by Elizabeth Gracen:
To say that I love Darcy Liddell is an understatement. We are sisters from another mother—soul mates across the water. She is one of the most creative, funny, intelligent, and beautiful women I have ever met. She’s unique and full of stories, and I can’t wait for you to meet her!
EG: Miss Darcy, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you sharing your wonderful stories with Flapper Press. I wish we were sitting near a fireplace together, laughing and sipping on un verre du vin rouge, don’t you?
You live in a most unique area of France. I’ve only visited your home once, but the whole region is thick with history, ghosts, and possibilities. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and how you came to live in the small hamlet of Les Trois Moutiers in the Lorie Valley, surrounded by limestone walls and troglodyte caves? And, by the way . . . what is a troglodyte?
DL: Well first, my sweet Lizzie Lou, I can't thank you enough for including me in your exciting Flapper Press adventures. It's so wonderful to have the chance to work with you again in some way. It's been too, too long.
I'm an American woman from the West Coast who's lived in France for, jeez, some thirty plus years now. Still can't believe that. I pretty much spell out the origins of how I first came to this incredible country in my first blog entry, so don't want to repeat myself. I'll fast forward to how I wound up in this tiny medieval village, Les Trois Moutiers.
It's all about a pretty French boy I met and fell in love with. We'd been married and living in Paris for 10 years when we finally brought our daughter onto the scene. Suddenly we became hyper-aware of the pollution, noise, and stress that go hand in hand with any major city, so we decided on a simpler country life to raise our precious kid. We searched all over the country for our dream house and ended up choosing this one. Though it was uninhabitable, it just felt right.
The area is rich in churches, monasteries, castles, and yes, Troglodyte dwellings. What this means is "cave dweller." The area is riddled with man-made caves, chock full of treasures to uncover. They've become a bit of an obsession for me, and I can't wait to talk about them in depth, as it were, very soon. We've been here 12 years now and it's the best decision we ever made.
EG: I met you in Paris, oh so many years ago. Do you remember sitting in Les Halles on a chilly afternoon? I think it was our first date after we met that night at Hotel Costes. We’ve had many a strange adventure since that time—including becoming mothers! Without giving too much away, can you tell me a little about your family and life in the Loire? I know you fell in love with a handsome Frenchman and love your life in France, but do you ever think about moving back to the good ‘ole USA? What do you miss most about this country?
DL: Well, I should specify that we are Loire-adjacent. We officially live in the region of Poitou-Charentes. The two regions bump into each other, and we are located on the cusp of the two. Regarding my family, I'm one lucky dog. My husband, Cedric, is still adorable and devoted 22 years into this gig, and our daughter, Tess, just turned 16. She's a talented artist and just this really great kid. I've heard about teens, and I have feared having one my whole adult life. But she still likes me, go figure. I feel incredibly blessed how cool and smoothly the three of us fit together.
Regarding ever returning to the States, never say never, but we are so content here I really can't think beyond our happy in the here and now. But it's so nice when I go back to the States for a visit. My favorite thing to do is go to grocery stores—any chain will do. It's almost a religious experience for me to walk down the aisles to see all the choices. The cereal aisle alone can cause me to weep. The thing I will never ever miss is the bombardment of TV commercials every 3 minutes. That drives me nuts.
EG: You have such an affection for the history and people of the Lorie Valley. What is your overall impression of the region? Is Les Trois Moutiers your forever home?
DL: My overall impression is that it's pretty flipping amazing, this area and the country as a whole. We have a strong group of friends here and are very involved in our community. Cedric was even elected to a position in the local government a few years back. I never stop discovering new old things. My neighbors tend to laugh at the easily impressed American. "Wow. That farm tool I just found is ONE HUNDRED YEARS OLD!" They just kind of shake their heads in a collective bemused fashion at the New World lady.
EG: You are a writer, lyricist, mother, and one of the most curious souls I’ve ever met. How would you describe yourself, and how would your closest loved ones describe you?
DL: I think I could sum myself up by saying I'm a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl. I've never been a grand planner or a strategizer. I suppose I tend to wander through life and see where I end up. Regarding how others might see me, I'm a bit stuck. I just asked Tess how she would describe me, and she said without missing a beat, "Loud." So, there's that. I don't know really, I'm kind of known for my sense of humor and inquisitiveness, and yes . . . being loud.
EG: Thank you, Darcy, for sharing a little bit about your life. I’m so looking forward to the tales you will tell. Bon chance, my darling, et merci!