Well, we did it. Just because you live in a beautiful part of France doesn't mean you don't have to take care of the mundane tasks in life. I'm talking about cleaning out the garage. It's a space that inevitably fills up with stuff over the years.
The weather is hot but dry. They're saying that this afternoon will be blazing hot here in the Loire Valley. We'll get what we can get done during the cooler morning hours. Over the weekend, we dragged out the things we want to keep and put them under the old carport out front, where they'd be protected in the event of a rain shower.
When we moved into this house 12 years ago, the garage was already full of junk. That first summer, we emptied it out and took a carloads of stuff to the recycling center — la déchetterie — across the river in Noyers. But we also decided to hold on to a lot of things because we weren't sure what we might need or want out of all the junk.
We emptied the garage another time since then — we can't remember exactly when. But it was time to do it again. I already took a carload of stuff to the déchetterie on Saturday, and yesterday I filled up the car again for another run over there today. A lot of the stuff we're throwing out is old cardboard boxes and plastic bags.
A lot of other stuff will go to the French equivalent of the Good Will store, which is called Emmaüs [ay-mah-YUCE]. There's a store — it's a complex of stores, really — over in the town of Romorantin, 20 so miles east of Saint-Aignan. Old light fixtures, a brand-new never-used left-handed guitar, three or four jackets and raincoats, a big old suitcase, a computer and a couple of old monitors, a step ladder, and on and on — it's stuff that has to go but that might be useful to somebody else.
So there you have it. That's how we spent our weekend (or at least the mornings). At first, Bertie watched suspiciously as we emptied out "his" house. Then yesterday he slept peacefully in the garage as we worked. He'll be reassured when he sees us start moving stuff back in today.