Quarantine Love Letters volume 3

It is Saturday, April 11th. This week was a dream. I’m going to begin by recapping. A friend of mine said on the phone yesterday that I sounded so much happier in my second quarantine love letters, and while I didn’t plan it, I guess you will see a massive shift from my first to second to third post. I’m not sure if there will be a fourth part, I am hoping there isn’t so life can go back to normal and quarantine can be over. But I also really love it here now. I caught myself yesterday already missing a moment that hadn’t even passed yet. 

Monday, April 6th. The week would be warm and full of sunshine. I helped haul wood in the afternoon and had a deep girl talk conversation with Quinn and Pyper at night. It was tranquil and fun. Pyper hid my phone in the grass and we spent the evening tackling each other and running through the yard. The adults probably thought we were crazy. My friend sent me a photo of us when we were little saying we should recreate it. I had a strawberry shortcake shirt on, bangs, and ruby earrings. She had a floppy navy bucket hat with a light blue brim. A gap t-shirt, and a dandelion tucked into the elastic off one of her blonde braids. I wish I could remember what we were doing. Forgetting things is time’s punishment to all of us. It’s almost impossible to predict what moments will become memories. 

“I will give you time now but in a few years how you spent it will be blurry,” I imagine time saying if it had a voice. I started a two week ab challenge, did my laundry and journaled October 2019.
Tuesday, April 7th. I cleaned my room up and journaled November. Pyper and I had a photoshoot in the cow field and near the piece d’eau. Zoey and Henri crashed into each other on their bikes and we ran over to help them and get ice packs. We made 27 vanilla cupcakes with vanilla icing and chocolate shavings on top that afternoon. I listened to a podcast that talked about coronavirus from a writer’s perspective. He explained a beautifully sad metaphor about how the world is like a sleeping tiger. And how we’re just tiny Barbies and Kens riding on the tiger’s back. Every now and then that tiger wakes up- and someone breaks our heart, or someone we love dies, or there’s a world pandemic. That tiger has been waking up since the start of time. And will keep waking up. I took comfort in that metaphor, memorized it for when the next time I find myself getting overwhelmed. What is happening has happened before and will happen again. Seeking calm in the chaos. I’m not going through this alone. 

Wednesday, April 8th. We went to the Uncle’s house down the road in the afternoon, it was the first time I’d been. I tanned in the morning, it was hot out. I taught Henri how to shoot an arrow with the uncle’s archery set and target. I got a bull’s eye the first time. I knew I belonged in an action movie for a reason. I learned that "poulailler" means chicken coop in French from Zoey. We had a beautifully warm spaghetti dinner with rosé at the uncle’s. The ponies in the field were white and caramel coloured like the plastic ones you see at toy stores and were utterly wild and magnificent to look at. The view consisted of a twelf century castle through the stone archway on the front lawn. My host dad said that culture is the only thing that heightens man. I found the conversation interesting. To offset the stimulating dinner discussion the girls and I made tik toks that night. Being intellectual is ego boosting until you remember you exist in a world where 14 year olds are making millions posting dance clips on an iPhone app. Then it becomes disappointing. 
Thursday, April 9th. I helped Quinn take the goats to the forest. The two of us cleaned the kitchen after lunch and took the compost to the chickens. We made an aubergine and zucchini gratin for dinner. I worked out, read. Sifted through my dance videos to submit for an online audition. Went to see the ponies at the Uncles again. The girls and I made a tik tok and took pretty golden hour photos in the woods. 

Friday, April 10th. Another one of the best days yet, despite the fact that it was siblings day, and my brother was supposed to just be arriving to visit me in Paris on siblings day. I let myself mourn his lost trip, and the extension of me seeing my brother and showing him all the best parts of my city. I can picture his face reacting to what I would have shown him. Pure amusement. How someone looks when they see something in real life for the first time. Their eyes are glistening jewels and their mouths can’t move any wider to fit a bigger grin than the one they already have.  
Quinn and I went to the sheep's field at 8:30 am and worked out together in the dewy grass. It was very fun, we’ve been bonding a lot lately. I can remember being 16 so vividly. After that we ate breakfast together and I accidentally broke the handle off a china cup. So we scoured for super glue and fixed it. She told me the garden here was designed by the gardener of Versailles school class. There’s something new to be in awe about all the time. I talked to my mom, I think she misses me a lot. I miss her a lot too. A part of me feels guilty for leaving her. In the afternoon I hammered little metal stakes for the barbed wire the men were attaching to the fence with Pyper and Henri. This was when I realized that they really love me and see me as a family member. Pyper asked Henri who he liked more between the two of us and he said me! I love them too. It was very hot out this day. It was also one of the cousin's birthdays. I felt bad that she had to celebrate turning 10 in confinement, but we made the most of it and some packages from relatives were delivered for her, perfect timing. We picnicked for dinner and had a plank contest where my host dad forced me to join and I ultimately won- with Henri being a close runner up. I really felt like a family member that evening. They thought I was strong and capable and I was happy to impress them. They were playing with the scoop on the dump tractor and had another contest to see who could hold on the longest, I hung onto it for over a minute and tied with the Aunt. I could have gone way longer but didn’t think it was fair to win twice, especially after my host dad said jokingly “you know you can let go eventually!” More bonding with the girls. One of my favourite brands re-released a shirt I’d been eyeing for awhile and since I need some clothes here anyways, I got the address and ordered it here. It says on it- “be nice, get lots of sleep, drink plenty of water.” Nothing to disagree with there. I started and finished a book called We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. I sobbed. I was so confused by the ending and then all at once it hit me like a wave smacking me right off my surfboard, and I tumbled into a foamy abyss of saltwater, surfacing with a sticky face and headache. A book hasn’t broken me like that for awhile. I also related to one of the characters named Gat. He is an outsider to the family, with big ideas and ambition. I don’t feel like an outsider, but I still am. 
Saturday, April 11th. I woke up early to workout as usual and then ate breakfast with the kids and adults. Dried fruit muesli with dates, figs, and a scoop of raspberry jam with soy milk is literally something I eat everyday, it’s too good. The Uncle realized I take black coffee in the morning and said he’d make a bigger pot next time. I did an hour of English with Henri after breakfast, god do I love that child. Even though he protests reading in English, I know he secretly loves the Geronimo Stilton books we read because he remembers all the characters and talks about them frequently. That afternoon I started painting the gate for the white picket fence with Quinn. We ask each other questions when painting, discussing different topics. I really enjoy spending time with her. This day was a bit dramatic in the sense that the adults were going to have dinner at the Uncle’s down the street, so the girls and I were entrusted to give the kids dinner and put them to bed. Quinn and Pyper saw this as totally unfair and as a general threat from the adults to prove their authority over them. I didn’t know what to think, I agreed with the girls but I also feel like after being confined with my kids for a month I would need a night off from being a parent too. Quinn and I played with the littlest one in the pony field for a bit before dinner in an attempt to lose some of his energy before bed, but we really just ended up discussing boys and her asking me questions about them and my past relationships etc. So, as the little boy played in the barn, I realized that if you had talked to me at 16 about boys and then again at 18, my answers are completely different. I became aware, for the first time, how much I’ve changed in 2 short years. And I felt like I had valid big sister type advice to share, whereas before I wouldn’t have had a clue. You live and you learn I suppose. 
At lunch time we continued a cake we had started the day before for Henri’s school cake baking contest. It ended up being so so cute, it was a three layer chocolate cake with nesquik powder as dirt, muesli chunks as rocks, and mikado sticks as barriers between the playmobil cowboys we set up. It was adorable, he better win. Before I went to bed I checked my emails to see that my boss from teaching had emailed me about applying for “chômage partiel” where I would still receive 84% of my monthly pay while I’m off work, the issue being I need a french social security number. Just the start of another ordeal revolving around citizenship. Sigh. Maybe I do need to marry a European for the passport. I entered a sleepy trance around 10pm, and then my friends Mary and Olivia called. We face-timed for a bit and talked about Olivia’s new business she’s starting and Mary’s boy troubles aha. I’ll never forget when I came home for Christmas, they were the first friends I saw and they screamed and hugged me when I got in the car. After being away for so long it was more than reassuring to know that I still had best friends at home. When the call was done I went to check if the girls were still in the salon but they had shut the lights off and went up to sleep. The parents still weren’t home yet, I would later learn they didn’t get home until 2am. I fell asleep with my clothes on, I was so exhausted. Confinement is more tiring than you would expect it to be. 

Sunday, April 12th. Easter. I woke up to the smell of vanilla yogurt and springtime. The vanilla yogurt scent was most likely from my vanilla deodorant, I realized while getting ready. I had white paint from yesterday under my nails and dried patches on my hands. I watched Easter mass with them in the morning. The food was divine, lobster for lunch, oysters for dinner. Chocolate cake and berry salad. Deviled eggs, gratin. Despite the generosity of the meals I felt very sad and lonely as they celebrated. The kids did their egg hunt, I discovered Daim mini eggs exist in Europe. Henri came to my room and gave me some mini eggs, reason number 473 why I love him. My host mom put vases of lilacs in the house, filling the air with a sweet floral perfume. Before bed Leonie called me from Germany and we had a chat. She asked me about Easter celebrations and how the mass was (we’re both agnostic) and I reassured her I still did not believe in god lol. I called my family while they were having dessert. I fell asleep late. 

I feel like I am experiencing the big family life I never had, sometimes as a member, sometimes as 
an outsider looking in. There’s a cat with one foggy eye that roams the property. Kids on their bikes. The smell of campfire in the living room. A home that is not mine but also not a home in the first place- rather an ancient relic pulled from a history book. Land that is owned by the soldiers that once marched on it. The romanticism of living like a princess in a castle waiting for the day the curse is lifted and she can return to her city once again. 

This was all before I learned the quarantine is expected to be lifted and schools supposed to start again on May 11th. I am relieved to have a date in mind, less than a month to go. If it keeps getting extended, I might be forced to return home. I need to thank my host family for allowing me to stay so long. “Times are tough but I am tougher,” I guess. I endure. Less than a month, less than a month, less than a month to go. I don’t know if I will write another one of these in fear of repeating myself. So this might be the end of this little series, my first series on here. I will try to post once a week. I wish I could tell you what about, but I’m assuming a multitude of things. I change my mind so consistently I stopped predicting what I would do a while ago. Comment down below if there’s anything you’d specifically like me to post about. Thank you for reading, I can’t tell you how much it means to me. I like to think that I say things worth listening to sometimes, and I guess this is a warehouse for all of those thoughts. 

I am enduring, I hope you are too. 

With love from France,


  1. This was the best post in the series yet, and the other ones were really good too.
    Mom does miss you a lot. Don't feel guilty though, she'd never agree that you shouldn't have experienced any of the things you have, and still are for her sake. I like to think of your time in France as her ultimate gift to you because she knows what it feels like to travel and see things... and the two of you appreciate things deeply and authentically. You relate on that level.
    I too am sad for both you and Wyatt... I was very excited for the two of you to spend that time together.The worst part of our break was when his airline app notifications appeared reminding us when he was to depart, and return home after what was to be an epc adventure for both of you. Hopefully you van still do that sometime, even though it will be different.
    It's day by day here. We look forward to you calling and I enjoy your writing a lot.
    We're all sleeping on the same tiger right now. I'm just trying not to wake it up.
    Love you,


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