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Living both here and there

Jo Anne Wilson, Letters From FranceAs summer returns to the Grand Traverse Area, my friends in the Luberon report that they are still swimming in the pool.   Seems the good weather is both here and there.

I also get reports that the grape picking, the vendage, is over.  Most of the harvesting is done by machine, but often the smaller vineyards invite folks in to help with the harvest the old fashioned way, by hand.  I’ve always wanted to have that experience, but it never seems to work out.  That’s probably because I’m usually here not there.

I’m continuing to clear my condo in hopes of a sale.  Amazing what one individual can accumulate over the years.  I gulp a bit when I think of what I have here and realize that I also have belongings there.   I did try to downsize my clothes and household items before I left France last spring.

Gary’s house (the one I rent in the winter) is completely equipped with pots, pans, dishes, and all.  Oddly enough, the other day I was looking for a particular spice when I remembered that it’s a spice I had purchased there, not here.  I do leave my little stash of favorite herbs and spices in the cupboard.

We share similar tastes in cooking so in the summer Gary and wife, Cathy, are able to use them when they are there, not here.  Cathy still works in New York City so spends only a limited few weeks a year over there.  I really enjoy cooking and am pleased to have a great kitchen in which to prepare meals both there and here.

I know I’ve talked about the dedication to maintaining the environment and recycling in France.  It is a way of life there, but often not so here.  Where I live the recycle company accepts only certain types of plastic, and I often find myself squinting to see the number on the bottom of a plastic container.  Once I decipher it, I usually have to throw it into the trash because we don’t accept that particular numbered plastic here, only there.

At this point, I’m planning to leave in mid-November.  I figure that way I can enjoy the autumn here and escape the cold and first snow by going over there.  This reminds me that I must make the call to ensure that my car can be stored here again this winter.  My French family has my old Toyota, and they are taking care of it over there.

I’m truly fortunate to have, literally, the best of two worlds.  The beauty of the Grand Traverse Region is amazing.  The beauty of the Luberon is equally superb.  I’m so grateful to enjoy life both there and here.

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