Christmas in France

Welcome to Day 3 of the #12DaysofChristmas challenge.

Today’s post is inspired by the line “3 french hens.”

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“Can you watch the bumps, please?” Yvonne situated herself in the seat.

“Sorry, honey,” Adam replied from the driver’s side.

“How much further?”

“It shouldn’t be too long.”

A smile pursed Yvonne’s lips. She wanted to raise the blindfold to see where they were headed. Yet, she didn’t want to ruin Adam’s surprise.

He’d already surprised with a trip back to France for Christmas. She thought that was enough, but this morning Adam announced he had another gift for her. One that would bring pure happiness.

It never seized to amaze Yvonne how romantic Adam could be.

She remembered the first time she met him. It was her first year in America, she was interning a local restaurant in Washington, when she spotted the dashing young man. She was so enthralled that she accidentally spilt wine on his shirt.

Yvonne thought that’d be the end of her internship along with her shot at romance. But Adam was understanding. He would later joke, “If you wanted a date, you should’ve asked instead of dousing me with wine.”

Even to this day, they still laugh about the incident.

Adam and Yvonne had a good life in Washington. He worked as a lawyer, while she was a chef at one of the finest restaurants.

Despite the glory Washington had to offer, Yvonne missed her home in France. Often she would think about the memories of living in the country, visiting her grandmother’s farm. That was the special memory Yvonne held dear.

Yvonne and her grandmother Ava had a close relationship. Yvonne loved spending time at Ava’s house. It’s where she learned to cook, which inspired her to become a chef.

When Yvonne wasn’t busy learning to make French cuisines, she and Ava used to go out to the barn. Ava had a gathering of animals, including goats, cows, and hens. Yvonne loved all the animals, but her favorite was the hens. She used to hold them in her arms, while her grandmother tended to the other animals.

Yvonne thought those moments would last forever, but sadly they came to an end when Ava passed away two years ago.

Yvonne was devastated. She returned to France for the funeral, yet she couldn’t bring herself to go to her grandmother’s house.

“We’re here.” Adam announced as he parked the car.

When the blindfold was removed, Yvonne sat in amazement at the sight of the wooden house and barn.

“This is my grandmother’s house.”

“Yes, it’s also my surprise.”

Yvonne thought it’d be sad coming back to the house, yet a feeling of peace filled her.

“You’re not upset are you?” Adam wrapped his arm around Yvonne’s shoulders. “I thought I was doing the right thing.”

“You did.” She sniffled. “These are happy tears.” She wiped away the watery streaks.

“Come, you have to show me the place.”

“But we can’t go.” Yvonne stopped Adam. “Remember, I told you my parents sold the place.” Yvonne’s cheery mood slowly diminished. “Besides, I doubt the owners would want us trespassing.”

“I don’t think that will be a problem.” Adam placed a key in Yvonne’s hand.

“What’s this?”

“The key to our new house.”

Yvonne’s mouth dropped. “You mean…”

“I worked out a deal with your parents. They knew how much you loved the place. Plus, they couldn’t bear the thought of seeing it in a stranger’s care.”

Tears began flowing again. “I don’t know what to say.”

“Don’t say anything. Just show me this around this lovely place.”

***

After giving Adam a grand tour and explaining the special memories she had of each room, Yvonne lead him outside to the barn.

“I can’t believe you bought this.” Yvonne couldn’t stop beaming since she heard the news. “This is an amazing surprise.”

“You talked about how much you loved it here.”

“There were a lot of good times in this place.”

“We’ll be making even more.” Adam hooked his arm around Yvonne’s as they walked to the barn. “I’ll have plenty time cleared this summer. We can spend a few weeks out here.”

“What are we going to do when we’re not here?” Yvonne started to panic. “Whose going to take care of the place?”

“Don’t worry, your brother Marco said he’d take care of the upkeep.”

Yvonne felt better knowing the place would be in safe hands while they were gone.

Opening the doors to the barn, Yvonne stepped inside. The building was practically empty with the exception for a few hay stacks.

“This is one of my favorite places. Grandma had all her animals in here.”

“I remember you talking about how you helped take care of the goats, then played with the chickens.”

“Those animals were her babies.” Walking around, Yvonne pictured herself as a girl. She would sit on the hay and pet on one of the chickens. “Grandma, I’m home. This place is ours. I hope you’re happy.”

A rustling sound behind one of the stacks startled Adam and Yvonne. Adam looked around for a weapon. He picked up a wooden plank before slowly moving to the hay stack. When he neared, three hens flew up, causing a startled Adam to fall.

Yvonne giggled, then helped Adam to his feet.

“I wasn’t expecting those suckers to be in here.” Adam picked straws of hay from his jacket. “I wonder how they got in.”

Yvonne looked at the three hens, who were nestled together on the ground. She then looked up at the sky, thinking it was a sign from Ava. “Thanks grandma.”

The End

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