In just a few days we’ll see the venerable Pont du Gard, our dear friends, the town where we lived so happily for so long, our dear rented house where we spent some of the happiest days of our lives. In less than a week we’ll be repatriated to that life, just one year to the day after we left it. When we walked out that door we didn’t believe we’d ever be back, Shel’s health seemed so precarious that we couldn’t imagine a time when he would be able to return. And now here we are, almost ready to go.
I say “almost ready” in the loosest possible sense of the phrase, since we’re not packed at all. In fact, we’re not going to pack until tomorrow, when Beppo and Zazou are spirited away to the luxury kitty hotel where they’ll be spending the next three months. Packing upsets them, and we already feel guilty enough about leaving them. I know they’d rather be in France with us, especially Zazou, who might long for her native land. But it’s such a long and arduous journey for a cat, and to make them do that twice in three months seems cruel and unusual. So they’ll stay where they can be pampered, and we’ll go to where we can pamper ourselves, albeit catless.
We’re exercising a strict packing discipline too, just in case we have to get home in a hurry. One suitcase each, that’s it. We’re allowed 50 lbs in that suitcase, and I’m assuming that the weather is going to be warm every day we’re there, because only summer clothes could possibly fit into that tiny weight limit. One sweater, that’s it for me, cross my fingers and hope for sun.
And speaking of crossing, I keep making lists, crossing things off, adding new things to do faster than I can cross out the old ones. But I know that by Wednesday night when we give our suitcases that final zip, all will be well. Moving from one country to another is predictable chaos, at first you think it can’t be managed, then you run around in circles for a little while trying not to shriek, then you’re sitting in an Air France plane sipping free Champagne. Four more days.