Published on March 6th, 20132
Random Photo Memory: The Way We Were…
Clearly reachin’ waaaaay back in the “Memory” department here today. Flashback 30+ years ago, picture me… A single mom of two young lasses (then aged 8 and 11) – going to college full time, working part time when…
One drizzly afternoon on the University of Oregon campus, as I was rushing home to rustle up dinner for my daughters, suddenly I spy a soggy flyer on a telephone pole extolling the notion of studying in France. That was all it took. Though in retrospect it seems extraordinarily bold, in truth – I knew from that moment that I would simply pack the three of us up, and head to Europe.
Indeed, though I’d then had little experience with exploring the world outside the state of Oregon, as a mother, I knew that the best education I could hope to give my daughters was to expand their horizons, and show them that they could go/do/be anything their hearts desired. And here was an opportunity to do just that.
We were of course on a very shoestring budget, and I didn’t know a single word of French. But the program didn’t require such (they exported U.S. teachers to teach the classes at a French university), and best of all… I could study in France while still receiving the precious (and desperately needed) financial aid stipend that I received from the University of Oregon.
Long story short? Off we skipped – the three of us, for more than 6 months in Europe. First a term in Avignon, France (where the girls went to French schools and lapped up the language like it was chocolate milk!), a bit of travel in Switzerland and Greece, and then settling down again in our own wee apartment in Perugia Italy (where I again went to school at the University of Foreigners – primarily so as to continue to qualify for that precious financial aid.)
Oh so many adventures! Far too numerous to mention here. But suffice it was the very BEST thing I ever did for my daughters. And though I’ve only a handful of photos (taken with a borrowed f.i.l.m camera), nonetheless I have crisp, full-color memories seared into my brain – of that wondrous time with my daughters.