In Montpellier, there are four very special women whom I am proud to call my friends. They’re all married, or have been at one point or another; between them they have 13 children of varying ages; one is a (albeit young) grandmother; and I’m pretty sure that under close scrutiny, they could be certified as clinically insane.
I see them as often as their hectic schedules allow, which usually means I have at most two of them together at any one time. But sometimes, the stars align and The Coven is reunited in one long afternoon of food, wine and laughter.
This happened recently, just before I left for Rome in fact. We loaded up Sheila’s minivan and headed out to St. Privat, where Vic lives in pastoral splendor with her husband, two boys and a third on the way.
They’re redoing this house. And when I say redoing, I mean I don’t think it had a roof when they bought it, they all lived in the one room for several months, and there are significant portions of it that may or may not withstand a strong wind. And, as I don’t need to tell you, it’s ridiculously beautiful anyway. Here’s part of the living room:
This is Saucisson, a neighbor’s dog who wandered in and out during the afternoon.
Vic lives next to a church, and on its back exterior wall I found this and laughed out loud.
After a lunch of roasted chicken, potato salad, beets and Sheila’s apple crumble, we took a walk around St. Privat. I think about 150 people live in this small village perched on a hill. There are no amenities here; a bread truck comes around and honks its horn once a day. Vic calls up a little shuttle van that takes her to the next town over for shopping in real stores. It was stone silent after lunch, and there’s not a right angle to be had within the town limits.
Finally it was time to go. We packed up the mini-van, hugged Vic as tightly as her belly would allow, and went back to Montpellier – which now seemed like a bustling metropolis compared to the idyllic silence we had just left.