Sunday, March 22, 2009

Saturday at home

We spent the weekend at home. We went for a nice walk in the grand foret on Saturday. This is a huge mountain covered in forest, but, unfortunately, scarred with logging roads and logging. It is interesting, because they have very strict rules here about how much you can log - there is no clear cutting. But, it seems, there are also no 'off limits' forests. So there is evidence of people no matter where we go. This raw looking stump just sticks out like a sore thumb. The kids were excited though-to climb on fallen logs and to get a chance to hear and see the giant logging truck rolling through the forest, picking up limbs with a pincher type device. Here you can see the kids perched on a barrier over the road. This section was replanted with over 22000 plants back in 1989. It will reopen to loggers in 150 years. I wonder how long this tradition of 'replant and wait' has been going on? We stopped and spent about 10 minutes counting the rings of one giant stump. (If I pick up no other French skill, it may be counting out loud -- think I can put that on my resume?). We found it was approximately 155 years old. Just the same time range as that other stand of trees--coincidence?

The kids wanted to know why they would cut them down. Well, for pencils, paper, furniture - books! Yes, I am sad when I see a fallen tree - but I'm not willing to live without wood - that's for sure. Zander was excited to see buds sprouting on the trees arching overhead - unfortunately the shot didn't post well - but I am still including the position that Andre' got into to accomplish the perfect shot. I am a point and shoot type - he likes to get the lighting and angle just right! We found a clearing to enjoy our picnic lunch. It was very private, we saw no other people. When I remarked on how it was our own private area Zander's response was "Yeah, we can act like psychos!" (Lucky day!) He then started to scream and whack trees with broken off sticks. Callie and Griffin, of course, followed suit. Well, I guess you have to take your chances while you can! They calmed down enough soon to gather these fuzzy seed pods for a fairy pillow and to direct the forest in some music (coming out of daddy's phone). Then it was out of the forest and back on the bus down to Centre Ville to check out the Musee de Temps (museum of time). Entrance is free with our bus passes and we have been meaning to visit for awhile. I thought it was going to be all old watches, and they did have some wonderful examples of that, but they also had tons of interesting displays on the history of Besancon and the entire museum was located in the historic Palace of Graneville. We could walk to the top and see interesting views of the city. We stopped to get Callie a new pair of sneakers and headed home for dinner and bed.

Sunday morning Andre' went for his long run. He is usually gone for about 3 hours on these. He called me at 8am saying it would take him longer than 90 minutes to get home. We all slept in and then made our usual pancake extravaganza. I expected Andre' around 10am (30 minutes later than usual). Around 9:45 I called him to see how close he was (should i refrigerate his breakfast or leave it out?) and got no answer. Well, time moved on, the kids started digging in the back yard and I did some spring cleaning. I tried calling again at around 10:30 - no answer. This is when I started to get worried. One other time, back in Philly, Andre' went out for a long run and, quite literally, collapsed (it's called bonking). He is always careful to eat a bit before he goes out now and he also knows his limits - or so he thinks. I, however, worry that he might be lying out on the side of some mountain, alone. (Especially since, when he called at 8am, he said he was really tired and on the verge of bonking) I call again about 10:45 and text him at 11 and 11:15. No answer. He has now been gone for almost 5 hours. Did I mention he is only wearing shorts and a technical top covered with a t-shirt and it's 35 degrees outside? (He considers this dressing warmly - notice two layers on top) I try again at 11:30 and then, I can't hack it any longer. I want to call the police or something! Why hasn't he called? The only reason I can think of is that he bonked. However, there is a problem. I don't speak French well enough to communicate to them. Also, what are the laws about missing persons in France? I know in the US - a person isn't even considered missing for 24 hours. He might be dead by then.

Here is where my loneliness really sinks in. What would I have done in the US? Simple. I would have called my mom. I would have called a friend. I would have talked it over with them. I probably wouldn't have called the police, but I would have been able to figure out some plan of action - maybe even calling in friends who know the Wissahickon to bike around or something. Here, what do I have? Who do I have? I'll tell you. Nobody and nothing. I end up calling (who else?) Olivier. He doesn't answer. Then I call Isabel. She doesn't answer. And, folks, that's the end of the list of people that can understand me on the phone who don't live in the US. Luckily, that is also the moment when I hear the key in the door. It's an exhausted Andre'. He just didn't think to call - and didn't hear my 7 calls or messages. I could have killed him. Isabel called back a few minutes later. Luckily, I was able to give her the good news. He took a couple of hours to recover and then gave me the afternoon to do my own thing. Well, what I've done is blog - and, I'm grateful to say - I've finally caught up to present.

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