With the addition of color to my Sapin de Noel and my tiny, curly-coated Christmas Bear survivor to make me happy, I jumped into yesterday's morning meeting at the bank with both feet. Christiane was by my side once more, as we adjusted my house/barn insurance to reflect my life in France and put some banking things in place to make all the pieces of house repair go smoother. Christiane is the "smooth" in my life.
We headed over to the PMU for my cappuccino and Christiane's chocolat chaud, once we'd finished. Christiane mentioned that there would be a ceremony for the Pompiers later last night at the WWI memorial at 6:15, and then music at the church at 8:30.
I really wanted to go to the pompiers ceremony. Before our meeting, the guys had come by the apartment with their annual calendar. I opened the door to the familiar face of Jean-Marc, who had come to get Vicki and I at Evelyn's and to walk us back to the Chatette for our first post-fire walk through.
At the ceremony later on, we stood with the pompiers, their families, dignitaries, and friends. Flowers were put beneath the monument to honor those who died in the line of duty, with each name read individually. The Marseillaise was played to salutes, sing along, and me humming through my tears. I was overcome with the facts and feelings that these French men and women had put their lives on the line for me. They had saved me and my Chatette, and had done all they could for my Sammie Cat.
And, that wasn't the end. We regathered at the Fire Station for a ceremony of speeches, awards, and of course, aperos. I was honored to sit beside Christiane and be able to be a part of these ceremonies where I learned about Sainte Barbe, The Sainte Patronne des Sapeurs-Pompiers
I'd never heard of Sainte-Barbe before and had to check it all out. More on Sainte-Barb tomorrow. I think I have a new saint in my life, maybe she already was!