That evening we went to dinner at the home of Anna Rae's third family. Saying 'Family # 3' doesn't mean to cast a cold and impersonal tone; by numbering them you can get an inkling of Anna Rae' development in learning the culture and language. For example: family #1 got 'baby Anna Rae' because last August she knew not a word of French, family # 2 most likely got the 'middle school Anna Rae' (You know how kids think they know more than they do at that age?) and now family # 3 gets the personality closest to the Anna Rae we have at home now. Anna Rae liked all her families but this one was special to her because she arranged the invitation to stay with them. The first 2 families were Rotary placements that were scheduled for her before she went to France. In the picture you see Anna Rae, Anne, Phillipe, and Hugo. They fixed us a fabulous dinner with all the courses: champagne, mixed nuts and crackers as an apertif, a salad of sliced tomatoes, cucumbers and pickled beets and bread was on the table by now too, then an incredible stew of salmon and scallops in a tomatoe base and rice on the side,then came the cheese board with Brie, Comte, and another soft cheese I can't recall (I LOVED all the cheese I had in France!) Dessert was a berry torte or pie. Oh yes, we drank a white and a rose wine with our meal; and yes it felt strange at first to have Anna Rae drink with us.
My blog's title originated in July 2004 as I was preparing to send my then 16 year old daughter to Annecy, France as an exchange student. It was to be a 10 and 1/2 month separation that I was sure I could not endure. BUT, thanks to the internet and blogging I survived her adventures outside of our 'nest'. Once she returned, I thought of changing the title but realized that 10 and 1/2 Months was a fitting description of the cycle of my teaching life too. Now that I am retired the days and months have much less structure but the title remains out of nostalgia for my teaching days.