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16 September 2008


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Gorgeous pictures as always Corey - enjoy being with your fig jam - it tastes wonderful from here!

I love you my darling
God's most richest blessings to you today and always.
Love Jeanne

Perfect description of being American and being French. For the two weeks I was in Paris, Dijon and smaller villages no one treated me badly because I was American. Did have one Frenchman comment he was surprised I wasn't fat since all Americans are fat. Got quite a laugh out of that.

A nice little film to watch is "Etre et Avoir," as a matter of fact! Beautiful photos and thoughts. Thank you for a nice start to my day.

I am taking the greatest pleasure in your return to France Corey. I love fig jam too, are the figs from your own tree ? Peace, Jx.

I think your comparison is spot on :)

Merci Corey!!! I am enjoying my French lesson....the treatment we received by the French was just wonderful during our Paris stay. It was fun to try to speak French and listen. It is such a beautiful language....even the art of eating with their utensils was beautiful!!!

When we were visiting Paris (which I loved) it was hard to get used to one or two cubes of ice in your drink. When I would ask for a few more the reaction was "Ahhh, Americans!" It made me laugh. Was that hard for you to get used to?

Fascinating. Every bit of it. It also serves to confirm that you are the one of the most courageous women I "know". Keep it coming! I think I could be French. I'm much better at being than I am at doing or having.

I admire and appreciate the way you describe all kind of aspects and feelings you notice while living in a 'foreign' country. In my experience being away from your native country the feelings are kind of bittersweet sometimes, whereas at other times it is such an enrichment! Thanks also for the beautiful pictures of everything
Best regards,
Regina, St. Maarten (DWI)

Hi Corey,
First, thank you! Second, I lived overseas for over 5 years non-stop in the 70's...no email, no atm, no blogs...the good news was we had a huge community of fellow Americans. The bad news was we had a huge community of fellow Americans. (smile) We lived in Turkey for 6 months, total emersion in the language and culture. Then for 5 years we lived in Germany where everyone spoke English. Even tho we had our commissary, there were many things I missed about home too. Like you, they were small and also gigantic like Wonder bread and celery at Thanksgiving time (I saw two ladies fight over the last bunch of celery one November!) and births, weddings and family get-togethers were all missed too. I knew I was going home eventually, guess that is the difference. Ah, but "home IS where the heart is" and I believe your heart is large enough to split and stay very healthy! Thanks again for sharing.

"To be", rather than "to have"... that is what I was trying to say last time I commented. You have it exactly.
I think you have found the best of both worlds Corey, and your description of life in France is as I imagined it would be.
I grocery shop today and fig jam is going on my list.

Beautiful Hortensia...
I wish I lived in L'Isle Sur La Sorgue
What a feast for the eyes!

Hi Corey,
I am finding this so interesting. I love everything about it, can't get enough.
Have a great day, in France!!

Corey when you said:
I think Americans are more about "to have" and French tend to be more about "to be".

It struck a cord with me. I have lived and traveled in Europe...and I often think the same thing...I have not had the courage to say that as I am a European living in the US.
I also know how hard it is to keep your child bi-lingual it is even harder when your spouse does not speak your language. I am happy to say that I managed to teach my son my language...we don't always speak Icelandic together but we do often enough that he is still able to speak it along with the other nine languages that he speaks...Yes he grew up in the US :)

I want to more fully embrace the French philosophy of "to be" rather than "to have" or "to do". Great advice!

Thanks for sharing France with us...great photos!

I love hearing you describe your life in France! Thank you!

Reading your answers and seeing the pictures makes me so so homesick for France...my heart aches for it all.

Don't stop...you're feeding my soul!

Thank you!


I totally am in agreement that whole philosopy of "to be" and "to have". I moved from the city of Chicago proper, to about an hour south of Chicago, in an unincorporated area just west of small city. This is a "stepping stone" to my dream of a quaintly small rural home" that we plan on getting next year. However, sadly enough for now we are in a "more affluent" Rural subdivision and here it is unfortunately too much about what you have. Our family has NEVER fit into that, so needless to say we are looking forward to moving next spring. But...I just wanted to chime in and agree with how we can be here in America...I see it everyday and it really bugs me! I try to remind myself all the time to "Keep it simple and ENJOY the little things. I have to admit though that I do miss Chicago simply for the fact that I too used to be able to walk to what I needed....now I must drive and we all know what gasoline is costing these days! Have a fun day!

Lynn O'C

Hmmm, to be vs. to have.

You are so right that growing up bi-lingual doesn't just happen,. I'm still surprised by how much resistance we meet about the whole thing.

Can we hear more about the fig jam?

I'm loving this so much. Thank you for filling us up with France!

I love this post Corey, the details of life in France. Makes me want to go there even more, if that is at all possible!

Looking forward to the next installment!

more, more, more! I am eating this up!!

once I got over trying NOT to have an accent when I spoke, I found that everything flowed much better and I started getting compliments on my french. I guess i'd been trying to hard "to have" and I just needed "to be". love that.

Hey Cousin,
The whole To have, To be thing, makes sense...But I think that WE, we being Portuguese-American, are a bit like the French as we hold highly the thought and attitude of "To Be Portuguese".At my Niece Courtney's Wedding 2 weeks ago, people made the comment to me that "You Portuguese sure are a proud bunch". I agreed and said "Yes we are... and we will tell so.
Dont you argee??
Cousin Chris

Ah Dear Corey....I loved your post today about living in France and the difference between "have" and "be". I must share that I get that "just be" feeling since moving back to Willows from the Bay Area where most HAD to "have"....so maybe Willows is like my France????
Also, before you left for France, Joe and I went to your Uncle Frank's and picked figs from his tree and I made fig jam...another part of "just being"???? Enjoy your jam...on a french croissant??? I'll enjoy mine...on San Francisco sourdough....

"To be" vs. "To have." Yes, exactly! My children have grown up in our home with some very european ideas because I adopted them in my younger days. When they were old enough to notice they said, "Hey, we're different." (Though some of their friends just raised their eyebrows and said "weird!") Now they are forming their own lives and they too are choosing "different" (like no tv, no fast-food, eating in courses, talking about art, music, literature, etc. -- sad to say this constitutes "weird" in America today).

Life is too short to spend all of my time trying to "have" what advertisers are trying to "sell." I much prefer to spend my day "being" -- I'm realy good at being me and it saves so much time and money and stress.

Thank you for opening up so much and sharing such an uplifting message. This is such a fabulous "tour." I'm taking copious notes as I sit and dream about coming to France to experience the french life, not the tourist life.

I talked to my sister last night on the phone about touring France on our own ... she said, "When do we pack?" I guess I'll keep taking notes, if you'll keep sharing the secrets of "BEing" in France.

I love that you seem to be both "to have" and "to be!" In light of your upbringing, do you think living in France has enhanced your "to be" side?

Speaking of "to have", that little glass creamer is so sweet. Beautiful pictures as always!

Add me to the list of people who long to know more about living in France. Such happy thoughts to ponder!

Thank you, Corey, for these posts. I think you writing them at this time is very telling, because it's an interesting transitional point with you coming back "home" from your other home and seeing things fresh with the same eyes, but new perspectives.

I TOTALLY get what you mean about having (and doing) versus being. What I am about, more than anything else, is BEING more than HAVING or DOING.

Most of us (Americans) learned life backwards. Most of us learned it like this:

Do [big successful thing]. Have [big successful stuff]. So that you can BE [cool inward state, not realizing that whole equation needs to start with BE.

Most Americans don’t trust that you can live a successful life and do it in the Be Do Have order.

What I’ve learned is this:

When the BE and the DO are connected in that order – the HAVE is a natural result.

Does that make me un-American?

Lovely photos and descriptions.
You've probably answered this question but I haven't seen it: how did you end up in France and with the handsome French Husband?

This is fun. Do more!

I wonder about TV in France. Do people watch much? Do they watch only French shows?
Do you get American news on satalite or something?


For sometime now, I have relished reading your daily posts and learned quite alot of interesting things. I like to pride myself on reading your daily posts and leaving a comment about the articles you write about. I've gotten so use to doing this that it feels weird if I don't. I wanted to let you know that I won't be able to read and comment daily as things in my life have turned upside down. My daughter-in-law passed away in a car accident Friday Sept.12th. A young lady 22 years old ran a red light and hit her. She died instantly. She leaves behind two children Joshua 7, Isabella 3, and my son Brandon.

I don't usually write about such things, but remember how hard it was for you after your father passed away and I thought to myself, "Who could I write to about this that would understand the depth of my sorrow and the pain that I feel for my son, and grandchildren?" Then I thought of you and how open and honest you were about how you felt. I hope that in time I too will be able to release the sadness I feel just as you did.
Thank you for letting me share this with you. I will try to play catch-up in-between caring for my grandchildren and son. Please keep us in your prayers at this most difficult time.

Thank you so much for lending me your ear.


A very nice start, Corey.

Dear Kris:

I am so sorry to read this and am wishing the best for you and your family. We are here for you when ever you need us. Do not forget to take care of yourself as well.

This was lovely, as always. Thank you for sharing.

I am enjoying these things about France very much. It's very enlightening!


Yes, the "to have" and "to be" does make sense. I have strive to have and to be. Does that make sense? But, my to have, isn't really about monetary things.


"To Have" and "To Be" Makes so much sense, Corey. I'm engrossed in my French education! Merci! Looking forward to tomorrow...

Very interesting post, Corey. It's so fascinating to read how another person lives in a foreign country, isn't it?

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