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Our new lives would be sculpted out of dreams and fantasies

Six years ago today, having only just started the French adventure that would turn our lives upside down in many ways but grounded us in so many more, stunned by the apparent generosity of the chatelaine who took us in while in the same breath left us responsible in and for her majestic castle without proper instructions or funds to manage the various challenges coming our way, an enduring friendship commenced when we were kindly invited to share in the Thanksgiving celebrations at yet another chateau, a magical place lit by candles and warmed by a roaring open fire, with its comely chatelaine in front of it when we entered hesitantly, wearing “Yes, it’s a nighty”, one of a vast collection we soon learned because they were all hanging from the ancient beamed ceiling, adding original enchantment to the already captivating ambiance.
Right then en there it became obvious to us that our new lives would be sculpted out of dreams and fantasies, not necessarily ours, but its flamboyant charm and bohemian qualities undeniably appealed to us.

In Holland Ivory and I both lived a stone’s throw away from numerous renowned sites linked to the original Pilgrim fathers, thus unlocking their significance to us naturally, how at the beginning of the 17th century they emigrated to the Netherlands as religious refugees and how after temporarily shelters in Amsterdam and Leiden, they decided to venture the crossing to the ‘New World’, in the hope of finding a homeland there. None of this was specifically brought up at the dinner table that night, but these parallel lines undoubtedly added to the ties that were forged, making our first classic American Thanksgiving even more memorable.

The first celebration in 1621 included feasting, games and military exercises, and there was definitely an amount of diplomacy between the newcomers and the local population as well, jointly celebrating the end of a successful harvest season. Being colonists nor natives, but thankful nevertheless, with pumpkin-filled chestnut pancakes we celebrate not the end but the prolongation of the harvest at Les Pierres. Our ready-to-grab Kale is just the start of another period of prosperity, fingers crossed.


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