We don't actually live in the village. We live about two miles from the center, which means from the church. We also live two miles from Saint-Aignan, which again means from the church. Because Saint-Aignan is a larger town — it has three or four times as many people living in it, and many more businesses — we go there more often.
We live in a hamlet, which is a settlement, or group of houses, with no church and, most of the time, no shops or other business. That's the case in our hamlet. It's just nine houses, four of which are inhabited only seasonally or periodically. Only one of the other five houses has more than two people living in it. There are no children in the hamlet, but several sets of grandparents.
In our village, which we normally drive to, there's a church, a library (open two mornings a week), a post office (open mornings only), a supérette (a little grocery store with a good butcher counter), a boulangerie or bread bakery (closed on Wednesdays), a hair salon/barber shop, an elementary school, and a café/tabac (selling magazines, hot and cold drinks, and cigarettes). There's also a château, which is used for lectures and exhibits and where groups can rent overnight accommodations, and a campground behind the church, on the banks of the Cher River.
The population of the village, or "commune" as it is known administratively, is about 1100, at last count. That comes to about 34 people per square kilometer (that's 88 per square mile). In Paris, there are 20,800 people per square kilometer (about 54,000 per square mile). Our commune covers an area of 32 square kilometers (12½ square miles) and most of that territory is fields, vineyards, and woods. Paris is 105 square kilometers.
The church in our village doesn't have its own priest. It's part of a circuit. The priest holds services all around the area on different days. Not being a church-goer, I don't know how often there are services in our church. But I do know that there are funerals there. I attended one just about a year ago. There must be weddings down there from time to time too.
The things we go to the village center for are haircuts (once in a while), the post office (sometimes we go to Saint-Aignan instead), and bread (but not often, because the baker has an employee who makes the rounds, delivering bread four days a week, and we buy bread from her). Once in a while we have to go to the Mairie, or village hall, where the maire (our neighbor the mayor) has her office.
We can walk to the village, of course, and we've done so a few times. We could also ride our bicycles, but usually we drive. As I said, our house is equidistant from the village and the town (Saint-Aignan), so we usually end up in town for the open-air market, supermarket, restaurants, pharmacy, doctor, and dentist. We can walk to town or ride bikes (we've done both) but normally we drive. It takes just a couple of minutes — it's two miles — and there is essentially no traffic. If you're shopping and have things to carry home, you need the car.