We’re told that this winter is not typical for Cordes-sur-Ciel, that it was unusually short, that, in fact, it may well not be over yet.
On nous dit que cet hiver n’est pas typique de Cordes-sur-Ciel, qu’il a été exceptionnellement court, qu’en fait, il se pourrait bien qu’il ne soit pas encore terminé.
After six weeks in California, we came back to our little house in Cordes on January 11. The skies were gray, but the fields were still green.
Après six semaines en Californie, nous sommes rentrés dans notre petite maison à Cordes le 11 janvier. Le ciel était gris, mais les champs étaient toujours verts.
It was cold that month, cold and damp and very gray.
Il faisait froid ce mois-ci, froid et humide et très gris.
It even snowed a little.
Il a même neigé un peu.
But it was cozy indoors and there were at least a couple sunny and clear days each week.
Mais c’était agréable à l’intérieur et il y avait au moins deux journées ensoleillées et claires chaque semaine.
It was a good time for making potimarron soup.
C’était un bon moment pour faire de la soupe au potimarron.
And poached pears.
Et des poires pochées.
I love seeing the trees and bushes without leaves.
J’aime voir les arbres et les buissons sans feuilles.
We took long walks with the dog. One day, I noticed hyacinths in bud in front of a neighbor’s house. It happens, our neighbor said, but then it gets very, very cold again, and the buds never bloom.
Nous avons fait de longues promenades avec le chien. Un jour, j’ai remarqué des jacinthes en boutons devant la maison d’un voisin. Cela arrive, a dit notre voisin, mais ensuite, il fait à nouveau très froid et les bourgeons ne fleurissent jamais.
It was about then that a fortunate thing happened. We’d wondered who the abandoned garden across the street from our house belonged to, and had asked around before we left for California. We could look over the wall and see that, though largely covered in brush, it looked like there there were fruit trees, a chicken coop, and maybe a well.
C’était à peu près alors qu’une chose chanceuse s’est produite. Nous nous étions demandés à qui appartenait le jardin abandonné situé de l’autre côté de la rue de notre maison et nous l’avions demandé avant notre départ pour la Californie. Nous pourrions regarder par-dessus le mur et voir que, bien que largement recouvert de broussailles, il semblait y avoir des arbres fruitiers, un poulailler et peut-être un puits.
Travelling for so long – we’d left Cordes in mid-October for Morocco, stayed four weeks, returning for only a couple, before our time in California – I was longing for roots. As I fell asleep in all those different beds, I’d imagine asking for permission to use that garden: cleaning it up, pruning the trees, digging over the beds and planting vegetables and flowers, and maybe even having a few chickens.
Voyager pendant si longtemps – nous avions quitté Cordes à la mi-octobre pour le Maroc, sommes restés quatre semaines et n’y étions revenus que deux semaines avant notre séjour en Californie – je rêvais de racines. Quand je me suis endormi dans tous ces différents lits, j’imagine que demander l’autorisation d’utiliser ce jardin: le nettoyer, tailler les arbres, creuser par-dessus les lits, planter des légumes et des fleurs et peut-être même avoir quelques poulets.
Our neighbors, Dominique and Lucie, were kind enough to keep Mocha for us while we were gone. A week or so after we came back, we invited them over for dinner. To our delight, Dominique told us the garden belonged to Lucette, who passed away three years ago, and whose house was maintained by her children, though they rarely use it. Coincidentally, they were there that weekend.
Nos voisins, Dominique et Lucie, ont eu la gentillesse de garder Mocha pour nous pendant notre absence. Environ une semaine après notre retour, nous les avons invités à dîner. À notre plus grand plaisir, Dominique nous a dit que le jardin appartenait à Lucette, décédée il y a trois ans et dont la maison était entretenue par ses enfants, bien qu’ils l’utilisent rarement. Par coïncidence, ils étaient là ce week-end.
The next morning, Tom went over, introduced himself, and minutes later, we had permission to use the garden.
Le lendemain matin, Tom est allé se présenter, et quelques minutes plus tard, nous avons eu la permission d’utiliser le jardin.
And, even though it was January, there were irises blooming.
Et, même si c’était en janvier, des iris étaient en fleurs.
We also found a peach tree already budding.
Nous avons également trouvé un pêcher en herbe.
So we began work in the garden, pruning, clearing brush, cleaning up in general.
Nous avons donc commencé à travailler dans le jardin: élagage, débroussaillage, nettoyage en général.
On February 10, M. Jazz de Rodez, a cat of great dignity and considerable curiosity, came to live with us.
Le 10 février, M. Jazz de Rodez, un chat d’une grande dignité et d’une grande curiosité, est venu vivre avec nous.
While the two of them make their peace, the garden keeps growing.
Alors que les deux font leur paix, le jardin ne cesse de croître.
Now there are trees in bloom everywhere.
Maintenant, il y a des arbres en fleurs partout.
Inside, Mocha waits a little impatiently to be taken for a walk.
A l’intérieur, Mocha attend un peu avec impatience de se promener.
And Jazz is sleeping on my lap.
Et Jazz dort sur mes genoux.
I don’t think winter will come back this year.
Je ne pense pas que l’hiver reviendra cette année.
But I could be wrong.
Mais je peux me tromper.
20 thoughts on “Cordes in winter (Cordes en hiver)”
Hello Eve and Tom, these impressions of Cordes are so lovely. I hope the weather stays favorable to all these lovely blossoms.
It’s still a bit chilly here in NYC. We are all looking forward to a bit of green. There are some very tenuous signs peeping out of the ground.
Wishing you all the best, much love.
Thank you, Tomas! We’re hoping to see you and Mary here at some point.
Eve and I both continue to believe that this truly was the best place to retire to. It continues to provide beauty and friendship. What an extraordinary set of events that led us to this very fortunate decision! But of course, every place and all the friends we have left were so very special and we feel blessed to have known each and every one. Tom
Good Morning, Eve. Thank you for sharing your sweet life with both photos and your words. I love your focus on the small, tender details. So lovely.
Thanks, Kathy. We’re hoping you and Jim will come see us before too long.
Always wonderful to see your life in photos; so very beautiful. I am sure you have been told it has been raining, raining, raining here. The bad part is that I miss the sun, tne good news is that Mother Earth is very happy, as are the reservoirs! We miss and love you both, Victoria
“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become and, still, gently allows you to grow.” William Shakespeare~
Come see us, Victoria!
It seems you have truly come home in Cordes, Eve and Tom. Your photos are wonderful, evocative. To have a garden, a dog, a cat, friends, and each other – what more could one wish for? You have created beauty and love, as always. Karen
Thanks for your kind words, Karen.
I look forward to seeing your beautiful photographs of Cordes. They are are so wonderful and I sense the warmth of not only your home but of the community as well. A true paradise. Tom you haven’t left us behind. With all these enchanting photos you have taken us all with you!!! Hugs!
Thank you, Mary!
Your pictures and comments evoke life in a different time when neighbors helped each other,
life was slower and we had to be handy and creative with both growing , building and fixing.
Nature was close at hand and construction and building noise was non-existent. You both have found a blessed and peaceful home for retirement. I find inspiration and Peace through
your pictures and wonderful comments. I love that in Europe there are places that are very old,
places stay the same and people appreciate the history of the countryside.
Much love to you and Tom. Judy
That’s exactly it, Judy. We feel incredibly fortunate to have found this place. Love to you too!
Dear Eve & Tom: I hope you are keeping all your posts and then putting them together for a wonderful, beautiful book which I shall cherish!!! I am leaving for SLO tomorrow and wish you were still there visiting so I could see you. Thank you so-o-o much for your wonderful posts — they are beautiful. What a wonderful retirement you are having, and so well deserved!! Lots of Love, Lynne
Its always good to hear from you, Lynne! Give my love to our friends in SLO!
Salut, Eve et Tom
It always warms my heart to hear from you:) Thank you for the beautiful photos and stories of the good life you’re living in Cordes! I’m so happy for you both to have found such a special place to be!
It is a good life. We’re looking forward to seeing you here sometime!
So lovely. It feels slow and peaceful, more like the way life is supposed to be. I’m so glad it all worked out.
So are we. You should take a break and come see us!
Oh Eve. There is a recent James Taylor song containing a line about a samba band playing on the back of a truck in downtown Toronto in the middle of winter. It reads “And every note was the antidote to December.” As I read through your blog and gazed at your glorious photos, I felt that every word, every picture was the antidote to our cold, wintry days here– so atypical for this part of California in March. But perhaps more importantly, they are an antidote to the cold, wintry tenor of life in this era, this impersonal, mind-numbing, soul-crushing time. It’s so lovely to see that life is blissfully peaceful, kind, and sweet in your corner of Cordes. Thank you!