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summer continued

The wedding tsunami is over. The twelve or fifteen guests who were staying here have left, along with the Australians and other guests who were staying in a campsite or in hotels nearby. For the last few days, as the meals grew smaller, the piles of laundry grew bigger. But now even the laundry is down to normal size, the “lost and found” pile has been established, and today the bride and groom mailed a box of wedding presents back to Australia. Tomorrow they’re leaving for their honeymoon in Berlin, so only Myriam, her husband and baby are left with Lynn and Denis in the house where a few days ago, every room was jammed with company.

Now the photos have started to come in, the official ones and the not so official, like mine which I’ll post soon, so you can all share the joyous event.
Yesterday was such a shock, in fact – suddenly only 8 or 10 people at the table, not 40 – that I went into my usual tailspin of “What am I doing here?” and almost called Air Canada to change my booking home. I had received the news that the basement sump pump is broken again, my basement tenant is moving out mid-August, my mother is having dizzy spells … What am I doing lolling about in Provence when I should be fixing my sump pump, visiting my mother and finding a new tenant? However, luckily, good sense prevailed. Who wants to spend August in Toronto in mid-garbage strike instead of the south of France and Paris? I have another month. Mum will be fine till then, my handyman will look at the pump, and a tenant will miraculously appear. (Know anyone who wants a lovely basement suite in mid-Toronto in September? Please let me know. The pump will be fixed, promise.)
When I say “good sense prevailed,” it was not MY good sense, but my friends’ Patsy and Chris and my mother’s – I emailed them all in my fit of depression and pique and they all wrote back instantly to shore me up. How lucky I am! How glad to have, not only loyal and helpful and available friends, but this wonderful little white MacBook whose name is MacZine. Truly, it’s not just me touring Europe this summer – it’s me and my very dear companion MacZine. I would have been miserable without her.
I moved to another gite in the middle of all that fuss, on Saturday morning before the wedding. It’s considerably cheaper than the last one, but boy, I miss my previous place. It was called “La vie en douce” on the Rte. de Murs, and I highly recommend it to anyone passing through these here parts. The rooms are simple but elegant and breakfast is in a bright communal space which is open all day, so guests can use a living room area, the fridge, the stove.
My new room has one very high small window and was so filled with chachkas and doodads that I spent 20 minutes stuffing them all into the cupboard so I could breathe, though I could not wrest the giant ceramic sunflower from the wall. However, the small window means that the room is cool, and the building has an entranceway balcony with a spectacular view of the whole region – beautiful.
This morning, I sat out on the balcony at 7.30 a.m., looking at the dark shadow of the Luberon mountains and the forests in the distance, the mist floating around the olive groves and vineyards in the valley, almost no sound except a persistent rooster crowing, a farm dog barking and the church bells sounding at 8. It was already hot.
By mid-morning, when I sat there again, the landscape was alive with activity. The massive buddleia bushes in front were aswarm with butterflies of all colours – white, white with black stripes like zebras, black with white stripes, black with white dots, orange with black spots like leopards … a jungle in the bushes. Bees buzzing in the lavender, black beetles above, the cicadas chanting, the birds, the traffic, and the church bells sounding eleven. It was about 35 degrees by then. Time to go to Lynn’s for a swim. The only place to be, on these very hot breathless days, is the pool.
At our last dinner on the eve of the wedding, Denis gave a cry. “Look at the eagles!” We looked up and saw the sky filled with a flock of 20 baby eagles. Did several mothers push out their offspring all at once? Were they one very large extended family, like ours on the ground? They swirled and dove and circled and then vanished. I thought it a very good omen for Jess and Greg, heading off into married life – a blessing of eagles.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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