A House in Provence



On the last day when we left Provence we went to our old house for the last time to pack up a few things we had left there as well as pick up our cat. It was really strange to walk in the house and see the new owners there with, already, a few of their things scattered about. The couple seemed very happy with the house and especially loved the light. It was sort of like a WWII scenerio as the man was English, the woman German, Maurice French and me American–and here we are about seventy years later all at ease with each other. I think they will be very happy there as we were for almost eight years.

The German lady told me that she had a lady in her life who had been like a second mother. She saw her often and helped her as she got older and finally ended up in a retirement home. To her surprise, when the lady died, she was left some money. How much? Enough to help buy our house. I think she was getting repaid for her kindness to her second mother for all of those years. Also, the final papers were signed and the house became theirs on the birthday of the English man. It all seems like it was meant to be.
We sort of thought that as we were leaving that we would feel really sad and that there might even be a few tears but that didn’t happen. I just remembered how happy the new owners were, how much they loved the light in the house and was ready to turn the page. It was a long drive back to Paris but there wasn’t any heaviness of heart, just a looking forward to what was next. By the way, they said they would be glad to do a little exchange any time we wanted-they would stay in our Paris apartment and we could stay in the house. It sounds sort of fun but it sure will be strange not to have our things there.

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Well, we are both sad and relieved. Sad to be leaving beautiful Provence but relieved to be leaving behind the yard work and some things we didn’t enjoy anymore.


We will really miss this view. We often would sit outside on our terrace and watch the sun set as we sipped a glass of wine and then saw the stars come into view.


Goodbye bathroom.


Goodbye bedroom.


Here’s the truck holding our furniture from Provence to be put into storage until we decide where we will go next. It won’t be the States although I would love California but I don’t see moving there when my family is elsewhere. Stay tuned as we explore a couple of other regions of France. I’m excited as we head back to Paris in our car stuffed with some things we didn’t put in storage.

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We’ve been busy packing our lives into boxes. I had to get rid of a lot of paperbacks, go through my clothes and decide what I wouldn’t wear anymore and wrap dishes and glasses. I’m in a state of limbo though because we are still here so I can’t pack everything as we still have to eat, wash clothes, etc. I have a feeling the day before the movers come will be very busy. I would love to get the floors all vacuumed and mopped but there are too many boxes around to do that and I am sure I will be vacuming like crazy the day the movers come, hoping to be finished in time to get the vacuum cleaner put into the truck. We’ve also been selling some furniture as we probably won’t be in a large place again.


We sold our large dining room table. It was hard to do. We’ve had a lot of fun times sitting at that table.


Here is the empty place after it was bought. You can see some of the many boxes there. We advertised on a French website to sell some things and the table was the first to go. I was hoping my couch would go quickly. It’s very large and makes into a bed and I’ve had it a long time. It’s an unfortunate shade of teal green-popular way back then-and no one seems to like it. I had it covered in an off white cover for a years, then topped it with cloth from India. We found a used furniture place and they aren’t too excited about it either. They say they have trouble selling couches. So we can pay them 50 Euros to come out and pick it up and if it doesn’t sell in a year it goes to some auction type place and they get the money. Maurice says the truck will come out but without men to move it. We will have to get it out to the truck. I assume the driver will help. It seems worth it to me as I don’t want to take it with us. We happen to have two couches and I think one will be enough.


It’s been zero degrees every morning and there is frost on everything. I went out for a walk the other day and tried to photograph it. Can you see the frost on this plant?

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As the frost melts in the sun, a mist rises. I tried to catch that too with this vineyard. The days get really nice as long as the sun shines and the mistral stays away. I will miss my home but I will not miss the mistral.

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We spent a nice day in Aix having lunch with a blogging friend, Meredith. The weather was just perfect with blue skies and sunshine. It was such a pleasure to be outside.


Always taken with doors. I especially liked the color of the blue door again the yellow walls.


Aix is the home to many fountains, part of what makes it such a charming city.


Weathered shutters are charming too.


There are saints and angels to watch over you overhead.

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We are in Provence and went for a walk the other day because the sun was out-such a pleasure to have blue skies and sunshine.


We went up past our local chateau and I took a photo of this pigeonnier, as I often do. As you can see, the sun is just about to go behind a hill and the building was left in the sun. As we were standing there looking, we heard the sound of a bell and we’ve been here long enough that we knew it was from a sheep and, sure enough, the sheep appeared. Just another day in the country.


Here they are, just coming out of the trees.


Moving along a narrow road that runs along the side of the chateau.


They have to cross the highway to get to the farm and they speed up to get across. I guess the berger is getting them ready for eating in fields as they will be moved up to the mountains in the Spring to an area around Sisteron, famous for the taste of lamb and mutton. The taking of sheep up to the mountains is called a transhumance and we’ve gone to see it a couple of times up north of here.

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How was your Valentine’s Day? Maurice tells me that the French don’t usually celebrate it but I did notice some decorated bouquets in the small grocery store that we go to a lot and in Paris the windows are full of hearts and ruffles. You have to admit that Valentine themed windows can be really striking. So Maurice thought it would be easy to get into a restaurant on Valentine’s Day especially here in the depths of Provence but he was wrong. At 6PM I finally convinced him to call a place to reserve a table. He tried five places before he finally found one.


They had rose petals on the tables and the menu was rolled up and tied with a red ribbon.


We were served pink Champagne.


We had a bottle of rose.


They even put hearts on the bread. The service was really bad though and after Maurice complained it seemed to speed up. Maybe the fact that I was taking photos of the food made them think I was some sort of food journalist. In any case, they gave us a complimentary glass of champagne at the end of the meal. Just what I needed-oink. I don’t sleep well when I eat and drink late, especially if champagne is invovled and that proved to be the case that night.

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The restaurant, the Restaurant du Lac, is decorated fabulously. It is situated on a man-made lake and I saw a terrace outside that I bet is great to sit on in the summer. This was a huge painting on a gray wall. Maurice and I ate here many years ago when we first visited the area. It wasn't fancy at all, just a plain little place and it was where I first discovered that I like foie gras when a slice of it came out on a salad I had ordered. It's rather fitting that we are eating here again as it is just about our last meal here in the Luberon. You see, we have sold our house. I know. Can you believe it? I have loved every minute of our time here in beautiful Provence but it is time to move on. I love our home and I will miss it horribly but I'm really tired of the yard work not to mention those pesky snails. We felt pretty isolated here and although we loved it when we had company and family, that didn't happen very often. So, we are on to a new adventure. Maurice wants to get another place but we don't know where that will be. I love change and look forward to exploring and learning a new area but we are both racked with excitement along with sadness, a lot of it. Change can do that. So that's why we left our apartment in Paris before it was finished as we had to come here to Provence to pack. As I write this I am surrounded by a sea of boxes. How did we accumulate so much? We sign the final papers on March 8th. What's next? I look forward to finding out.

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