But I don't expect that will happen, and I don't know if that particular area has ever flooded before. When I was growing up, that area hadn't yet been developed. It was just marsh and woods. Ma has only lived there for a few years. The house I grew up in and where Ma lived for more than 50 years never was subject to serious flooding.
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Have I mentioned the U.S. dollar exchange rate against the euro recently? At last check, the euro was worth "only" $1.42. That's a big improvement. Two or three months ago, it took $1.58 to buy a euro. That represents a 10% fall in the cost of the European currency, and that is not negligible. I hope the dollar can get back to the $1.25 level against the euro this fall and winter — if not better.
With the price of oil going back down and the dollar moving up, we are definitely going to wait a while before we buy fuel oil for our central heating system. We have some left from last winter, and we have a huge woodpile. Unless it gets bitter-cold, we will be fine.
Yesterday was actually a major milestone in my life. It was my "half-birthday" — in other words, I turned 59½ years old. What's the significance of that? Well, it means I am now officially retired and no longer just unemployed. I can start drawing a retirement pension from the money I put aside in a 401-K plan during all those years I worked in California. I'm happy to have made it through these first five years in France, and I'm still here.
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I want to describe one of these meals our neighbors and friends in the village invite us to from time to time. I mean a more intimate gathering, not a huge party. Our friend Gisèle had us and three other friends over for lunch this past Thursday, as I've said. The occasion... well, there wasn't one, really. It was just a nice way to spend an afternoon. More about that tomorrow...