Traverse City Record-Eagle


Uncharacteristically Gray

Jo Anne Wilson, Letters From FranceIf I were in Michigan, it would be just another one of those typically Michigan gray days. Here in the Luberon, however, it is unusual, and I feel a sense of sadness. Amazing how quickly a person can become addicted to the provençal sun and blue skies.

I’m spending a few days again near Roussillon with my friends, the furry felines Sebby, Frankie, and Ellie.  Their folks are away for a short break.

As I gaze out at the misty Luberon, I’m heartened to see the almond trees in bloom.  Winter is over; although, northern France has been extremely cold and with lots of snow.  Not so here in the South.

Last week was very busy and a bit stressful … wind, computer repairs, and au revoir to a friend.

We had several days of howling Mistral and that constant wind really wears on the morale. I finally took my laptop in for an overhaul.  I’m a Mac user and it isn’t always easy to find someone local to work on a Mac.

I was fortunate to find a superb technician right in Apt.  It took a couple of days, but he updated the operating system, installed more memory, and gave the machine a good cleaning.  It runs like a charm.  Total cost 96€.

The day I picked it up, I took my iPad along.  While dad was finishing the work on the MacBook, his twelve-year-old son gave yours truly an extended lesson in all that I can do with the iPad.  Who knew!!? (And no added charge for the lesson.)

I had a farewell lunch with photographer Gene Turner. Gene contacted me last summer via my website. He and his wife were looking for winter accommodation in/around Saignon. I went to work contacting a number of sources and, eventually, sent him a list of options. His wife, Fame, (yes a unique name) was unable to be here for the entire stay, but she came for a few weeks late in the winter.

In addition to studying the language using the Rosetta Stone materials, Gene came frequently for French lessons.  His willingness to dive in and use the language served him very well as he navigated the French speaking community.  I enjoyed helping him connect with locals for photo ops and then watching as he made his way fearlessly to get the shot.  The local hat maker and his wife were great subjects. (Photo Credit Gene Turner)

Gene’s departure served to remind me that my own winter stay is gradually coming to an end. Depending on the delivery of my new Titre de Sejour card, I’ll be heading back to Traverse City either late April, or early May. Just in time for cherry blossoms.

As I became acquainted with Gene and his winter project, a client became a friend. When he left, he had almost completed shooting photos for his coffee table book, “The Heart of Provence.”  His work ethic and dedication to the project were an inspiration.  Maybe some day, many of these blog posts, as well as other written words, will finally find their way into my book in progress … working title: “Letters From Provence.”

  • CathyStripeLester

    Good luck with the book in progress!

  • Jo Anne

    Thanks, I need a lot of luck and some motivation!

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