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The Grape Years Weblog

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January 23, 2005
Villers-La-Faye, Burgundy - France

Snow & Sledding

 Charlotte and Camille on their Papa's sled
Charlotte and Camille on their Papa's sled.

Even before he opens the shutters, Franck is certain that it has snowed during the night. Lying in bed in our darkened room, he says he can tell from the quiet outside. We open the shutters to see that he’s right – a thick blanket of white stuff has hushed the world outside.

It has already snowed one before, about a month ago. As soon as the first flakes had started falling Franck hiked down the road to his parents to find his old sled that was somewhere in their barn. He brought it home, and scraped the rust off the graceful curved runners, and attached a new green rope to the front.

Chapel on the Mont Saint-Victor
The Chapel on the Mont
Saint-Victor which dates
back to the Middle Ages


We bundled the girls up in their snowsuits and pulled them up the Mont Saint Victor. At the top, we stopped in at the cemetery to poke around its chapel that dates from the twelfth century, and introduced the girls to the various members of Franck’s family who rest in the ground, notably Le Pépé, Franck’s much missed grandfather. Charlotte was quite concerned that Pépé would be cold on such a snowy day, but Franck assured her that Pépé had never minded the cold, and was certainly not about to start now.

The family visitations completed, I piled onto the sled with Charlotte and Camille and we went sliding down the mountain with Franck hanging onto the rope and running along behind us. We screamed and laughed, and I wondered  how I could have forgotten how much fun it is to play in the snow.

So when we see the ground covered with white stuff again this morning, we bundle up the girls and head out for another snowy walk. This time we go up to Les Chaumes, the wooded plateau that is just behind our house.

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© 2005, Story by Laura Bradbury  & Photos by Franck Germain - All Rights Reserved.

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