Monday, July 17, 2006

Oh-blah-di! Oh-blah-dah!


You may have been wondering about the unusual pictures popping up on my Flickr page, and where in France we could have found a new house that looks like that.

As some of you may have guessed, the truth is, it's not in France. It's in Madison. And we're moving back.

Dr. B will finish his post-doc in August, after which we head home for another post-doc at the UW. This brings a lot of mixed feelings, but we believe it is the right thing to do.

Our time in Paris has been wonderful and awful, intense, eye-opening, liberating, restrictive, fun, full of anguish, and very crazy. We've made some great friends, eaten like kings, traveled, learned to speak another language fairly well, explored new scientific frontiers (OK, not me, him) and we've loved it. Maybe not every minute, but the overall experience has been incredible.

But, life goes on, and changes happen. We knew it wasn't permanent, and Dr. B looked for the next step when we were only half-way through this one. Another year here would have been enjoyable, but also very difficult. For his career's future, Dr. B really needs to be back in the US, and we need to start climbing out of the debt that France has put us in. His position at UW-Madison is everything we could have hoped for, and we can't help but think that a certain guardian angel helped us out quite a bit on this one (Thanks, Mom.)

Thanks to wonderful friends back home, we've found and rented a beautiful house on the Isthmus. The owners have been fantastic, and are even having the place painted in beautiful colors, awaiting our return. We look forward to stretching out in our 3-bedroom house, sitting on the porch with an Arnie Palmer and a book or some knitting, and planting a garden in our fenced backyard, with Lucy by our side. Biking, meeting friends on the Terrace, great Thai food, and hikes at the dog park--if we have to return to the US, this is the ideal place for us to be.

So, the question is, where do I go from here?

This is one that doesn't have a definite answer yet, and I kind of like it that way. About 15 years ago, I had lots of choices, things I 'could' do with my life, if I wanted to. Things I knew I was good enough to do, and that I enjoyed. I chose to be a music teacher, and I don't regret it. But now, with no job to go back to, there are more options open to me, ways to expand and enhance my life, and my teaching. There are so many possibilities: a masters degree, yoga, substitute teaching, private music or French instruction, writing a book, becoming a Mom (God willing...hey guardian angel? Need some help here...)

I don't know what the future holds. But I do know that writing this blog has been so important to me this year. I've had a way to share my experience, put it down in concrete for myself and for those who'd like a peek of our lives here in Paris, and a way to find some fantastic friends I may have never found without it.

Will I keep going?

Do you want to keep reading?

I don't know right now. I hope so. If you want me to keep writing, I can, though "Mrs. B in Madison" just doesn't have quite the same ring to it. But for now, dear readers, thank you. Thank you for the support, the encouragement, the comments, and the hits. You've made me feel important at a time when I first had to step away from the identity I'd worked so hard for and chosen myself. You've made me feel worth something, when I was questioning myself and afraid and attempting to deal with a whole new world. You helped me be strong.

We have a little over a month left in France. We have our house rented, the plane tickets purchased, and we've begun to pick up some of the little souvenir items we will take home to our new life in our old hometown. Now, in the 4 weeks ahead, we will deal with selling furniture, packing and shipping our belongings, and enjoying the people and the places we will miss when we are back in Wisconsin.

And then... the next chapter begins.

_________________________________________________

26 Comments:

At 6:38 AM, July 17, 2006, Blogger PutYourFlareOn said...

Well, I hope you keep up your blog. You're such a beautiful writer and I really enjoy your stories. I met you grace a ton blog, cherie! So, I for one would be sad to see if end. As you said, the next chapter begins... can't wait to read it!

 
At 8:17 AM, July 17, 2006, Blogger Kat said...

Hey Mrs. B: Congrats on the new step in life! How wonderful to go back to Madison!!! I hope to meet you when you are back in the Dairyland (well, we used to be the Dairyland...I've heard that we lost that title to, of all places, California!!). Best wishes with the transition and the closing up shop in Paris. It's not easy, but it sounds like you guys are really moving on to a wonderful new life in a truly fabulous town! Oh, and I definitely think you should keep writing. You're going to feel a lot of emotions once you've returned stateside. Keeping track of it all might help you process it. Just a thought :)

 
At 8:37 AM, July 17, 2006, Blogger L. D. said...

Ronica,

I surely do hate that you are not going to be in France when I get there in August. I must say that your blog has provided me with a MUCH NEEDED window into a world in France that I think I can bare to live in....and one that does not seem TOO TOO difficult for an EXTREMELY independent, very little French speaking American such as myself.
There have been some days where I really questions my move, my motives and my direction in life as it is associated with this move. There have been days where I felt scared almost to the point of hyperventalation and when I read your blog, you actually make me EXCITED about moving. Excited in the "open to all the possibilities" kind of way. PLEASE continue to write, PLEASE. Mrs. B in Madison, A Madame in Madison, Marvelous Mrs. B in Madison, .....doesnt matter.....JUST WRITE! I wish you and your husband MORE than the best with your transition back to your first world as I venture to my second world. I know that you all will prosper and find happiness anywhere in the world. Take care.

 
At 9:55 AM, July 17, 2006, Anonymous ashley said...

Please keep writing! I would love to be able to "follow" you on your next adventure/chapter! Best of luck, and I have loved reading you for the past year!!

 
At 11:19 AM, July 17, 2006, Blogger Chelee said...

Oh yes, please do keep writing!

Even though we have never met, I consider you an "online" friend. It would be like a great book that just stopped.(:

Thanks for all your posts from Paris. It's been wonderful seeing Europe from your view.

C

 
At 11:24 AM, July 17, 2006, Blogger ViVi said...

You'd better keep writing, you little minx, you!! ;)

 
At 11:45 AM, July 17, 2006, Anonymous mj said...

I have so enjoyed reading about your life in Paris. It has kept that little flame burning--that I too might live in Paris one day. Please continue to inspire me with your positive attitude and charming literary voice.

 
At 11:45 AM, July 17, 2006, Blogger lauren said...

What a lovely post - please keep writing . . . aren't blogs the perfect example of how the everyday and ordinary is really fascinating and extraordinary?
And best wishes for whatever comes next!

 
At 12:39 PM, July 17, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please, please keep writing. I've so enjoyed your efforts!

 
At 2:17 PM, July 17, 2006, Blogger Beth said...

Mrs B in Madison would be great! Congratulations to Dr B and please keep us all updated!

 
At 3:27 PM, July 17, 2006, Blogger Samantha said...

As a fellow (former) Midwesterner, I too have enjoyed reading your blog, and I'd love to keep reading after you make the move back - it'll be like my little piece of home with my morning cup of tea!

 
At 5:31 PM, July 17, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please keep writing. I enjoy your posts very much and look forward to hearing of your adventures back in america!

 
At 5:32 PM, July 17, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please keep writing. I enjoy your posts very much and look forward to hearing of your adventures back in america!

 
At 11:14 PM, July 17, 2006, Blogger Mel said...

Rox told me that you were coming "back"... I know that is a hard decision (though I know some people that are excited for you to be within driving distance). I will say I am excited to meet you then and plan Rox's wedding with you!!
And yes, keep writing. I have a blog a heck of a lot duller then yours and I still write. As long as you have fun with it!

 
At 2:12 AM, July 18, 2006, Blogger bani said...

Well, from my perspective (Sweden), Madison is nearly more exotic than Paris, so keep up the blog! :-)

 
At 9:48 AM, July 18, 2006, Anonymous Kathi said...

Ronica

Have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog as a vicarious adventure in my favorite foreign city. You absolutely must turn it into a book. It's already much better and more useful than anything in print about living in Paris!! Maybe Lucy could pen a few chapters on her perspective as well. Best wishes to life in Madison.

 
At 10:51 AM, July 18, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

please keep your blog!!

 
At 10:00 PM, July 18, 2006, Anonymous Miss Lisa said...

Please keep writing, as well as enjoying the little window in France, I enjoy your writing - it's so interesting :) ... and from Australia, Madison (as our Swedish friend said) is also new and different ... as contrary to the thinking of a lot of people Ozzie's and American's aren't really all that alike :)

Have fun in the new and exciting chapter!

 
At 5:36 AM, July 19, 2006, Anonymous cj said...

Your blog is brilliant,but it would be brilliant anywhere, so keep it up. It is not just where you write, but how you write which makes it so enjoyable. I am visiting Paris in Sept for a few days with my good friend for a feast of food,drink and culture and escape from kids and family. Would you recommend a decent, cheap hotel in a good location? Thank you, I would appreciate your local expertise!

 
At 8:12 AM, July 19, 2006, Blogger MagE said...

well, me dear... I do believe the votes are in! YOu are keeping your blog! heehee... I know there is so much to do in Madtown, however, it may be difficult but there is definitely a lot you can write about... the co-ops, crazies on State Street, the capital loop, farmers markets... and one musn't forget, the lovely and dear to the heart, Terrace, you must introduce your readers to the Terrace, silly goose... plus a plethora of other interesting things, for sure.
P.S. I am definitely one of those people very glad that you will be within driving distance. :)

 
At 11:35 AM, July 20, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

R--your new digs look great! Have enjoyed your blog these past few months and looking forward to hearing how the transition and move works out. v.

 
At 9:21 PM, July 20, 2006, Blogger Run Around Paris said...

Your blog is really great and it would be a shame if you quit writing...who knows where life will take you next! Your reflection on life in Paris remind me of my visits there, and reading your blog has made me feel a little closer to the city I miss so much!

 
At 8:15 PM, July 21, 2006, Blogger NeverEnough said...

I cannot WAIT until Mrs. B is in Madison! Don't ever stop writing...

 
At 10:35 PM, July 21, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

whether you keep writing on your blog, or transition your talent into a paper publication, i definitely think you should continue writing. i've enjoyed your perspective on paris through a midwesterner's eyes and will miss it. best of luck to you back in the states, whichever path you decide to follow! - a

 
At 6:40 AM, July 22, 2006, Blogger Amelie Fu said...

Well you definately have to keep your blog now. And you could make living in Wagga Wagga sound interesting with your great writing! You blog has inspired me to make the 'big move' and now my fiancee and I are planning on moving from Newcastle, Australia to Brussels in 2 years (his company has a branch over there). The craziness of living in a foreign country just gets more and more appealing with every post I read. Rock on Mrs B. I can't wait to hear about Madison!

 
At 3:38 AM, July 26, 2006, Blogger La Page Française said...

I've really enjoyed reading your blog and all about your adventures in Paris. I wish you lots of luck in your move back to the US and your new life in Wisconsin and hope that at all of your dreams that you have for yourself come true

 

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