Long shadows

Fall is finally here.

The shadows are long and the nights are cool. I really do love this time of year. It is fabulous driving around with the windows down, an automatic air-conditioned car, the music up, Kinnerly in the back seat doing her “finger dancing” to my music.

I find myself singing and happy to have the messed up hair from the wind blowing through it. I really don’t care what the other mums think of me when I pick Brannan up from school, all ratty-looking. At least I have a smile on my face.

We have been doing a lot lately, since the weather has changed. It seemed like an instant, summer turned to fall in the South of France.

Brannan had his 5th birthday while Grandma and Pappy were here. We had a wonderful time. We had a party at a little playground not too far from our house.

It was another lesson in French culture too. See, we had planned an easy hot dog and hamburger BBQ with pasta salad and some fresh fruit, to be followed by homemade birthday cake with a chocolate ganache frosting – all at a local playground – under the shade trees and near a bunch of playthings so the kids wouldn’t be so bored at our house. So, we prepared and prepared and bought enough hamburgers and hot dogs to feed everyone twice over. We loaded up our American-style BBQ complete with the gas tank, loaded up our big plastic table and a bunch of plastic chairs, coolers and party favors. We needed to use our trailer we had so much stuff! (Typically American.)

We drove two cars to the park and I realized I had left my camera at home! Oy! I had to drive back home to get it while Pappy and B set up the party area.

Of course, when they were unloading the huge BBQ, all the French people looked at them funny.

I returned after 30 minutes with my camera, complimented them on the party set up and waited for everyone to show up.

At 3:00, when everyone was due to arrive, the Parks and Rec people stopped by and headed straight for our party. I knew they were coming for me. I just had this feeling. B was at the playground with the kids and only one other family was there. The guy whips out his phone and says, “this BBQ is strictly interdit! I am going to have to give you a ticket.” I say “oh, wait, I am terribly sorry, we haven’t even started it up yet! I didn’t know! I will go put it back on the trailer right now!”

Luckily the other Mom there with me helped back me up and I ran to get B so we could pack it away.

So, I guess BBQing in the parks is strictly forbidden in France. At least that is what the guy said.

We had a good time regardless.

Brannan had his chocolate cake with chocolate ganache frosting. He wanted to decorate it all by himself with sprinkles.

We had a “Wild West” theme and the kids attached a guitar-shaped piñata.

Of course, the piñata broke at the neck of the guitar so B had to shake all the candy out for the kids.

Brannan was thoroughly spoiled, but it was a fun time. We were also so happy to have Grandma and Pappy spend such a milestone with us.

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