Tomorrow, Damien’s Godparents arrive for a few days with Thibault’s best buddy. I am so excited! I love having company, and especially them! They are like family, and are carefree and easy going, the best kind of guests a hostess could hope for! Plus it’s been a long time since we were all together so it’ll be nice for a few days. It is fitting that Claude, Sabine and Elliot be our last guests in our home here in Penedo. They were our last guests when we moved out of our apartment in Resende, and our first guests when we moved into this house (which happened to be there old house!). In French we say, “la boucle est bouclée”, or that we’ve come full-circle.
Growing up in different parts of the world, my parents always had a guest book for friends and family to sign when they came to visit. It wasn’t the kind where you would just write your name and address. It was more personal than that. Our guests would write about when they came, why, how long they stayed, and what we all did together. It is a memorable souvenir of those who came, the seasons in which they visited and the celebrations they came to commemorate. That book has been all over the world with us, different cities, a house, an apartment, the spring and the winter, grandparents and childhood friends. When I moved into my first apartment I started my own guest book. I remember my first visitor, a Canadian friend, passing through Paris on her way to work, teaching English at a summer camp in Switzerland (if I remember correctly?). My last guest was a dear friend from grad school traveling with her friend. Such memorable moments. I spent about six years in that apartment and had at-least 20+ guests come stay, some where family, others friends, a few friends of friends that later became my friends! I love reading through each entry with descriptions of what we did, or heard, or saw, or ate. Some are simple little notes, brief recollections, others poems.
When we moved here as newlyweds, we receive, from my parents, a new guest book to begin this new chapter in our lives. Three years later, the book is full, with just one blank page left (for Sabine, Claude & Elliot, of course). We have had, as is tradition, family, friends and friends of friends come and stay with us. Our guest book will be one of our most treasured souvenirs of our time here. Soon, we will be off to a new city, a new country, a new home! I hope we will have many guests – family, friends, and friends of friends – come and stay with us. I’ll need to find a new guest book before then, for our visitors to sign – for new memories, new vacations, new seasons, and new celebrations!