Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Turn back the clock

We arrived in Provence after an initial stop in Amsterdam. The flight was uneventful, the seats were cramped and uncomfortable, the landing was incredibly smooth and the flatland and bright stripes of tulop fields assured us that we were in the Netherlands.  

Arriving in Provence was partially marred by the chewing gum that was stuck to Peter's armrest, but after he changed his shirt and put the vest in a bag, we headed to the familiar office of Europcar, where we got a black and white Renault. The GPS took some getting used to, but it worked.  A GPS inspires confidence and we began to feel like taking risks.

As we headed toward Aix en Provence we saw a familiar name: Calas. Thirty years ago we lived here for a year.  We turned off the route and found our way to the Lotissement of Le Petit Lac. After some initial searching, we found what looked to be our old house, although without remembering the number we could not be certain. We remembered the tiny garage, the flat roof, the alley beside the house.

Having satisfied ourselves about the house we returned to the little commercial center where we had bought marbles and notebooks for Martin, gotten our haircuts, and bought all our fruits and vegetables.  We bought a quiche for lunch at our old boulangerie (transformed of course).  

I walked down the path leading to the school where Danielle went to Kindergarten and Martin went to third grade. It was astonishing to come back to a place that had such a profound impact on our family and find that it still exists in a recognizable way.  

This was an appropriate beginning to our return to France 

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