Big news on the Grape Rentals front. My newsletter tribe found out about this two weeks ago - Franck had to stay so long in France this past month because we were actually selling one of our houses - La Maison Des Deux Clochers.
I’ve had a few former guests burst into tears when I tell them this. Such is the magic of this property - the first one we ever renovated and which symbolizes my pivot from anxiety-riddled Oxford law student to well...everything that came after. The creation of our vacation rentals, our five years in Burgundy, Clémentine, my writing and books.
This place started it all. I know it must sound crazy to sell it but it just felt completely RIGHT.
This stone house, built in 1789, never had a central heating system which meant that it was just WAY too chilly for us to rent it out during the winter months. Freezing guests are not happy guests.
Also, our beloved caretaker Bernard died suddenly this summer. I didn’t want to announce that publicly at the time out of respect for his family. We were in Burgundy at the time and were able to attend his moving funeral in the Ladiox-Serrigny church with Camille and Clémentine. I’m so thankful for that. It was a simple, beautiful service with Bernard Lavillier’s “Les Mains D’Or” playing as his coffin was walked in. It’s a French song adopted as an anthem by French workers. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the place.
Bernard was our eyes, ears, and hands over in Burgundy. He and Franck worked symbiotically together - we trusted him absolutely. He is, quite simply, irreplaceable to everyone who knew him.
One less house to clean and manage would make the whole thing much more do-able and we have indeed figured out a new system. Also, we are still looking for a house to buy here in Victoria ($$$) and the extra money will be put towards that.
No fears - we have NO intention of selling any of our other french properties. On the contrary, by selling one of them we have made the remaining three much more manageable and sustainable for the long run.
We actually didn’t have to put The house on sale at all. A good friend of ours who is on the Magny council approached us because the village wanted to purchase La Maison Des Deux Clochers. They plan to use it to rent out to young families and generate money for the village coffers. This all just felt RIGHT. We agreed on everything right away - a win-win for everyone involved.
Our life is BUSY and we want to travel, spend time with our girls, and I want to write.
When I was lying in that table in the O.R. for my transplant, just before they out me to sleep, I realized that none of us ever truly owns anything. We just use it for a while, then pass it on when we ourselves pass on. I believe all we are allowed to take with us is love and our experiences. All we leave behind are things we have created and the memories people have of us.
I am so satisfied that by creating La Maison des Deux Clochers and sharing it so many others now have special memories of this spot. Memories of love and romance, sex and conception (more than one baby was conceived there), delicious food and succulent wine, laughter and discovery, even fights and jetlagged sleeps. So much LIFE has happened there, and if Franck and I facilitated that, even a tiny bit, I am thrilled to my core.
I also feel like because I have written My Grape Escape, the story of our first little house in France has been captured for evermore. The circle is complete.