This picture was taken on the last day of the trip in the town of Uzes. It holds a special place in my heart.
My trip to Provence was many things; a leisure vacation was not one of them. I was there to learn, to work, to start a new business. My only regret was that Smoot was not on this part of the venture with me. He stayed home to take care of our children and our construction business. I am blessed to work with the love of my life and to share this dream of developing a new and creative business together.
This trip took me way out of my comfort zone. I was flying by myself to France, staying with a group of people I had never met, and beginning "hands on training" with the Boltons in the big boy league of antiquing. There was a time I may not have jumped off that cliff, but those days are over. I turned 50 this past March and as Richard M. DeVos said,
- "The only thing that stands between a man and what he wants from life is often merely the will to try it and the faith to believe that it is possible."
Our digs were amazing. Pure Provence. The house was new but made to look old. It was a reminder of what a homeowner's imagination, reclaimed materials and a contractor can do together. The weather was like California - crisp and nippy in the mornings and evenings, warm and sunny during the day.
This is our fearless leader Mary, from Vagabond, her French side kick Isabella , and the rest of our shopping tour gang. I couldn't think of a better group of people to have shared this experience with.
Tim and Carol Bolton were pure artistry in motion. What an amazing opportunity to walk side by side with two of the most loving, spiritual, creative, and successful people in general and in the industry. They are true pioneers, innovators, and leaders. Tim's business experience along with Carol's vision and taste have built a reputation, following, and name that is revered. I learned. I laughed. I cried. I will forever have the memory and lessons from this life changing experience.
Mac and Gussie! What beautiful, kind, and gracious spirits these children are. They helped me so much throughout the trip. But more than that, they added a "light" to our experience that was unexpected. I missed my own children so immensely while I was gone. It was a sweet reminder of how much children bring to our lives.
My first purchase of the trip. Learning the ropes of "the biz".
Waiting in a sea of other eager buyers. This was not for sissies!
Some of my favorite purchases!
Our 2 hour drive to "work" each day provided acres of delicious sensory overload! The country was more beautiful than I anticipated.
The visual inspiration was endless.
We pulled over to take this photo on our way back from one of the shows. It was too poetic to pass up.
Smoot and I volunteered in the children's service last week. It had been a few weeks since I had the opportunity to go to church. I was excited to be in with the kids but was also feeling a need to be in the main sanctuary. As God has a way of doing, the kid's topic was exactly what I needed at that moment. Patience is waiting until later for something you want now. Wait and listen to God as he has something even better in store for you. Well, those words could not have come at a better time. We had a good news/bad news situation on our hands. The good news is the construction company we own is having a record quarter and we are inundated with work. The bad news is that while we are blessed with the success of our construction company, the building that Smoot and I have been planning for the front of The Vintage Round Top would have to be put on hold. Thus, we are faced with the decision of where we will feature our amazing finds from Provence at the Round Top Antique Fall Show. Once we know, we'll get the word out to everyone. Until then, I will bask in the amazing memories from my time in Provence and dream of what our future holds and what God has in store for us that is bigger and better than what we could ever think of.
What is your dream?