Upon arriving in Lyon, we spent the first few days with the wonderful Bize family. They were amazingly generous in allowing us to camp out in a spare bedroom, even when they could have claimed to have no room in the inn. You see, they have already "adopted" several others (two of the people in the photograph live with the Bize family, but aren't immediate family.) Brother Bize recently started a real estate company called Happy Family Homes; we joked that they already have a Happy Family Hotel . On the day that we left, yet another family came to stay the night.
While we were so grateful to have a place to stay, the girls were pretty out of sorts, given the enormous changes, jet lag, and tight quarters. The following picture shows Talia's opinion about the whole situation:
Of course, there were a few moments when I wanted to cry as much as Talia. The all-time low hit when I turned my back for twenty seconds, only to discover that Talia had bitten into the ink cartridge of a fountain pen and was dripping bright blue ink spots all over the white living room carpet. Never in my life have I wanted to escape to a different continent so badly.
Fortunately, the story has a happy ending. For those who don't know, fountain pens in Europe are special. You might say they are filled with disappearing ink, as long as you know the secret. They sell these other special pens that magically erase the writing (and ink stains.) Well, this amazing marker managed to undo the damage remarkably well, leaving the carpet almost as good as new. I wiped my tears and felt comforted when Sister Bize showed me some spots where the carpet had been spray-painted white after her own children had spilled acrylic paint.
Before long, the Bize family hopes to downsize and move into a smaller place a little closer to the city. Perhaps they are somewhat exhausted from running a large "hotel" and would like to switch to a smaller "inn." To tell the truth, I'm kind of glad because I'm not certain that the "disappearing ink" will stay "disappeared" forever.