Things to sit beside: the ancient fireplace, the whitewashed stonework, the wraparound leather couch, flannel sheets, heated ceramic floors, stacks of wood, pages of other people's novels that once I read for homework I throw into the fire
Plans each day that are the townie equivalent of a socialite's calendar: Christmas champagne here, chocolate there, painting crafts with the girls in the bookstore, walking the tiny dog on cobbled streets as people prepare their dinners and the aromas waft out the shutters and into the ether, Boxing Day lunch on a lazy suzan, thirteen people for a place setting for caramelized chicken studded with sesames, pots of crispy potatoes loaded with ham and cream, strong and dark coffee and neverending wine
Things to watch: low-hanging sunsets, the fleeting green and white expanses of the fields, farmers and their families piling the pruned grapevines to burn, my parents at the center of this circle with loads and loads of stylish friends and making jokes that even my brother and I find funny (are we getting old? are the children of all the townspeople and expats who set up little shops and bookstores who have retired from a life of fashion magazines and film careers ever going to rival their parents?), that tiny dog again running through the snow on his tiny paws and sigh to yourself though you said you would never, ever love a little dog, and now you kind of do
Things to do: be happily dragged from place to place, eat, drink, and be merry, watch movies good and bad, check email just once a day, stare at your darkened phone that will never work here (no Droids in France), walk that tiny dog and stop at every child who wants to pet him, heat up pizzas in the stove, pour Orangina over ice, dress for formal parties, dress for informal parties, try to use the tiny hairdryer (not as cute as the tiny dog), run out of clothes to dress in and start wearing flannels to lunch, etch cardboard squares with Japanese cartoons and magenta swirls, have long talks with everyone, read without writing, make French friends, Dutch friends, and several Brits, jokingly flirt with engaged men (they started it), and hey, flirt with the old men too (they appreciate it the most), wonder how I'll ever date someone for real again because I have turned into a massive flirt and all my old boyfriends always hated how I flirted before, which was already alot, let's face it.
Things to want: more days, and nothing more