Hi there. My name is Kristin Girard, and I’m the editor of Fayette Woman magazine. Welcome to Beaux Jours, my blog.
In case you’re curious about the name of the blog, it means “Beautiful Days” in French. I chose it because it reflects (1) where I’m coming from, (2) where I’ve been, and (3) what I’m writing about now.
(1) Where I’m coming from: I was born in northern Rhode Island. I grew up in Slatersville, a small textile mill village, one of the first of America’s Industrial Revolution. There’s a lot of beauty and history there. My ancestors are French Canadian, originally from Quebec, and they were part of a large emigration to New England in the late 19th and early 20th century to work in the mills.
So although I’m a third generation American, my upbringing had a French aspect to it—sort of like apple pie, á la mode. I grew up with Memeres and Peperes (pronounced Mem-MAYS and Pep-PAYS) instead of grandmothers and grandfathers, friends and classmates with last names like Fontaine, Laliberte and Desjarlais, and an extended family that was somehow both absolutely enormous and extremely close-knit. When I think about where I come from, it is my family and its distinctive culture that I think of most.
(2) Where I’ve been: life, career, grad school and jobs have taken us from upstate New York, to North Dakota, to New Hampshire, then to Long Island. And finally to Georgia, where my husband Erik and I moved in 2004 when Cooper Wiring Devices built its facility here. I have spent more time here in Fayette than anywhere else in my adult life, and my three children have never known any other true home. And, thanks to my terrific neighbors, I have also found a new “family.” I love living in Fayette County, and I am so proud to be a part of Fayette Woman.
Another way to explain the “where I’ve been” element (spent a lot of time, in fact) is the years I’ve been in college and university settings. I have a doctorate in literature and taught college students for ten years before becoming a full-time writer. (Some of you might have noticed the Samuel Beckett reference in the blog title. I couldn’t resist—I’ve always loved Absurdist theatre.)
(3) What I’m writing about now: I also chose “Beaux Jours” because I have two full-time jobs: being a writer and being a mother. I spend a lot of time thinking and writing about the little moments that constitute my life, the simple joys of having a family and appreciating its ups and downs. And as you’d imagine, being a professional writer/editor means that those family joys and demands often come into conflict with my work, and my life sometimes really does resemble an Absurdist dark comedy.
When I write, I like to think through the moments that make life unique and memorable, that tell me something about how we humans relate to each other. I am an optimist, and I believe that while not every day will be a happy one or even a good one, every day will nevertheless be a beautiful one. Sometimes we have to look closely to see it, but it’s there.
My daughter Anika, at the end of another beautiful day in Fayetteville.Thanks for sharing the journey with me.