Friday, January 22, 2016

A little paper flag.

While shopping in a wonderful little shop in Howell, Michigan last weekend, I came across a cup full of these little paper flags.
They reminded me of a summer spent in France, years ago.
Memories flooded late husband and I spending time with his family.
We were so young, 19 and 20, on break from college that summer.
Meeting his relatives for the first time.

They owned three homes.
One in Paris, one in the country, and one on the Normandy Beaches.

Seeing all of the sights in Paris was like a dream for me.
You learn about such things in school, but never think you will ever see places like that in your whole life!
Patrick was used to it all....being there several times since childhood.

Spending time in the country, seeing all of the vineyards was amazing!
Tonton and Tantine had a huge garden that they used for preparing meals.
Tonton was our tour guide inside, and outside of Paris.

My favorite place was Deauville, on the Normandy Beaches (on the English Channel).
We spent hours around the simple table, in mismatched chairs....eating, drinking wine, and talking and laughing while the sea air came in through the open windows.
As you walked up the winding staircase to the bedrooms, you could still see the chips in the walls where the butts of the German's rifles gouged the plaster as they searched the cottages during the War. 
I asked why the plaster was never replaced. Mamme' said it was left as a reminder of the cruelty of war, and hopefully it would never be repeated.
That little paper flag brought back memories for me.   Good memories, of good people...along with some history.
Funny how something so small, and insignificant to some, would cause a lifetime of memories to flood into my brain for just a matter of minutes.
I'm glad I found that little paper flag. It brought joy to my heart.
I hope something fills your heart with joy this weekend!


  1. Debbie, How wonderful that you have been to France. I would dearly love to go there. I liked the little flag. I know what you mean about learning of places in school and then seeing them in person. When I was young, I thought that little corner in Tipton was my universe and I longed to travel far away from there. To see the sights of the world. Or even our little town. LOL. I have been to the Pacific and Atlantic oceans all in one year and totally amazed. Just the fact that I saw things I had heard of or read about. But deep in my heart...I would go back to the little corner where we lived...if I could be with my parents again. Funny how ,like you said, the smallest things can take us back in time. When it's lilac time, I go back to that corner in my memories. Blessings to you my dear sweet friend, love you, Susie

  2. Debbie,
    Our memories store everything and sometimes unexpectedly flood us with emotions. Debbie this is a beautiful share and perhaps my favorite post of Lakehouse so far. Your words about Deauville at the Normandy beaches took me into thoughts of war. Yes to keep the dinged walls is what I would also do as a reminder how tragic and horrific war is. I envisioned the Germans searching as my hair stood on end. Debbie I am glad you shared a precious memory of your first husband Patrick, for that little paper flag was magical and I know sharing your memory filled your heart with cherished times.
    Sending love,

  3. What lovely memories! I have never been to France - only England and Scotland and Canada.
    Thank you for sharing such a precious post. Memories can last a lifetime and I'm so happy you have such good ones.

  4. Such a beautiful post Debbie! I loved walking with you back through time, and imagining how it was through your eyes... and oh seeing the butt of the guns left on the cottage walls, oh my, war is such a terrible thing. Thank you for sharing your memories of a beautiful place and time with us... this makes blogging worthwhile... sharing your joy in the moment as the memories come. Appreciate you Debbie, and hope you get lots of enjoyment out of those memories with your little flags :) Have a blessed day!

  5. Love reading about your sweet memories in France! I stayed in Paris many years ago. Your pictures and things are always such romantic

  6. Hi Debbie
    wow, what a beautiful memory and such a cute flag. I love that you shared it with all of us. Loved all the pictures also. Enjoy this fabulous weekend Debbie, we are getting a snow storm, fun***

  7. I love hearing of your precious memories in France with your husband, Debbie! Yes, it is amazing how something so small, like the flag you found (love it!!) could bring them all back. I can picture now all that you have described, from the long kitchen table to the chippy plaster walls. And of course nothing can surpass walking the streets of Paris, can it? At least for me that is my idea of heaven on earth! I will have to think about what little things remind me of such joys:)

  8. What wonderful memories of your time in France. The history and emotions of those places. What a beautiful experience for you. Love the little flag.

  9. What a lovely flag, and such a beautiful memory. xoxo Su

  10. Thanks for sharing those beautiful memories. Lovely thoughts for a cold winter day. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  11. Good Morning Debbie.
    Your post is so beautiful today. How exciting to spend time in France when you were young. I know those memories will always stay in your heart and mind. It is funny how one small thing can bring back a flood of memories. I often think about the time I lived in Belgium and the wonderful memories there. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and lovely photos.


  12. Hi Debbie, l loved reading about your memories of France and how much you enjoyed your time there. It's amazing how time passes and so many memories kind of blend to make them dream like, and yet other memories remain as fresh as though the event/s just happened yesterday...your photos are so pretty especially your cupid angel with wax flowers.

  13. Hi Debbie,
    So glad you found that French paper flag too, this way we get to share in the reading of your life story, well a big part of how life started out for you. Wonderful memories, and the Germans guns damage to the plaster walls is a heart breaking story and is preserved in its history.

    This was a wonderful post, I love when someone is taken back in time when a small forgotten pieces triggers a time and a place.
    Look around Debbie at all the beautiful memories you are making for the love ones that follow behind you with all your sweet treasures and the love you give the lake house :)

    France holds many family memories for me as well.
    See you and your beauty soon...
    Love the chippy tin wall pocket filled white pale hydrangeas :)


  14. Darn that spell check * the tin wall pocket filled *WITH the pale hydrangeas :)


  15. Wow, those are definitely some magical memories Debbie! How wonderful that you've been to France...definitely one of my dreams for the future. Isn't it funny how little things can bring so many memories flooding back? Your little flag is beautiful:)

    We've had a crazy beginning to the year so I haven't blogged but plan on doing so this week and will write to you tomorrow:) Hugs!

  16. Dearest, Alas memories is like a road that has so many little country markets filled with arrays of a bit of this and that. Gladness and sorrow! I felt a bit of sadness of the dreams of your youth are in the past, but in a blink of a moment you are there again. And this time you brought us along!
    I have been to Howell Michigan, I will be close to there this summer I believe! Much Love, Roxy

  17. Beautiful post and pictures! I could stare at them all day long...Loved reading your blog.

    Have a great week!

  18. How lovely Debbie ! it's funny how memories are just lurking under the surface..even something like a vague smell of wood smoke can take me back to trekking in Nepal...or for some reason the smell of sawdust takes me right back to school (weird I know ) ..have a nice week...Gail x

  19. Debbie, your post gave me goosebumps. I would love to visit Normandy - the history there is so amazing. Enjoy your week. xo

  20. Debbie, your post was so interesting to read! Thank you for sharing those memories. Just a few days ago something reminded me of a trip with my parents to Mexico when I was in 8th grade and flood of memories came back. Funny how that happens. So cool that you have been to France, I had no idea! Hope all is well my friend and I'm sorry I still have been so terrible at posting and commenting and emailing. Someday, maybe...I'll get caught up!!! I keep thinking I will but then I don't!

  21. I love when one small thing can bring back such good memories. Your cottage sounds wonderful and your pictures prove that it is! Your blog is beautiful!

  22. The little flags are wonderful and your memories are precious! I love when something simple can take us back to a special memory. The tale of the chips in the wall from the rifles touched my heart. I hope I make it to Paris some day. We have been to Austria, Germany, Prague, Portugal, and Spain. Would love to see France!!

  23. Such a lovely post! I totally love our visit to France...we did a circular trip around the country and managed to stay on schedule in spite of all the transportation strikes that were happening at the time.