Memories from France, 1961

Memories from France, 1961

My sister Zee, always loved this photo even though it was taken five years before she was born.

Each summer for about 20 years, we drove from Paris to Lasseube in the Pyrenees Atlantiques in France for a month long vacation, with my parents, brothers and sisters. Friends and extended family would sometime join us as well. We would cook and gather all around a large table in the back yard, which was more like acres of a flower field. Our older brothers would film everything on Dad’s super 8 camera. We would also have many petanque competitions. Time just stood still for thirty peaceful days.

We loved to take long walks down the country roads. I am the one carrying a heavy can of homemade soup that Mom wanted to bring to our friends. I can’t recall what was in that suitcase, maybe some macarons? But I do remember the suitcase was red.

Not many cars passed by on the main road, all was calm and quiet with no phone, no iPad and obviously no internet. We just enjoyed walking along the neighborhood roads or through the fields, talking and enjoying our time together.

Mom, always elegant, was wearing a nice, yet simple, dress she made in cotton voile with a fitted waist, mid-calf length, a proper drop neckline bodice and short sleeves.

Our beautiful, talented mother was our loulou. Her love and devotion to her family was evident in everything she did. After spending long days sewing for her job, she still found time to sew clothes for her 9 growing children (including two older brothers not present in the photo and Zee who was not born yet when this photo was taken).

For us girls, she had sewn so-called “puffy” shorts, tightened at the thighs with elastic bands (at that time the panties should not show). White corsages and socks often completed the set. Simple outfits that had a certain "je ne sais quoi" and very comfortable. For my brothers she made matching short pants and shirts.

Summers in France had a very special smell; the flowers, the fruit trees, the fields, the woods and the rivers. LOULOU, eau de parfum was developed and produced in France, in memory of these joyful summers.

The best times to remember. ~ Josiane S. A Cecile

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