You might not think about it, but Provence also knows winter, which usually starts around Christmas. In the upper part of the Provence region we have a house that's been in the family for several generations. It is a “Mas” meaning in Provencal language a house that has been extended in size over the generations. When I was a kid it was already as it is today. We were usually there in the summer, and very rarely came during wintertime. But this year it is Christmas and snow is part of the scenery. The only way to get to the house during this time of year is to walk up this small unpaved road.
The property uses water from a natural source, still located on the outside of the house. There is no electricity so it is candles in the evening. We can’t sleep there now as the walls of the house are so cold it takes several days for the wood fire to heat the space before you can feel comfortable inside. But on a sunny winter day, after a long walk in the forest, having a picnic lunch on the side of the house at the warmest hour is really enjoyable. And that's exactly what we did.
In summer there is more activity. Sheep are eating the grass on the upper fields. In the lower fields of the property, the grass is cut, dried naturally and stored for the animals to eat during winter. Condors are flying in the air and plunge down like a missile when they identify an animal they can capture in bring back to the nest. Wild strawberries and huckleberries grow in specific areas that we know and they come back every year with a variable crop. There is fresh milk just a few hours old from a farm below. Even if the coffee doesn’t come from the espresso machine the “café au lait” is very enjoyable.