A House in Provence chapter 8

This is a chateau near us slowing falling into ruins although part of it is still lived in.

This is from my journal when we returned to Provence in January.

Well, it is a new year. We had planned to spend Christmas at the house but stayed in Paris instead when company arrived. About the middle of January we finally made it. I have really missed our house while in Paris, especially the size of it as we sit in our tiny living room.
The sun was shining when we arrived but the wind was blowing and it eventually clouded up and rained the next day. It was nice to drive from the TGV train station making the now familiar journey to our home. We pass Aix, drive through the urban mess of Pertuis and then, finally, go through la Tour d’Aigues and make it to the little country road that takes us to our home. It is all rather bare and deserted looking this time of year but it is still a pleasure to be home once more.
The big surprise was our property. I usually don’t know what Maurice and the landscaper are talking about so never know what to expect in our yard. We arrived to find many bushes and trees have been planted. The biggest difference was the land down below which has been totally cleared. Our closest neighbor down below us has also cleared their land and it looks entirely different. I noticed that the land to the side of ours got cleared too, in an area that I had spent hours trying to trim and tidy up. We now have a mound of wood to burn and will have to wait for it to dry out a little and the wind to die down before we can burn it. The air in Provence is filled with the odor of wood being burned every where and sometimes, when driving through an area, I think it is foggy only to catch the smell of burning wood drifting from someone’s bonfire and filling a valley with smoke. I would think that someone with asthma would have a difficult time with this.
Maurice received a sort of year’s end newsletter from the little village above us. There are some major water changes being made and streets are being dug up to replace water pipes. The newsletter also said that three couples from the village were married last year and that two people died. No new births, though.