The Second Time Around

This is a repeat of when Maurice and I got married in France.


                                         The Second Time Around
 
 When Maurice asked me to marry him he suggested that we get married in France, in a little village north of Annecy. I didn’t even know where Annecy was and had to get a map out where I discovered it was near Geneva close to the Swiss border and near the French Alps. The village itself was so small it wasn’t even on my map. It turned out to be an absolutely beautiful area with fields of green spreading out in valleys, ancient chateaux, and bridges to surprise. And Annecy had an old area that I especially loved where canals ran full with water, black swans swam, and buildings painted in bright greens, blues, and yellows lined interesting cobbled streets.
 
 Getting permission to marry in the little village was not easy and it was made more difficult by being in the States and having to send all that they wanted. Normally, you can’t get married in a place if you don’t live there but Maurice’s Aunt Yvette had lived and worked there for years, so they gave us permission to marry there. They wanted a host of documents and mine had to be translated into French and I had to prove I didn’t have a criminal record. The only thing they didn’t ask for was a note from my Mother. After we had sent the required documents we were asked for yet more but Aunt Yvette went and talked to the Mayor and he said that they had enough for us to marry there. It’s always who you know.
 
 A few days before the wedding we arrived to take care of last minute details. Maurice’s Aunt, bless her heart, had arranged for many things, such as rooms for us and the guests, and a place for the after wedding party. The first day I picked out the flowers I wanted for my bouquet and it turned out to be the most beautiful one I have ever seen. We went and checked out the room for the party, bought ribbon and balloons with which to decorated the tables, and selected the menu. Maurice’s Aunt Yvette had this thing about almonds. We had to have them. We bought a big bag of candy coated almonds in pale pink and blue hues. She also ordered little net filled bags full of the same candy that were piled high on a decorative plate to be given to the guests. What was this obsession? Maurice said it was a French tradition. So, we had a lot of tradition.
 
 Then we went to see the room where we would be married. It was to be an official ceremony, rather like that in the States before a Justice of the Peace. I thought, because it would be taking place in an old village in France, and because it was going to be in a building called a Mairie – which sounded like the word marry to me – that it would be old, quaint, and beautiful. I was very disappointed when I saw a room with all of the warmth of an insurance office. This was where our romantic wedding was going to be with a black board, metal folding tables and linoleum floors? There was no where else so I had to accept it.
 
 The day before the wedding we walked around the village and looked at the lovely old church that we couldn’t get married in being divorced and not Catholic, and a nearby ancient suspension bridge. By then my best friend, Sage, had arrived. Maurice took us to visit a relative and her husband. The first thing they did was pull out a bottle of champagne. Sage and I couldn’t understand a word of what was being said in French, so quietly chatted together and drank the great tasting champagne. They opened another bottle. An hour later Maurice had to help the two of us out of the house. I’ve since learned that the French keep opening bottles as long as someone will keep drinking.
 
 My children and their spouses came next – we picked them up at the airport in Geneva, just a 30 minute drive away. They loved the country side and couldn’t believe how green everything was. We had a fabulous time that night with all of our relatives eating dinner in Annecy and then walking around exploring. I loved showing everyone how beautiful and interesting this part of France was.
 
  The night before we had seen some great looking stores in Annecy. Sage loves to shop and since she was leaving right after the wedding she wanted to make a quick foray into the city. So, after Sage, my sons and daughters-in-law and I had decorated the room for the after wedding party we zoomed down into Annecy and bought shoes and clothing. We didn’t have much time but ran quickly between stores trying to see it all. Sage found three pairs of shoes, two tops, a skirt, a coat and some lingerie in an amazingly short amount of time. Then we piled back into the car to get back and get dressed for the wedding.
 
 Even though this wasn’t my first marriage, I was very nervous. I knew a lot more now than I did before I married the first time. Sage and I had a couple of glasses of champagne and then my son drove us over to the mairie because it  was pouring rain. This was it. With a deep breath I went in. To my surprise the room looked great. The black board had been pushed to the side, the folding table had been covered with green felt and the Mayor stood there in a suit with one of those wide diplomatic ribbons across his chest. There was also a lady there to translate everything into English for me. Maurice has twin grandchildren who were 3 years old at the time dressed adorably in velvet and they spent the time making a racket, banging on the blackboard. Eventually their father took them outside.
 
 Afterwards, it stopped raining long enough for us to walk back to the hotel for the party where we had a great time dancing, eating and drinking – what else – champagne. When Maurice and I had been discussing the party with the owner of the auberge, her sons, both in their 30’s had come in and they became very interested in our wedding when they had heard about Sage. The fact that she was not only an American, but also from California, sounded magical to them. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when they showed up at our party hoping to meet her.
 
 One great part of marrying Maurice was meeting his wonderful grandmother who was 104 years old at the time. She wasn’t very mobile but she was very bright and twinkly with short gray hair, a hook nose and a walker. She only spoke French but Maurice translated that she loved American women, American movies, and that her favorite singer was Frank Sinatra. She had a glass of champagne every day. Her doctor, when he heard that she did this, told her to continue on as it obviously wasn’t hurting her, so she considered this a prescription of sorts, and never went a day without a glass and also, before she went to bed, a piece of chocolate. I think I will follow her example. She died two years later at the age of 106. She must have been doing something right.
 
 One thing I thought was neat was our French wedding cake. It’s called a Piece Montée and it is a little mountain of custard filled pastry with spun caramelized sugar trickling down the sides. The waiters turned off the lights and put sparklers on the cake and wheeled it out. By then we had eaten 5 courses with wine and it was hard to even taste it. To this day, Maurice isn’t sure he had any. I did. It was wonderful.
 
 Finally, about two in the morning after hours of eating and dancing, Maurice and I decided to leave for our wedding night. My children came up and all hugged me. Both of my daughters in law got tears in their eyes and told me how much I deserved my happiness with Maurice after Sherman and all I had gone through. It was touching to see how my new life made them so glad for me. I was so thrilled that they all got to come and see me marry and start my new life.
 
 Maurice and I went across the lake of Annecy to a really neat area called Tailloires for our honeymoon night. It started pouring again, so hard this time, I was afraid of getting there without a wreck. The next morning the sun was out and a beautiful mist hovered above the water making it all look mystical. We spent our honeymoon traveling through Provence.
 

 

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                                    Our 8th anniversary is this September

28 thoughts to “The Second Time Around”

  1. Happy Anniversary ~ you both look wonderful and so happy! Here’s to many many more years of love and happiness. I am so glad too that you found each other!

    See sometimes there is a happily ever after! 🙂

    Love,
    Stacy
    (from Upstate NY)

  2. Well apologies Linda – couldn’t get it to post after many tries and then apparently the comments posted several times! Perhaps you can delete from your end.
    Happy Anniversary!

  3. What a nice way to wrap up your story! Or maybe it was just the beginning of the second half??

    Either way, thank you for sharing it all with us – Congratulations!

  4. Linda, that was just wonderful – it made me happy just reading it. It sounds like you and Maurice had an absolutely perfect wedding – and from looking at the picture of the two of you, I believe you did! Beautiful!

    Thank you, Donna

  5. Marvelous story!! You look so chic – and he’s so handsome. Now I want to see a whole album!! You definitely should publish a memoir one of these days, complete with maps and photos. I’ll be waiting…!

  6. Happy Anniversary. What a beautiful place to start your life together.My husband, Ryan and I got married in March last year and honeymooned in France, our last day was spent in Annecy. Gorgeous, unfortunately the shops were closed that day so we could only window shop. But we will return in March next year when we come back with our daughter. Have a wonderful day!

  7. Happy Anniversary!

    This wedding story is like a yummy topping of a wedding cake, and you two look like a perfect wedding cake bride and groom!

    (Actually, Maurice reminds me of a French politician, but in a good way ;-))

  8. It’s so fairy-tale-ish and wonderful a story, it just makes me beam!
    Happy anniversary and I have to agree with everyone else, it’s a wonderful photo and you’re both so chic

  9. Okay, can I just take a moment and say that your hair looks absolutely FIERCE?! Omg, I love it!

    Hooray for the two of you and hooray for love… The two of you look cute together, too. :o)

    On a side note, Linda, I didn’t know that your DIL has a store here in Montpellier, too! I checked it out as soon as I arrived after literally happening upon it after my first week in France. It’s cute and I love it…

  10. Congratulations on your anniversary! Love the photo – you both look so very happy. What a great story too. So…are you drinking a glass of champagne a day, with a piece of chocolate in the evening? Sounds wonderful to me – I might try it too.

  11. Dear Linda,
    I continue to marvel at the “synchronicity” of our life patterns, both having had problematic marriages after more than two decades into the marriage [although different problems], similar feelings [although about other shocking circumstances], and these events happening while living in the same city. Maybe not so ironic to that points, but it’s also surprising how the dates in your story coincide with mine as well as the locations — not the fictional ones of your story, but the real ones you have explained. And beyond that, the synchronicity continues. Here we are both living in France, remarried to Europeans. I remarried the year after you: on September 9th!

  12. Thank you for sharing your story. You went through so much! Happy Anniversary and wishing you many more years of happiness. I love your blog and will keep visiting.

  13. I can relate. It took me eight months to put the paperwork together for the Mairie. Even now after our mariage civil ceremony, more paperwork is required for name changing in my passport, documents for the National Statistics Office … I’m expecting at least another year to get it all done.

  14. Wonderful ‘old’ post – so glad you linked it at Tongue in Cheek.

    What a gorgeous couple you are – I will have to read more of your archives!

    Cheers to both of you for continued happiness – must be coming up on 10th anniversary!?

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