Happy Mother’s Day

Happy 100th birthday champagne with our neighbor who is a mother, grandmother, and great grandmother!

No, it’s not wrong; just different. We use that phrase a lot when talking about contrasting situations between the country where we used to live and where we now reside. For example, Mother’s Day was two weeks ago in the US but in France it’s observed today, 112 years after the Alpine village of Artas issued an award of merit to two mothers with nine children each. In 1929 the government, in an effort to promote childbirth after WWI, formally recognized the day and in 1950 it was written into law to honor French mothers on the last Sunday of May in what is fittingly called the Fête des Mères or if translated literally, the “Celebration of Mothers”.

Beautiful bouquets to take to Mother

Although the date may be different, the day is observed essentially the same as it is in America. Sundays are generally pretty quiet here because most of the shops are closed; however, on the last Sunday of May all of the activity around town makes it clear that something special is going on. Our windows open onto the street and the first year that we lived here we saw an endless parade of people carrying flowers, boxes of chocolates, plus pastries and cakes from the bakeries near us passing by in the morning. As lunchtime approached, carloads of families arrived with everyone filtering into our neighbors’ homes for what is traditionally the big meal of the day.

Although we don’t subscribe to any of the premium TV channels or other monthly services, friends Sally and Larry invited us to watch a program presented by late night television host David Letterman. He was interviewing a former US President and I replayed part of the broadcast twice so that I could write down the following, knowing that it would be perfect for a blog post like this one. Letterman asked, “What values did you learn from your mother” to which the former President replied:

  • Be honest
  • Be kind
  • Be useful
  • Be responsible
  • Work hard
  • Treat everybody with respect
Don’t forget the chocolates

Bill and I call our neighborhood a “village” because we see those values demonstrated on a daily basis. How appropriate that this month one of our neighbors turned 100 years old and she will soon, I expect, discover that she is to become a great-great grandmother. Happy Fête des Mères!





All kinds of gifts
For the sporty mom
Looks like everyone loves mama

5 thoughts on “Happy Mother’s Day

  1. Another great blog Bob. Without mothers none of us would be here. I really liked the observation about Letterman and a former President. These are values that that all presidents should have. Hopefully the next one will have at least a few of them.

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  2. What a wonderful photo!
    You are very kind to recognize mothers and to list those things that are really all that matters in life, taught by mothers the world over. In the spirit of the day, wishing you both a lovely Fête des Mères!

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  3. Yet another fascinating blog and one that should be celebrated by everyone. The photo of Bob, Bill and great grandma is beautiful! Such joy. I particularly like the six statements made in an interview. Not only do I wish ALL politicians were such honest and honourable people, I consider it to be vital that we all share such values. What a wonderful world it would be! Let’s celebrate the best of the best of folk. G.

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  4. It was 2 years ago after we left you guys that we had mother’s day lunch at the museum of wine in Bordeaux. It was so much fun people watching (and the food was good too)

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  5. Your kindness warmed my heart, you’re the perfect neighbors! Yes, I get it, the neighborhood sets the tone, but kudos to you for making it even better. Best from Boston🤗

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