Dear Everyone,

I’m sitting on my couch with a cozy fire crackling and my two kittens in my lap and snuggled close. I got them in July and though Joanna took good care of them, they seem so glad to see me–Mom’s home! They usually run outside in the morning and start chasing bugs and climbing trees and things, but today they are staying close.

I spent Saturday in Aix and opted to stay that last night there and get up at 4am to take a taxi to the airport. The hotel there was so much nicer than a sterile cubicle near the airport would have been. I loved that day in Aix. I went to the coffee and chatted and then to lunch with 12 people. We carried on till 3pm. Then there was time to check email and do some writing and another party at 8pm! That was a typical day in Aix when I lived there. A slower pace and very relaxed. I made some new friends and reconnected with some old ones.

I traveled 24 hours to get home yesterday–very challenging. But I got upgraded to première class and that was super. Only problem was that they had some kind of water dripping problem and it was right over my seat–and that of a few others’. On take-off, I had to hold up my International Herald Tribune and try to stay dry. The woman who came around later wasn’t very nice and suggested I go to ‘economique’ or economy class, but I told her I wasn’t budging–I’d take my chances that it was all done dripping. It was, except for a few random drips and I could live with those. It was great to stretch out and nap and I had a fun seatmate and we chatted.

It was so amazing to look out the window and watch the clouds and land and the giant engines just behind my seat. What a mystery it is to fly like that. I don’t understand it any more than I understand email, but I am grateful that we safely traveled through all that sky and landed again in San Francisco.  Joanna met me and drove me home.

Fall started while I was gone. It is chilly now at night and the trees are beginning to turn. We had a giant rainstorm and that was good–we so needed the rain. I went out this morning and gathered some eggs, cut some flowers and picked some grapes and figs.  So yummy and fresh. The chickens are good and the garden still has tomatoes and we had a huge pumpkin crop this year, so lots of pies!

I know that it will take me weeks to integrate all that I experienced during those 15 days of magic. Thank you so much for sharing it all with me. Writing up the articles helps me to remember all the joy. If you want to check out the blog that I did that I got paid for, you can go to: (HYPERLINK “http://touristtravel.com/blog/”http://touristtravel.com/blog/). I’m not sure if he as all of them up yet and I still have one more to turn in, but it was a different flavor than the one that I sent you–you got the inside scoop!

I hope to go back next winter again, but for now, it is good to be home and to sleep in my cozy bed and enjoy the magic of my farm. Will send some last photos.

Big hugs to all of you,

Diane

'Fall in Provence' 2008

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