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« Fun With Poultry | Main | Carnaval Saint-Quentin-la-Poterie Style »

I think I'm Gonna Like It Here

There's something about this little town. I walk slower. I look up. The kids and I had only been in Saint-Quentin-la-Poterie for a week, and already our friendly neighbors had drawn me out of my shell. I'm not usually a very social kinda guy, but around here I'm practically a social butterfly! On Saturday I talked the kids into going to Carnival in town. We met neighbors. On Sunday, Sarah from across the street rang the bell to invite us to work in a friend's vineyard for the day. Ten minutes later we were following a small convoy to Vallabrix, a nearby village to pitch in.

Serge, the winemaker and vineyard owner (and also Postman) is converting his vineyards to certified organic. It's a four-year process, and he has another year to go. He's working hard to be as natural as possible, doing even more than needed for certification. On Sunday there were about twenty-five men, women, and children there to help pull up the old plastic weed barriers bofore he mulches.

Serge cooks the sausagesSarah and MeAt lunchtime we gathered around the picnic table and ate sausages cooked over a fire pit fueled with old grape vines. Everything on the table was from "just over that hill." The cheese, the sausages, the salad, and especially the wine -- I could shout to where they came from. I think Serge's wines were good, but I'm not sure. I drank his red and his rosé, but mostly I was drinking the day. The moment -- something you can't put into the bottle. The sunshine and the people. The view. How crazy hungry I was from the work. (I'll need to find Serge and buy some bottles just to make sure...)

I picked Brenna up at the airport in Marsailles that afternoon. It's about an hour and a half drive. Owen and I showed up dirty and dusty, and full of stories. Ella decided to stay at the vineyard with her new friend Rose, Sarah's daughter, and caught a ride home with their family that evening. 

There is something about this place. 


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Reader Comments (5)

Your description of your first week in the south of France is exactly what people think their first week in the south of France would be like if they ran away and had an adventure. E x a c t l y. Love it. Beautiful story. Gonna try to take your lead and see about looking up and drinking in the day at an "ordinary" North Carolina farmer's market today.

Apr 3, 2010 at 7:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterMelody

Amazing how well you have fit in so quickly. I wonder if having kids helped or if a couple would have the same warm reception? It is great that you are breaking down some of the stereotypes about the French being snobbish.

Apr 3, 2010 at 12:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterLise

What a wonderful day! Lovely in every way.

Welcome "home" again Brenna~

with lots of love from the Canipes

Apr 4, 2010 at 12:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

How wonderul to have such great neighbors! In your wildest derams would you ever have thought you would be working in a vineyard in France? The food sounds wonderful and the day even more. I am so glad the kids have made friends so quickly, and I am not a bit suprised. , Love the photos!!!

Apr 4, 2010 at 5:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterMOM

What a wonderful location and incredible experience. Fantastic post! I love following along with your journey.

Apr 7, 2010 at 7:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterBethany

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