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Marti Graham! You are NOW able to RESIDE & WORK in France totally LEGALLY! Bienvenue!!

Today's forecast: slightly cloudy...

After 17 months it is accomplished!!  Fait d’ accompli !!

After  1 Year and 5 months of preparing, copying, translating, traveling back & forth on public transport, requesting new/updated birth certificates from the United States,  displaying in front of bureaucrats, being turned down, doing it all over again, and again and again, today, on Good Friday, March 29th, 2013, it is finished!!

“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” ― Aristotle

I said to God, “God,   —–I know that I asked you to help me be more patient, but you really tried my patience on this one.”    🙂

Here are some scenes from today’s “Fait d’accompli”

Inside a Cloud

The drive down the Gineste mountain is dark, but lighted by a full moon and the most incredible cloud covering in the deep ravines to our left and through other clouds we drive.  David says, It’s so beautiful, are we in heaven?”  I say, “I hope not, I want my Titre de Sejour (Carte de Sejour)  FIRST! ”     ha ha

We are there in the line before the sun rises……’s about 6 am here


David brings a chair and my cushion from home so I don’t have to stand for 2 1/2 hours and have my knees lock up !        🙂    J’Adore ma maire       ( I love my husband)


I bring some good reading material – some pollyanna feel good  story  (not)IMG_9340

It is actually a book written by my son’s stepbro who now lives in Japan     🙂  It is mirroring the angst I am feeling right now.

Some of the others waiting in front of us, and those behind us,  too numerous to count.  We feel good.  We are one of the first 60.   They only take 60 persons a day.

IMG_9347 IMG_9342

The police with their weapons appear as the doors begin to open at 8:15AM.

There is no need.  Everyone is extremely orderly.
There is a line for “ASYLUM”   and it is driving me crazy because I want to know every single detail of their stories.  What country they are from, why they were expelled, if they were, why they want to live here, the entire political story.  Alas, it is not going to happen  – I will never know.

They call our number “705” and we are in. IMG_9345  The clerk is impatient with us because she sees the transcribed marriage certificate and the birth certificate but WHERE ARE THE COPIES?   David has everything neatly arranged in the plastic sleeves and it’s so tight he is having trouble getting them all out at the same time and as quickly as she wants.  After she sees that EVERYTHING is there and there are multiple copies of absolutely everything, she smiles.  It is a HUGE sign.  The SMILE.   Yep.  I think we’re in.

And – 5 minutes later  (total this day: 5 1/2 hours) – my information is totally  recorded, and she hands me my coveted

Carte de Sejour!!!      It is good for 10 years.  It entitles me to all benefits as if I were French. All my medical is paid, and it’s retro-active from 17 months ago.   Big yeah.IMG_9349 IMG_9350        I cry.  But not in front of her.  I wait until she gets up to get something and I am mad with joy.  The tears come.

Here it is………


My friend Robert said to me when I was whining, “Marti, Seems to me that you’re dealing with what I like to call the vicissitudes of life. Take a deep breath, exhale slowly and begin another day. You cannot always control what happens to you, only how you react to what happens to you. Viva La France et Les Etats-Unis.”

Yes Robert!   Thank you!

Yes – and also………from II Peter 3

“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: with the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.  The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.  He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish……..”

We are on our way to PARIS with a bottle of Champagne (I’ve been holding onto for 3 months)   to CELEBRATE!!!!!  We’re on Vacance!!!  (for Joyeux Pacque!)   We also plan to attend our beautiful church where I volunteered last year – ACP (American Church in Paris) Am SO excited.    Good is God.   God is  Good – all of the time.

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Camilla #

    you got a 10 year card? YOU ARE AWESOME!!

    March 29, 2013
  2. Jon Howard #

    Félicitations! Didn’t sound like a cake walk to me.
    Candy’s daughter Abbie is getting married in May in ACP. Her grandfather was the Pastor there in the ’70’s for 8 years. Candy is going but I don’t relish traveling in a wheelchair even if its free.
    Enjoying your blog.

    March 30, 2013
    • Thank you Jon. And we are amazed at the news about Candy’s daughter…getting married in my ACP – and HER GRANDFATHER’s CHURCH!!!!! That is the most incredible news ever!! I had no idea. This is Candy’s father? I would love to know more. When I go this weekend – I’m gonna try and find his picture on the pastor’s wall…..if they have such a thing……this is so fascinating and how totally awesome Abbie is to be married there. I would love to see you – I’m sorry that you are unable to come. I’ve lifted many a person onto those seats back in my day – I know you are probably able to get in a seat but I know the whole thing is not easy at all for you. Big hugs to you Jon and to Candy………..I appreciate hearing from you!!!!!

      March 30, 2013
      • Jon Howard #

        Actually it was her father-in-law, Edwin H Tuller (1971-1978) and his wife Rose. I understand that they use roses bible in the pulpit. He was a pretty exceptional man, marched alongside MLK from the beginning.

        Bummer, I would like to go and f/c is wide open but the hassle is not worth it. I am a handful and she needs to devote her energy to Abbie.

        March 30, 2013
  3. Let the celebrations begin!!! Congratulations!!!

    March 30, 2013
  4. Reblogged this on Letters from Marseille and commented:

    ……..celebrating…..seeing my fabulous ACP, which I miss SO much!!! And my friends that volunteered w/ me there……

    March 30, 2013

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