It was true, although it seemed too good to be true. But, there was one catch. First of all, let me tell you about our apartment. It was just 31 £ per person for the 4 of us, a block from the Seine, 5 minutes from the Notre Dame, and only 15 from the Louvre and d’Orsay. I feared it might be infested with cockroaches, but it wasn’t, and we discovered that “Terressa Flat” referred to the fact
that it was a flat with a terrace garden perfect for dining outside! What I hadn’t realized was that “Rue des Lombards” is a very famous street,
full of nightlife and jazz clubs. In fact, it was more crowded near midnight than it was in the mornings! So, it was an ideal location for experiencing Paris,
but it was absolutely harrowing trying to access our apartment! For a starter, our sons flew to Paris from Boston and NY,
arriving early the next morning at different times.
The theory was that they would be able to drop off their luggage and pick up a key so they could spend the day exploring before Alan and I arrived about suppertime from Grand Rapids. The realities were that no one was available at the place of residence. No one received them, gave them a key, or offered to hold their luggage. In fact, no one even appeared to speak English or understand rudimentary French. 😦
After hours of attempts to contact the owner, Stephen was able to communicate (in French…thankfully he’s knows some French) via email, and late in the afternoon he was able to meet “a friend” of the owner who gave him a key and wanted cash (which Stephen didn’t have) for payment. By then, Stephen and Joel had both missed a night’s sleep and were really tired. The man said they could stay, but that he’d return the next day for the rest of the payment.
Alan and I had had a delayed flight (which is getting to be almost more usual than timely flights) and didn’t arrive until nightfall (long after Stephen and Joel were expecting us) after the taxi driver dropped us off several blocks away, pointing and gesticulating with untranslatable French phrases in the direction of a dark and very busy alley. We slowly mazed our way, dragging our luggage, to what we thought must be the door to our apartment above a very crowded street, but inside the door marked “8” were about 12 possible choices for apartments to ring, none descripted as “Terressa Flat.” One by one we pushed all of the buzzers, to no avail. I think perhaps none of them worked, but I know that the one for our apartment certainly did not, because neither son appeared. We tried calling, but our phones (despite having paid good money for the privilege) didn’t connect.
We tried asking help from a couple of sympathetic looking young people, but no one knew anything about that particular apartment and using their cell phones didn’t help make a connection. At long last, Stephen (who’d set his alarm for the occasion) came down to see if we’d arrived yet. Whew! We kissed our sons, kissed the floor, and flopped into bed. What a dreary and inauspicious beginning! However, our holiday in France turned out to be quite the opposite: It was marvelous and memorable!
I’ve thought a lot about how hard it was to get to Terressa Flat, but how much we loved it once we finally arrived. I’m betting heaven will be like that for some. It sounds too good to be true, but it’s not. It’s not full of cockroaches (things we don’t like),
but it will be full of music and life. It will be the perfect location…just down the street from the River of Life
and a place of worship…and close to our favorite attractions.
(For me, that’s going to be loved ones!)However, it may seem almost impossible to figure out how to get there, despite having a reservation. If you’re confused, please pray and ask for help.
(Feel free to ask me in the comment section.) If you see somebody who looks confused and you understand the language,
reach out and help, will you?
“And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him…And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” (Revelation 22:1-3;17)