Every year, for the past five years, my older sister and I have shared a room for at least two weeks straight. Sometimes 3. But it's for a full month that the two of us, my mom, Kick, and our friend Mogull leave our husbands, children, cats, dogs, and gardens and move into a 13th Century Chateau in the South of France. It's for work, but most people don't see it that way.
We invite up to 20 women, from all over the world, to leave their comfort zones and stay here with us for one full week. We head out each day to explore some brocante, vide greener, weaver, hat maker or lavender field. We search for old paper, unusual smalls that no longer exist, embroidered tea towels or torchons, vintage playing cards, holy water fonts, glass bottles with medicinal names we don't know or funny hats we've never seen, and return to the chateau in the evening to aperos in the foyer and an incredible 3-course meal. I often think about licking my plate at the end of each course, it's that good. There's a lot of laughing, loud talking, drinking and show & tell of goods found that day.
We tend to go to bed long after dessert and well after the last great story is told. We head to our room where we stay up talking with Mogull and Kick until someone finally calls it quits. Then my sister and I keep on until we can't keep our eyes open any longer or our mouths don't move to make the right words come out.
Mornings are always an early rise. We've got someplace to be before the crowds swarm our little find. We watch the sun come over the nearest bright green hill knowing we'll soon be drinking a cup of hot coffee in bed that Mogull religiously brings us each morning. The fields are yellow with wheat or yellow with sunflowers, depending on the weather that previous year. As I sit up and look out the window at the vast expanse of the French countryside, almost instantly the perfectly delicate swallows dive down from their eve-side nests and start to dance with each other in the sky. I've tried to capture it on video, I've tried to catch it with a still shot, but ultimately, I just remember the birds.