Letter from an "Irishman" in Provence

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Sunset in Provence.JPG

Sun sets behind the Dentelles de Montmirail in Provence. Dany Mitchell photo.

Remember Dany Mitchell? Remember the Trattoria Mitchelli in Pioneer Square? G-gone, but not forgotten.

We said fairwell to Dany on New Year's Eve, when the Tratt finally served its penultimate penne, then its last lasagna and final fettuccine. "Ciao, Dany," we called, as we clinked a couple of concluding Chiantis, as Mitchell headed toward SeaTac and left Seattle behind to join his wife, Sherry, in retirement.

Not some Florida retirement home, though. Not for our Dany. The Mitchells have taken up residence in the south of France, in a village called Le Barroux, population 574, in the heart of Provence.

"Stay in touch!" we cried. And now he has sent this letter:

Dany's house in Provence.JPG"Life here in France has been good to us. We have gathered around us a wonderful group of friends made up of Brits, French, Dutch, Scots, Belgians, Colombians, Latvians, and a few Americans. As most of you know, we are caretakers for a property in the hills and vineyards (très calme) outside of the village of Le Barroux, Haut Vaucluse, Provence with views of Mt Ventoux and the Dentelles de Montmirail about 45 minutes from Avignon. The house is owned by an American couple who come to France for two months in the summer when we find another space to occupy.

"Since I arrived to join Sherry last year we have been able to establish a small vacation property management company that includes lots of bricolage (handyman work), addressing the needs of the owners arrivals and departures, sewing projects, overseeing remodeling projects including translations between architects and workmen and the English speaking owners. Basically you name it, we do it here at Toujours À Votre Service. We only have a few clients, but we seem to be meeting new people all the time and word of our work seems to be spreading."

Mitchell closes out.JPGAnd then,just when you think it can't get any better, the mailman arrives. Mind you, Dany knows about tedium, frustration and bureaucracy. Any small business owner will recognize the anguish in this picture (taken a couple of days before Dany shuttered the Tratt)..

"It took almost three years of gathering official paperwork and waiting, lots of waiting, but the paperwork arrived in the mailbox at 251 Chemin du Temple yesterday morning bringing a huge sense of relief and a few tears. The next step is application for an Irish passport which should only take a few weeks. With the Irish passport comes the ability to work legally here in France as a citizen of the EU. Working legally will allow Sherry and me to become part of the affordable French health system (and also not have to worry about being deported)."

Seems to me this is a happy ending, like in the movies, no? Dany has died and gone to heaven. He is at the right hand of God, in France. Back here on earth, he had a a few good years with the Tratt. The last few were pretty terrible, but Dany stuck it out, and now he has his reward.

Oh, the luck of the Irish!

1 Comment

Hi Dani....good luck with the Irish passport...my husband is doing the same!

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This page contains a single entry by Cornichon published on May 27, 2011 8:00 AM.

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