We wanted to explore different communities, so we set up housesits. We've been moving from place to place for four and a half months now.
|Near Poitiers where we had the filthy housesit with very nice donkeys|
|The beautiful lockkeeper's house where we housesat both in February|
and again the past few weeks in Poitou-Charentes France near Cognac.
|In Reigate with the beautiful house and lovely British people|
|In Aix en Provence -- getting tired of traveling, but oh the places we went!|
When we talk about the things we miss (besides our family) I think most of it might have been solved if we had simply rented a house in one place.
We haven't been able to make friends near by. Although, we have made some marvelous friendships with British people who we housesat for. Caroline and Norman, where we're housesitting now, have invited us to Norman's 70th birthday party in the fall and have promised to come visit us in Quillan. We also struck up a friendship with Jane and Andy who live in the U.K. and hope to see them again. Our French friends Michel and Danuta are busy with their lives, and they will be hours away from our new location, but they did introduce us to some new French friends, Hugues and Marie-Claire, who we perhaps will see again. We do have plans with my American friend Linda and her French husband Maurice, who will visit us in Quillan before we go hiking for a week along El Camino Santiago, but the French part. So we can't say our lives are devoid of friendships. But if I wake up in the morning and want to go for a walk with Sheila, or a run with Najah, Noreen or Pam, I'm out of luck. I have no sounding board to discuss problems with the kids, spats with my husband, work frustrations.
Still, our friendship pool might have grown if we had stayed in one place and started integrating into a community.
Earl misses volunteering with the children at Childhood League in Columbus, but could he volunteer in France? Maybe he can teach English classes, or maybe simply play with disabled children on the playground. That might be a way to improve his French as well.
We both hope to take French classes, but haven't been in one place long enough to do that.
And we'd love to find a place to go dancing again, even take dance lessons since I just saw a study that people who take dance lessons actually expand their brains!
It's hard not to have a place to call home, and since we sold our house in Ohio, we literally have no home, although not quite homeless.
Two more days until we settle into our French rental and I'm looking forward to it with relief.
But a couple more adventures first, and hopefully I'll make time to blog about today's trip to Oradour-sur-Glane, a French village that was demolished by the Germans during World War II and left to stand as a reminder of the horror of war.
And then onto a beloved Medieval village, Mirepoix.
But we're close, very close, to settling down into a long-time home.