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A Month in the Country

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Introduction  First week in Cezac  Driving through Southern France  Greater Avignon   Two weeks of hiking  Making our way home 
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Introduction

This Travelogue was written by Dawn Kramer and Stephen Buck. We are Americans in our late fifties. Dawn is a choreographer, I am a lighting designer. We took this trip because we are still able to. When we began our travelogues in 1997 we carried a laptop and found ways to email them back to our friends as we went. This time, because we were going to spend half the trip carrying what we had on our backs, we left the laptop at home and carried a spiral notebook instead. At the request of some of our friends, who had used to getting it bit by bit, we sent this travelogue as e-mails as we wrote it at home.

You will quickly notice that we write a lot about the little things and a lot about ourselves. I have linked various places inside to a resources page where you can find contact information.

All errors are ours. We try to edit each others writing for style and accuracy, but we miss things. All the facts are as we remember them.
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Monday, May 24, 2004
Boston, Ma, USA

Dawn and I have been catching a lot of early flights lately when we have been traveling so the 7:55 PM flight to Paris looked like it would be easy. Dawn had called a cab that morning, and we're now waiting for him to show up. When he didn't arrive on time, we moved our bags outside, locked the door and hid away the key. We didn't have our cell phones with us because we were headed for France and they wouldn't work there. We were set. A lot of planning and research had been done so we were now ready for another trip, one month in duration, that would mix new kinds of things with ones we had done before. We had spent the day running through our lists of last minute preparation and were now in a state of anticipation as we sat on our front steps.

And sat.

It has been nearly a year since we bought our cell phones. We felt like the last two people in the world to buy them. And of course fell immediately in love with the convenience and efficiency that they brought into our lives. We have only one car between us and the phones made it possible for us to hook up with each other in town after our jobs were over so that one could get a ride with the other. Now the cell phones are locked in the house. Landline phone is locked in the house, and the key is hidden way far away. We were ready for the taxi. We waited.

Blame and fault are ugly words in a relationship and much of the time we do things together in a way that I don't think these words about Dawn. But with check-in and security lines looming ahead of us, I panicked a little and felt myself slide to the other side of an imaginary fence as I wondered silently.
"Why isn't the cab coming?"
Dawn decided to call them again and I went back to the get the key and unlock the front door. She called and found out that when she reserved a taxi for 5:00, they assumed that it was for tomorrow morning. Oops. They said that they would be over as soon as possible. So we locked up the house and I put the key away again. We waited.

The way to deal with the blame game is to remember that the person that you love is more important than the result that you are trying to achieve, but things remained kind of quiet and I remember that Dawn was waiting on the porch and I was over in the driveway. After some time, Dawn sent me down to get the key again and she called to see where the hell were they and found out that they were at the bottom of our street so we rushed to lock the house, hide the key, our bodies tense in evermore readiness.

He finally came from the other direction, something we didn't even ask him about. We loaded our stuff, one suitcase and two backpacks into the cab and made our way to the airport with only one U-turn. And even with a line at Air France that overflowed out of its corral half way down the building and a mix-up on my part about boarding passes which Dawn remedied, we found ourselves lifting off from the runway, holding hands as we always do as airplane wheels untouch the land.
Stephen
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