Thursday, February 24, 2011

Shutters

My love affair with shutters began during my very first trip to France in 2005. After a long and exhausting trip (a story for my memoirs!), we finally arrived at our destination in Provence long after dark and in a pouring rain. I fell into bed at my chambre d'hotes and was totally unconscious until almost 9am the next day. As soon as I climbed out of bed, I walked to the window and threw open the shutters. Emotion caught in my throat as I viewed the beautiful tile rooftops of the village and gazed into a cloudless, brilliantly blue Provencal sky. I was never disappointed, no matter what the weather, when I performed my morning 'opening the shutters' ritual. And when I'd return in the afternoon after a day of sightseeing, I'd  find those same shutters pulled closed. My hostess, Dani, always shut them against the bright sun and intense heat of the afternoon. The light filtering in through the cracks and the still, warm air of the room lulled me into nap mode every day.

Here at Jean's house, opening the shutters is also a morning ritual. If the weather is very cold, they stay closed longer to help retain some house warmth. Some days at Laury's, I'd never open them at all. As day fades into evening, I close them to keep out the cold....

Like many of the other village houses, le Chalet has a shuttered front door. After our last trip out before bed, I pull the shutters closed behind Lucie and me and throw the bolt, making us snug and secure for the night.

And as an added barrier against the cold, I pull the heavy velvet drapes across the door just as many other villagers are doing on these chilly late winter nights. Such an easy and practical way to keep cozy!
There's more about shutters to come in future blog posts, so be sure to return!

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