The Director almost laughed when our visitors announced they were from L’Isle. It was what I used to call the town where I spent some quality time as a youngster myself… the chicagoland version, that is. But I was a sad imitation, whereas they? They were four hearty, healthy, good-looking youth who spoke English better than I spoke French.
It was the first time we let out our home. We usually just stuck guests upstairs in our ramshackle atticle. Where everyone but these bitter, hungover French people from Lyon enjoyed their stay.
The L’islians tried to build a fire last night. “Watch they don’t know how,” the Director paced. “Leave them alone. Maybe they’ll just talk outside, relaxing if they can’t make it,” I said.
“Who wants to just talk?” the Director said.
We argued with each other this morning over the best way to get a view of the entire ville. The youth of France goofed on our Laurel and Hardy routine. Our franco follies.
The mountain where there used to be downhill skiing, until Mont Tremblant opened up, is down the street from us. Nothing’s there now but a few errant trails directly up, no signs anywhere for visitors, and rusty cables up top, along with the view.
“Go where the cement wall is, opposite of where they park the Alouette boats. There’s a trail right there,” I said.
“No,” the Director said, “go past, left on a dirt road, and just past the farm.”
The farm was renovated and painted in gold and maroon with a post-modern chicken design on the front. When I looked closer after seeing the improvement, I noticed that all of the windows, formerly shattered glass, had been replaced by fake windows that were black. Perhaps it was a statement by the new owner.
I decided to drop the argument. The Youth of France Today would probably go the way of the farm, remark on how Quebecois it was, and then get lost trying to find which path led up and which other path led to a rich guy’s driveway. And then love it.
Once these two women from France came for the Indian Summer. They were retired school teachers who had iphones and ipads. They were equipped. When we offered to make them breakfast, eggs, bacon, home-fries, coffee and toast, they asked, “Is this typical Quebecois breakfast?” I laughed but the Director butted in and said, Mais oui. In their review of their stay at our house, they loved everything about our attic, especially the typical Quebecois fare.
“I’ll show them how to do it when they get back from their hike.” The Director was planning on which piles of decrepit logs she would use in conjunction with which dried up branches for the evening burn. So that they would take off with smell of smoke clinging to their jackets, and not notice the bites from les moustiques or other failings when writing our review.