image

This home belonged to a Frenchman I knew in the next village who began conversational English with me to improve his skills.

Monsieur Foulon. A total gentleman.

Most people come visiting, whether French or English or otherwise, in their old dusty banger of a car. Monsieur Foulon arrived in a meticulously kept SUV with a well groomed, and well mannered Labrador in the back. I stood at the front door waiting for him to come in but he paused, and asked if he could bring his dog, or should he leave him in the car. Mais bien sûr… But of course.

No question, I have rose-colored lenses on, concerning all things French. Add to that view, the dogs who accompany their masters to fine dining establishments without the blink of the eye among friends. ‘Of course’ exists because of the ‘good dog manners’ — nearly everywhere.

My village neighbor loved to travel but felt inept talking with Anglos. He wanted to feel confident instead, so showed up at my door to arrange a regular schedule for constant conversation.

We set up what was never to be, and he departed waiting for me to return the next spring to commence our weekly afternoon tea.

This brief exchange touched me in the ‘how very kind’ place …the ‘how very French’ space … such gentility of spirit.

The next year, everything changed, and he passed. I heard about it, and contacted his daughter, who I am now friends and acquaintances with, on Facebook.

She had just posted a picture of this, his lovely home in the countryside of Brittany now for sale, calling it her father’s home.

Story told, he had renovated it; new infrastructure throughout, old French comfortable country living, but had not ever had the change to live in it. And she, living in Versailles, couldn’t keep it up and wanted to sell it.

I posted the picture with the title ‘Want to live the dream?’

Personally, I’m so into living inside the dream, I’d buy this house in a heartbeat. But having already done that, I encourage any of you pondering the possibility, to leap into it with the joy it holds. It’s guaranteed to change the course of your life.