We have been in France for five months now, and we love the experience of living in a small village. Saint-Symphorien-sur-Saône has a population of about 300 people and many more farm animals. We live here in a beautiful farmhouse near the school and the church.
We love our walks by the river, being able to hear the sheep from their pasture just across the road, and waking in the morning to church bells instead of alarm clocks.
We have seen more sheep and cows since moving here than we saw in all of our years in San Francisco.
From our kitchen window, we enjoy the parade of tractors chugging along the road from early morning until late evening.
Our next-door neighbors and landlords, Nathalie and Georges, have been so kind to us. They are helping us learn about and adjust to life in France. This month we were invited to Nathalie's birthday party. It was our first social event where we were the only foreigners.
The party was held in their back yard until the thunderstorm started, then it moved under a roofed area along the side of our house. Thunder and lightning did nothing to slow down the party, and the conversation got too fast for us early in the evening. At midnight the dancing started, and the party was still going on when we were upstairs with our heads on our pillows.
On quieter evenings, we often sit on our balcony watching the sunset and the trails of all the planes heading toward Paris. We have learned that the best prediction of the date when our barge will be ready to cruise is - Someday.
Paris will be our first cruising destination. We hope to arrive in July when friends are coming to visit; we have asked the Paris Arsenal, the port in Paris, to return there in October as we hope to spend our first winter on Eclaircie in Paris.