Tuesday, February 25, 2014

It's Fun to Have Dreams

It’s fun to have dreams. 

Most french people I encounter dream of going to America-- the Great Big, Dazzling, Cowboys Everywhere, United States of America. New York City, Miami, Hollywood.

When I was growing up I thought that everyone I knew dreamed of living in a castle in France.  After visiting the french countryside a few times my dream home changed to a gentleman’s farm. I would have an gracious manor house with beautiful stone outbuildings and be surrounded by a tidy rolling countryside as far as the eye could see.

In these dream there was a rich, interesting husband. Along the way I found an interesting husband, but rich was replaced by artist. And the dreaming really and truly began. 

One french painting led to another. Tom loved being immersed in french compositions. I loved eating bonbons and drinking dark rich red wine.....

So we found ourselves thinking about living out the “American” dream to have a home in France. As it turns out buying a home in France couldn’t be easier.

And here is where things got complicated. It’s the rubber of dreams hitting the road of reality.

There are those that dream of finding their French home in the elegant cities or along the sunny coastlines. These are fun seekers that like to stay connected, citoyen looking for museums, book stores and fancy restaurants while living among other beautiful people to watch and to be seen with.

Or the dreamer’s search leads to the grand chateau of their childhood fantasies. It is stunning from the outside but usually a money pit that may or not be considered a chateau by your French neighbors. “Oh the Americans live in that house. It is such a bourgeois place and not old at all.” (“new” being a late 1700’s rebuild on the rubble of a 12th century ruin.)

Tom and I found ourselves in the category of Americans that dream of a beautiful farm house, way out in the country. Our dream was built around stone house with tiny out buildings for ducks and pigs.  And, of course, it would have a great big barn for creating a stunning studio.  Quickly we discovered that our ability to dream exceeded an interesting artist and his un-employed wife’s budget.

But, even more than the financial part, there was a feeling of discomfort looking around these old wrecks. We weren’t worried about the formidable work that would be before us. Dreams make one oblivious to the leaky roof and lack of indoor plumbing. No our fears emerged from the flux of our emotions rather than the viability of the physical structures. We would be way out there in the country. Who were we going to practice our French on? How were we going to perfect our cafe etiquette? Then Tom defined the most important need in our future home. He had to live someplace where he could walk for bread.
Whether you ever thought of moving to the Old World or not, I present to you an opportunity to “play house”. Here is a sampling of houses currently for sale in Bourdeilles and the neighboring town of Brantome. Have fun imagining what these houses might mean to you and your daydreams.

It’s great fun to be living a childhood dream even if my chateau turned into a town house and my Prince Charming turned into an Interesting Artist.

**Some of these homes were sold in the last couple of years to wonderful new additions to the neighborhood. Some are still looking for their new owners. And one is my latest hair-brained dream. Can you guess which one that would be?

***for a more realistic view of buying a home in France please visit this wonderful blog by Lynn McBride Southern Fried French

1 comment:

Lynn at Southern Fried French said...

WHAT a fun post, you described the dream well, and a bit of the reality. Esp. fun for me because Brantome was our other choice, we almost moved there! Prettiest town in France. And Bourdeille is great too, we've stayed there.
Which one is your lastest dream? Hmm. One looks like a mill house, that could be fun. And the last one looks like it has a rooftop deck---now that's on my dream list!
Thanks for the mention too!