Sadness, Dreams, and Chocolate

Yesterday, I received the very sad news of the passing of one of my dogs (we had two, Halona and Adora, twin Border Collie mixes), Halona. It was a sudden passing. One day she didn’t eat dinner, the next she was gone. My father thought it was weird that she didn’t eat dinner (since she used to eat at every opportunity) and was going to take her to the vet, but it was too late. At the age of thirteen, I must admit she lived a long time. Of course, I have had many animals pass away while I have been at college and that is always difficult because you are so far away and the last time you saw them was many months ago.

Halona, in her younger days

Halona, in her younger days

Last night, I had a really weird dream too. I have had dreams in French since high school, but this one was particularly unusual. When I dream in French, the conversations take place in everyday situations, usually between a friend and me. This dream? It took place at the university. I was in my grammar class and we were having a lesson on relative pronouns. Here’s the weird part – every detail in my dream was grammatically correct. We covered the use of “qui,” “que,” “où” and “dont.” It was weird. Very weird. I have a theory as to why I had a grammar class in my dreams. I recently took a grammar test and one section was on relative pronouns (I got a perfect score in that section), but, last night, I was trying to use a relative pronoun in English when I was talking to my parents and I didn’t use the right one. I talked to my parents right before I went to bed, so it was fresh in my mind. Honestly, I understand French relative pronouns, but I don’t understand English relative pronouns. They confuse me for some reason. Anyway, I think it’s a problem that I’m dreaming of French classes because I already have seven hours of French grammar per week – I don’t need any more when I sleep!

This morning, I went to the market (finally) in Nantes to check it out. Everyone talks about it. It occurs every Saturday and it is huge! You can find anything you need there, from seafood (which is still moving) to shoes to Thai food to cheese to scarves to bread to sunglasses…literally everything. It was such a neat experience!

Market

Market

Seafood at the market

Seafood at the market

Crabs

Crabs

Me at the market

Me at the market

Creepy row of legs at market (reminds me of a display of hands that I saw in a contemporary art museum in Lyon)

Creepy row of legs at market (reminds me of a display of hands that I saw in a contemporary art museum in Lyon)

This evening, I attended the Chocolate Evening, an event sponsored by the International Student Organization to celebrate Easter (they’re a little late, but that’s fine with me). What do you do during a chocolate evening? Eat chocolate of course! They had a chocolate fountain and lots of chocolate candy and chocolate cake and chocolate everything! It was incredible. But the coincidence wasn’t lost on me…What occurs tonight at West Virginia University? The Honors Ball, an event organized by the Honors Student Association for members of the Honors College. I love the Honors Ball. It’s a great night to spend with friends eating a nice dinner and hitting up the dance floor in a fun and safe environment. I was so sad to be missing it this year (Note to my college friends: I want to see photos on Facebook!), especially since the theme this year is Decadence (which means yummy food and chocolate). I was more upset about missing the chocolate than my friends (just kidding, of course!). Well, tonight, I ate chocolate and spent it with friends…except they were different friends (from those at WVU) and I am what? 4,000 miles away from WVU? I find it a strange coincidence that my friends at WVU and I will be spending Saturday night a similar manner, dipping fruit into chocolate fountains.

Also at the chocolate night, they had an Easter egg decorating event. Apparently in France, they don’t really decorate eggs, but in Eastern Europe, they do. So, we decorated them, but not with paint and a paint brush. We used a tiny nail and melted wax. I don’t have fine motor skills, so my decorating was…interesting, but other people made beautiful eggs. Also, we had an Easter egg hunt (except here they call it an Easter egg chase). Here’s what we did. We got into three teams. In our team, we put our hands on the shoulders of the person in front of us, like a conga line. We were all blindfolded, except the last person. Then, with only hand signals, the person from the back directed us towards eggs. One tap on the left shoulder meant go left, one tap on the right meant go right, a tap on the head meant stop and a tap on the back meant keep going. It was absolutely hilarious. Since we couldn’t see anything, we ran into trees (they had to direct us outside which was very difficult), we ran into other groups. When the person in the back directed us to stop, the person in the front had to get down on their knees and search for the Easter egg. We collected them in a basket and then continued. The goal? Find all of the eggs. My group raced around and I think we went in a circle accidently once! But we were efficient. We ended up winning the Easter egg hunt and got to split the goodies among us. More chocolate to take home!

So, is this a French traditional game? Well, I asked and the answer is no. They do the Easter egg hunt like we do in America, where the children are let loose and run around, but since we are older, they needed to make it more complicated. I love this idea because it was so fun to do. If anyone is looking for Easter ideas for older children and teens, this is a perfect game to do at a family gathering, church event or otherwise. I will definitely keep this game in mind for the future.

Me and my egg...it's probably a good thing you can't see it too closely!

Me and my egg…it’s probably a good thing you can’t see it too closely!

Look at the time. I really need to get to bed. I have a laundry appointment at 7:30 AM tomorrow. And, so, life goes on, even after sadness, dreams, and chocolate…

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