Moving Daze

People often ask us what we do to fill our time here. For some reason they think because we’re in France, or in a tiny village, we don’t do anything. On the contrary, we do all the things any normal western person does to keep life going, only here everything takes a little longer. At the moment we are packing to leave. This involves not just closing up the house and throwing a few things in a suitcase, but packing for three climates (OR, CA, and HI) as well as clearing out personal belongings and doing some deep cleaning, for we have rented the house for five months.

In the middle of all this a neighbor showed up yesterday with a circa 80s Brother electronic typewriter that he’d bought from a friend. It has a print wheel, a self-correcting mechanism (if he can still buy the white correcting tape); and a tiny one-line screen, making it useable either as a typewriter or a very basic word processor. It also has a German keyboard. Our neighbor knows nothing about electronics and had no manual or instructions, so being an old hand with typewriters it fell to me to figure out how to use it and then show him. A Web search for manuals proved fruitless, but it’s a well-designed machine and after an hour or so of experimenting I was able to give him basic instructions, with a short brush-up course this morning.

At the same time this was going on Ray was on the phone helping another friend set up a DSL line and wifi for his computer. We seem to be everyone’s “go to” person when it comes to electronics. I’m not sure how this role fell to us—we’re far from experts—but we’re pretty good at trouble-shooting and we persevere. Apparently that’s enough. Yesterday we managed to bring one friend from the 19th into the late 20th century, and give another one a boost into the 21st. It was nice to be able to help, and we only wish mopping and scrubbing and packing and repacking and last-minute shopping were as easy. We leave here next Wednesday, Nov 1.