We were talking about how your personal and home life has changed with your second life.
Well, and I have more time to spend at my home in a small village in Provence. It’s an old house that was actually refurbished on its original medieval foundation. I bought it ten years ago and completely renovated it as a safe haven for me to retreat to and as an investment. I had lived in Spain as a child and my daughter was married in France and I think France has the best medical care which is important to me and my husband.
We also recently did a major renovation on our house in Westchester (NY) just because we have lived here for so long and things were falling apart. We took a chance with a young architect and aside from the repairs and a new roof, we added a new garage, closets and an apartment for my mother who lives in Texas and will be visiting more often. We also opened up the overall space and painted everything white. It’s airier now and I feel I have more space to breath. And I had already done over my bathrooms. I love my shower with its massage jets. It’s where I get my best ideas for my novels……the stories I’m spinning and the characters I’m creating come together there. It’s where they first become my friends.
What about friends….your real living friends not the characters from your books?
I have lots of friends, some dating back to my childhood but fewer friends close to home except when I’m in France. There are a lot of expats in my small village community and it’s easier to have and hold friendships there. The atmosphere is more conducive to long walks and chats in outdoor cafes and town squares. I started my non-profit with friends from my village and you will find aspects of their personalities in the characters from my novel.
What are your thoughts on aging?
On a good day I don’t think about it. On a bad day I think I have every cancer imaginable. Seriously, I like the natural way European women age. They don’t feel the need to look 20 years younger. Women who take care of their bodies naturally are more appealing and real than those who feel the need to have plastic surgery. My mother is 86 but looks 15 to 20 years younger because she’s still active and engaged. But I do still dye my hair and last time as a kind of homage to my age I did have my colorist leave the gray around my ears. Any final words for the other members of our community?
I think if you keep engaged as I’ve been saying it’s possible to be happier and more fulfilled in one’s second life. Thanks to advances in medical care and technology we can change our direction midstream. It’s great to be part of a community and a generation that has this opportunity.