. Thank you.

  4. Forest Says:

    I’m kind of torn between keep writing about France (because it is after all what the blog is about) and keep writing about food and wine no matter what, because it’s enjoyable to read your posts.

    Could you compromise somehow…write about attempts to find French things in Washington? Things you find you miss about France that you might try and recreate there?

    But, I’d say leave the subjunctive sheets at home. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve traveled with all these great intentions of studying, reading, writing…and come back with 1/2 a suitcase full of my ‘projects’ that I haven’t gotten to because I’m busy elsewhere. I figure you can always find more study outlets there if you really need to study the subjunctive. But, that’s just my 2 cents.

  5. Eden Says:

    Leave the subjunctive notes. It seem to me that everyone deserves a break from the subjunctive once in a while ;>

  6. Sandra Says:

    Please keep writing about what interests and excites you, as that is why we read what you write. Perhaps you’ll find some things in WA that remind you of times you had in France that you didn’t write about yet. Of course, food and wine are always of interest.

  7. Margaret Says:

    I agree with Forest. Write about whatever strikes you as being consequential to your temporary stay in the US. Write about food, friends, circumstances. In other words, just write whatever comes from your heart, whenever it wants to come out. Your fans will not desert you 😉 But the Seattle peeps will ‘dessert’ you!

  8. LuAnne Says:

    Abra, I tuned into French Letters this morning and gasped when I read your question!
    I wish you fun, sun, relaxation and reconnection when you get back here to Washington.
    But girlfriend… don’t stop writing. Don’t even think about it!
    My mom and I both read your blog religiously. Mom has been wrestling with Lymphoma for a few years now and went through a stem cell transplant a year ago February. Your pictures and writing have been one of the “beautiful things” she looks forward to in her life. Not that I enjoy your blog any less than she does but I felt the need to stand in the gap for mom here and beg you to keep writing.
    I know from personal experience how difficult it is to decide what to take, what to store etc. Best of luck and safe travels!

  9. Jessica Says:

    It might be interesting to read about how you feel and your experiences being back in the US after living the French lifestyle for so long. Maybe you could do some comparisons between living in France and now being back in the US. Like, will you have any sort of culture shock? Or how will you cope with being back home again?

    These are the things that I’m interested in hearing about. 🙂

  10. Nancy Says:

    What Jessica said.

  11. EHS Says:

    Dido on Jessica and Nancy!

  12. Wendy Says:

    Abra I also think that you should keep posting- you started the blog about your time in France but that time has influenced you to return for a summer and then go back. IMHO it will be interesting to see/hear what you have forgotten you love and can not get/see in france and what you continue to miss/want over the summer.

    But please stop talking about Zazu & Beppo staying in France as it makes me cry…

  13. Debra Lane Says:

    Abra, I think you should continue to write about your life journey through food and drink and daily living in the Pacific Northwest and then continue on when you return to France. After all, the Pacific NW is the same latitude as France as far as wine country goes, there has got to be some parallels and I think you will be pleased how the local food movement is really getting on in the Seattle area. I’m doing a Trade Show on June 1st at Herban Feast in Sodo regarding Eco Wedding catering.

  14. winona Says:

    I know I’ll still need my fix!

  15. Jan Says:

    Do whatever makes you the happiest! That said, I’d love for you to continue with the blog and agree with many of the comments above, especially those of Margaret and Jessica. Whatever you decide, it’ll certainly be nice to see you again!

  16. Cindy Says:

    I want you to take a break from the blog out of selfish reasons. If you take a break you will have more time to spend with your friends on Bainbridge. You know, playing scrabble and eating your great cooking!
    But every one is right, we would all miss reading your blog.
    I know, you can cook for your friends here and take pictures for your blog! There, we’re all happy!!!

  17. Lori Says:

    If you would like to take a vacation, I am sure that we would all understand. Like others have said, I enjoy your blog tremendously and would really miss it. I think you could write about eating at McDonalds and find something interesting to say. Your blog has made me pay attention to things in my own life that I would never have noticed before.

  18. Jeanne Says:

    I vote for French Letters from a Distance! You might eventually turn this into a book, much like Laurie Colwin’s essays, and the continuity would be wonderful. How has being in France colored what and how you see your home in the US….

  19. Sue Geisler Says:

    Keep writing – your friends in France will enjoy your “island adventures” and I would love to see pctures of “home”. I looked at the back side of the island when I was able to go to Suquamish and I feel certain that your pictures and words will be eagerly seen and read on both continents.

  20. Jackie Richmond Says:

    You are such a talented writer (and photographer) – and an amazing cook, I can testify to that! I’m so glad to be reconnected to you and look forward to keeping up with your further adventures. I do hope to see a book before too long. Hope your trip back to Bainbridge is less of an adventure than your trip to France was.

  21. Christyne Says:

    I’m late to this comment, but have been reading your stuff since you were personal chefing in Wa. I so enjoy your writing and photos, keep us informed of where you guys land. Wishing you all the luck in the world!


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