Above is a photo of the house we've lived in for the past 13 years, outside Saint-Aignan-sur-Cher in the Loire Valley. It's hard to believe it's been so long. We worked and lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for 17+ years before coming to live here. We spent nearly all our vacations in France from 1988 until 2003, and then decided to make it our permanent residence. Walt and I are both retired, and we both speak good French. I've been blogging since October 2005.
One of the things that attracted us to this house was its yard, which at half an acre is big enough and flat enough that we can have a nice vegetable garden every summer. We arrived here in June 2003, and in 2004 we planted our garden for the first time. We grow tomatoes, peppers, green beans, eggplant, and greens including chard, collards, and kale.
We live up on a hill at the edge of a large vineyard, and at the end of the paved road. We have a dog, Callie, and we can go on long walks through the vines every day without having to put a leash on her. The little neighborhood or hamlet we live in is made up of nine houses, but only 5 of them are occupied year-round. We have all the advantages of being out in the country, but we're only a couple of miles from town, and there are two big supermarkets and many other businesses within 5 miles of the house.