For this Sunday morning, here are just a few pictures of the weather and environment around Saint-Aignan in October. If you haven't been here, you'll be discovering it. If you have been here, I hope these pictures will bring back some good memories.
Just out our back gate, where all those apples are piling up, is where the paved road ends, giving way to a gravel tractor path that runs out into the vineyard. It joins up with another paved road about a mile out. That road is the Route Touristique du Vignoble de la Touraine. We walk our dog a couple of times a day out in the vineyard and along this gravel road.
Here's another view, a little farther out, of the road that runs through the Renaudie vineyards. You can see that the leaves on the grapevines are starting to show their fall colors now. It's been foggy nearly every morning for a week or so now. The fog hangs in there until noontime, and then the sun finally breaks through. We've been able to get our garden work done on those sunny afternoons.
Out near our back gate, we have a garden shed where we store the lawn mower, the rototiller, the weed-eater, and our wheelbarrows and other gardening tools. She shutters desperately need painting, but it didn't get done this year. Maybe next year. Any volunteers want to come and do the job? The door is a new one that we had hung after we got here in 2003.
Our hamlet, called La Renaudière, is made up of nine houses. Several of them are 200 to 250 years old. Others have been built over the past 50 years, since the neighborhood got electricity, telephones, and running water. Last year all our houses were hooked up to the village sewer system for the first time. We are located about two miles (3 km) from the center of our village and about the same distance from the center of the town of Saint-Aignan. Because the paved road ends here, we have almost no traffic except the neighbors' cars and the tractors of the vineyard owners.
The average age of the people who live at La Renaudière is about 60. Only five of the nine houses here are lived in year-round. The other four are occupied only during the summer months. Three of these are owned by people who live in the Paris area, and one is owned by a family whose principal residence is Blois, 25 miles north of Saint-Aignan.
Callie is the border collie that we adopted last May. She will be 8 months old in a few days. She looks just like her father, whose name is Vince. She's very playful and loves to chew on everything still. Walt thinks she is nearly full grown, but I think she will get bigger. I hope she will calm down over the winter and stop chewing on everything.