Summer fun

4 Jul

It is a quiet day at Les Battees.  My host Roy departed for a one-night escape and I am here hanging out with the resident K-9, Picsioux the dog.  Between the two of us, me and Picsioux, we are handling the basic responsibilities of the quiet mid-week Les Battees.  I have to say, I am doing most of the work.  Washing sheets and bedding, hanging them to dry and making beds and completing cleaning rooms before the weekend rush.  What is there still do you ask?  Ironing!  Yes, ironing the sheets.  I imagine I will have to do that by myself as well.

Life in Les Battees is a bit different post- Marina, Roy’s mum.  She returned to her home in England last Sunday after a three-month stay here helping Roy with the daily needs of his Chambre d’Hotes.  Truthfully… it was a little jolting for me when she left.  Since I arrived at Les Battees I have seen people and guests come and go.  But it was a bit strange for me to see Marina leave.  She had been here since I arrived.  She was there with Roy to pick me up at the train station.  She was my partner in cleaning the kitchen (“many hands make light work” she would say…) and making beds.  She lived across the hall from me and sang songs with me while we were cleaning.

Since Marina has left, with just Roy and I at the house, a few things have changed.  Mostly we eat meals in the kitchen now instead of setting the table and eating in the dining room or outside.  The sheets are not as neatly organized without Marina to collect them and carefully distribute them… a skill I am developing and honing.  And the house, in general, is a little less neat and tidy.  I try to pick up some of the slack.  But I also seek the world that Roy too seeks… balance.  Balance in that there is a time to work and a time to rest.  A time to clean and a time to take it easy.

Roy and I exercised our balance muscle last weekend on a busy Saturday.  It was a beautiful warm sunny day outside and Roy had one thing on his mind… swimming!  There is a swim-friendly lake just a few kilometers away from Les Battees and Roy was determined to soak up a little sun and take a dip.  I was a willing and accommodating accomplice.  So Saturday morning after the guests left, Roy and I joined forces to clean and prepare the rooms as quickly as possible, left the kitchen downstairs in a bit of disarray, packed a picnic lunch and headed for the lake.

The water at the lake was coolish, but not too cool… and inviting.  As I swam around floating luxuriously on my back I felt like a sea-serpent or a mermaid.  I headed out to the middle of the lake and felt the tug of my “inner mom” cautioning… not to far… don’t swim out to far.   I moved and swam and felt the nourishment of the water caress my body and being.  Months of tension left as I floated on my back… laughing and smiling!  After a swim we enjoyed a light picnic lunch, some extended time in the sun and then, content, headed back to Les Battees to be there before the evening guests arrived.

In the quiet of the week my mind has been wandering and wondering about… what is next… aware that I am here at Les Battees through the end of the summer and that time can slip away oh so quickly!  But in the meantime, I am here in France…. with English influences.  I am learning the subtle (and sometimes not subtle) differences between speaking  English and American, enjoying the veggies fresh from Roy’s garden, and appreciating the quiet lingering days at Les Battees.

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