Why am I leaving this lovely village?  These past 26 days have been so gentle, tranquil, and restorative.

The moments of simple joy today: The patron of the cafe I frequent, shook my hand.  The gendarme, signaled "thumbs up" when he understood my French.  At the fine foods shop, where I discovered (too late) the whisky well, she joined me in laughter when I took a small and clean jam jar from my purse and asked if it was possible for her to fill it with whisky. No, was her response; for good and legal reasons, but she applauded my spirit.  I wanted to take the whisky to my bookseller friend, Roger.  I often felt envious when he would regale me with tales of whisky liasons with another local book man, and it just seemed to be a nice way to farewell the sober conversations we have shared this past month.  The walk up the steps of Rue St. Jacques, where the path borders remains of the medevial wall that once surrounded the village.  The lunch -my last meal of many I have enjoyed in the various restaurants the village has to boast  - was magical.  I remember this classical cuisine, and what a treat to be able to enjoy such delicious food, while the memories of past meals came to mind.  We have many great chefs, and wonderful modern cooking, but few cook like this anymore.
It took me 26 days to take some photos, I didn't take enough.  I still have a few minutes to wander about the Farmer's market in the morning, before I walk with my valise, to catch the train to Paris.  I will try to get a snap of the cheese lady, pouring fresh milk from her pail into the glass bottles her customers provide, and the apple man, who says hello to me in English, the fish monger, who throws bunch of parsley in your bag, and the chicken rotisserie, who grumbles when I say no to his roasted potatoes.  I am unanimous in my belief that you must say no to something, but I am ever grateful, I didn't say no to Fevrier, en La Charite sur-Loire.