Mémé in the French Countryside*

Location: Saint-Trevier, France

IMG_2396

Meme’s house.

IMG_2400

Front yard view.

IMG_2407

Meme now and then…

The Equally Awesome Other Side of France

Mémé is 82 years old. She lives in her house in Saint-Trivier-de-Courtes, France. This small village in the middle part of France is four hours by drive from Paris and one hour away from Geneva, Switzerland. In 2008, it was reported to have a total population of 975. Everytime we go to Yoann’s hometown of Montagnat /mon-ta-nya/, we drive for about 45 minutes to her house on our way back to Belgium. When we visit her, we make sure to go around the garden and we always end up with some more fresh produce on top of the carrots, potatoes, salad, onions we already have in the trunk.

The Garden’s Keeper

When we visited Mémé last week, we changed our usual routine of going straight inside the house and visited the garden right away. Winter has passed, you see. Like us, the plants are also stretching and basking in the springtime sunlight amidst occasional cold breeze. In truth, we are too weak, the sight of flowering salad leaves lured us into the yard almost immediately.

In the garden, I saw the neighbour’s cat, Ismi, walk through the newly ploughed land from outside the fence. I watched him approach Mémé. Not a glance back. This cat, Ismi, he seems to have completely forgotten our last visit. As if reading my thought that I expect him to merely pass us by, Ismi started rolling his dark, fluffy body around infront of me and Yoann. Ismi has a bright tummy! Mémé also laughed at his playfulness. I have no clue what he’s going to do next.

We met Ismi for the first time around two months ago during our last visit chez Mémé. We were having dinner and he was by the window sitting outside. He would glance at our small group once in a while. I got up to talk to him and that’s when Mémé mentioned his name. She also said that Ismi is her neighbour’s cat. That first encounter, Ismi looked at me once or twice. Have you met a cat that glances instead of stare? That’s Ismi.

meme 1

Meme still prepares her garden plot for planting at 82.

IMG_2397

Lunch is ready for picking! Meme’s garden fresh salad!

IMG_2351

Greens have never looked this good!

IMG_2363

Inside meme’s nursery, a hodge podge of herbs and baby veggie plants.

IMG_2359

Her garden tools!

IMG_2393

Meme with Yoyo.

IMG_2370

Meme and me.

IMG_2388

Fur ball Ismi.

Dining With Mémé At Last

After a good 30 minutes of admiring Mémé’s beautiful budding plants, coupled with constant head shakes in slight disbelief and total admiration of how she does gardening all by herself all these years, we headed back inside her house and settled in the dining area where Mémé has prepared a feast before our arrival. The three of us, Yoann, her and I would share her red wine, saucisson, cornishon, baguette, a variety of French cheeses, creamy desserts, and finally a good cup of coffee.

Mémé drinks wine, pas beaucoup /pah bukuh/ (not a lot), she would say when she sees you are about to pour wine into her glass. I would oblige and pour in un petit peu /uhh petih pwu/ (just a little bit). Yoann makes sure to remind her not to prepare a main dish since we’ll be passing by after lunch, but we will be too full and happy by the time we remember we just had lunch.

Yoann loves Mémé very much, and I love her. Happy mother’s day, Mémé! Bonne fête!

IMG_5622

Comforting best describes meme’s dining room.

IMG_2337

A few French starter plate staples: cornichon (pickles), baguette with pâté, radis, ham & watermelon slices, salad & more pâté!

IMG_5638

Main dish.

IMG_5641

Cheese platter.

IMG_2340

Dessert.

IMG_5645

Coffee!

IMG_5627

Ze boss, chillin’!

The end (of famine).

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s