18 October 2015

Red leaves

Another Sunday already. The days, weeks, months, and years go by faster and faster. In two days, it will be 10 years since I wrote and published my first post on this blog. Dix ans ! I started the blog about 2½ years after moving to Saint-Aignan in 2003. Walt started his blog a few days before mine. He discovered blogging first.


So much has changed around here, but then again everything seems to be about the same. (Isn't that some kind of French proverb?) In our hamlet, six people have died since 2005 — four of them were well into their nineties when the time came. There are at least six of us still living full-time in the hamlet, including a new family a few houses down. There might be as many as five people living in that house, with at least one cat and one dog, but I don't know any of them yet. At this point, they keep to themselves.


I don't do much touring around any more. I enjoy driving less and less. I've seen all the big châteaux. I don't go to the outdoor markets much any more either. I enjoy my trips to the supermarkets and hardware stores, where people seem to recognize me. Nobody ever comments now about my American accent, or looks at me like an alien, or asks me why I would ever have thought to leave California to come live out here in the French countryside. I think I've become part of the landscape. Out there walking with the dog...

25 comments:

  1. Perhaps your last three sentences say it all.

    Congratulations on your upcoming anniversary, and many thanks for publishing interesting, informative and beautifully illustrated blogs.

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    1. Thanks, Gaynor. Hope you and Tim are happy and healthy.

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  2. You've been part of the landscape much longer than you think!

    Same as what Gaynor said.

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    1. Yes, CHM, it has been more than 50 years since I started learning to speak and understand French. And 45 since the first time I came to France and lived in this environment. I've always been content to be here. I felt I blended in better in Paris than in the Loire Valley, because in Paris there were so many foreigners and people with different accents in French. At one point in my early life, near age 30, my English (such as it is, the British might say) started to suffer. I started dressing like a young Frenchman of that period — friends like J. in Rouen even commented that I was looking more like people here at that age.

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  3. Same as what Gaynor said and chm echoed...
    keep on truckin'...
    and...
    while you do...
    do the French thing...
    take the neighbours a pumpkin and some tomatoes...
    after all, 'tis a very small community you live in.

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    1. We have always shared produce with our neighbors, and they with us. It's just there are fewer neighbors now than before. Thanks for your comments, Tim.

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  4. Thanks for all the observational stuff about France over the years. Yours was the first blog we ever read as a regular thing and the first we discovered that was focused on this area. It takes discipline and stamina to write as much as you have. Now it's a habit and we all benefit (you and your readers).

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    1. Ouch, Susan. Blogging does feel like a habit — one I can't break. Maybe the thrill is just gone. I don't think what I do takes much discipline. When it starts to feel like work, I put it aside and do some other kind of post that doesn't feel like work. Thanks for your kind words.

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  5. Congratulations in advance Ken. It is no small achievement. It must be nice to feel accepted in the country you have chosen to live in.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, also, Andrew. I've been living in France off and on since 1970, and I've always been happy here. I lived in Paris for many years and nobody even seemed to notice me much. Work was easy to find back then and kept me busy. When Walt and I moved out here to the countryside around Saint-Aignan, I was sort of shocked that so many people knew I was a foreigner just by looking at me, and liked to comment on my cute American accent. I'm over that phase now, I guess. I just tell people that I speak French à ma façon (almost "after a fashion).

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    2. You can be proud that your façon is much better than many a native's.

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  6. I remember when I walked into our corner market in Buenos Aires and the owner greeted me as a local/regular rather than a visitor. I was so happy, I felt accepted :) Having a dog helped quiet a lot there ... they were polite to me but really just wanted to pet/kiss the dog.

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  7. I visited Paris and Loire in March with my family and friends, including my husband and four young children. I felt so at home and at peace. We stayed in a country gite in Monthou Sur Cher. Thank you for your beautiful blog! It makes me so happy to read it a few times each week. I love hearing about your daily life and seeing the beautiful food you make! I grew up in the Eastern US and now live in Texas. I'm loving the beautiful Fall pictures! Thanks, again!

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  8. Ken, you do a great blog, with a wide range of subjects. I hope you realize that you are writing a daily letter to people who are fond of you and are interested in reading about you and Walt, Callie, Bertie, food, and France.

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  9. I'm glad you are still blogging, Ken (and you too, Walt). I get a sense of peace and connection here everyday with you and your readers. We are a far reaching community. I think Amy and Claude were also blogging when you started. To me blogs are a remarkable part of the internet where we get a look into another person's world. Thanks for sharing your life in Saint-Aignan with us.

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  10. Reading your blog is a habit — one I can't break. Nor do I want to.

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    1. You're so right, Cheryl! Best to you.

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  11. I love your red leaves at my place are the same

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  12. Bonjour CHM and Ken,
    I have learnt a lot reading your daily billet on your blog. Thank you Ken.

    CH please try the following and see it if it works:
    On your iOS device go to Settings / Safari / Passwords & Autofill / Saved Passwords
    remove any google passwords you have there

    then go to settings / Mail, Contacts, Calendars

    find your account that is not working, click the slider for Mail from green to off, then click back to general settings and then go back in the turn the Mail slider from off to green, it will then re prompt you for your google credentials and will ask you to to confirm a permissions page. Once you complete these steps the accounts will work again.

    Bonne Chance

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    1. Merci Cousine.
      So far so good. It will work now for some time and then, once again, I'll have to give my name and my password. I don't understand what's going on. I'm going to save what you said and use it whenever it's messed up again. LOL

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  13. As usual, I'm late to the party. Carolyn said beautifully exactly what I wanted to say. You and Walt are part of my daily life, and I'm so grateful to you both. Congratulations on your blogiversary.

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  14. I can't remember when I first found you blog Ken. You can imagine my surprise when I found out you were from Morehead City, just up the road a piece! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog. I have seen places, through your photos, that I would have never seen in a lifetime. The longevity of your neighbors speaks well of the area that you settled. It must be very peaceful and stress free. I suspect the French eat much better than Americans and the food is a lot cleaner in respect to chemicals, GMO's, etc. I'm usually starving when I read one of your cooking blogs, so I know you are good cook and eat well!

    Congratulations on sticking to blogging for 10 years! I hope you continue for a long time to come. So many bloggers that I followed just up and quit. I guess to some it became too time consuming and too much work. I have considered starting one, but I'm afraid I would be too boring! LOL!

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    1. I see a comment from you on my post dated January 28, 2014. In it you say you had found the blog a few months earlier, about the time your computer crashed...

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  15. Thanks Ken for the daily window into your life with Walt, your animals and the French countryside.

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    1. Thanks for your good comment, C in Calif.

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