Since I bought my tickets and we knew our dates for France, our other home seems to be drawing us slowly, inexorably towards itself (or herself, as houses in France are female and I always imagine La Maison des Chaumes as a stylish, warm French grandmother who makes a mean tarte tatin).
The girls tell me every morning that they have gone to France in their dreams during the night, and played with Alix and Eloi and Gabin and eaten ice cream on Les Chaumes as the sun goes down over the vineyards.
I can’t stop thinking about Burgundy either. It is like all of those French-passport holding cells in my body have suddenly woken up out of a deep slumber and have started crying out, “Go back! You have been away too long!” This morning I meant to call a guest who is staying at Le Relais du Vieux Beaune, and I ended up dialing the number of my friend Charlotte – who I miss terribly – instead.
Today after school Camille was sitting on the couch, staring off into dreamland.
“What are you thinking about?” I asked her.
“The smell of our house in Villers,” she said. “It has such a good smell; I want to smell it again.”