Constance Oldfield Worley

Profile Updated: April 25, 2010
Residing In: Chef-Boutonne France
Spouse/Partner: Dan
Occupation: Retired librarian
Children: daughter, Marie, born 1968

After graduating from high school, I attended DMLC through half of my junior year when I accepted an emergency call to teach in Green Bay, WI. It was a good experience, but I decided that teaching wasn't for me and instead pursued a course in librarian-ship at the University of Minnesota. While there, I met Dan, whom I married. He was studying theater arts, but after graduation decided that the theater life wasn't for him and took up printing.

We lived in Minneapolis for 6 years during which time my daughter, Marie, was born. Then, fed up with snow and cold, mosquitoes and heat, we moved to Seattle, Washington. Dan worked as a printer and I worked at the Health Sciences Library at the U. of Washington.

We were there 10 years during which time we bought 9 undeveloped acres in the foothills of the Cascades. We had some of it cleared and built a house near the small town of Monroe. We moved there in 1984 and stayed for 18 years. We raised lambs, rabbits, and chickens, had a large vegetable garden and a cider orchard. We continued to work in Seattle and commuted there each day. Marie grew up, married and had a son, Martin. She lived with us for 2 years after her divorce, when she remarried and moved to St. Paul, MN where she now lives.

Dan and I plodded along. During that time, I re-established contact with the German family with whom I had lived while an exchange student. In 1991, the grand-daughter of the family came to stay with us for a year as an exchange student in Monroe High School. In 1993 we made our first European trip to visit with Esther and her family. We also traveled too Florence and to Paris. Two years later we returned, this time to Paris first, where we became intrigued by the idea of having a place in France. There were more visits back and forth and in 2000, we found and bought a house in rural, west-central France in the village of Fontenille.
And as of August 2009 moved to the nearby town of Chef-Boutonne. still quite rural, but with shops.

I retired at the end of 2001 and Dan in August of 2002. In September 2002, we packed all our stuff into a container and drove to St. Paul where we stayed with Marie for a month. On Oct. 22, we flew from St. Paul to Paris, drove down to Fontenille and waited for our furniture to arrive. It finally did, in December, somewhat later than expected due to a dock strike in Seattle. We've been here ever since and love it.

The life style is rural and slower. The food and wine excellent. Our health care is some of the best in the world. The climate is marine, we're about 50 miles inland from the Atlantic coast. A drawback is the language which has proved to be very difficult, but we are slowly learning. Stop by sometime if you're in the area, which is about 250 miles south east of Paris, the closest town is Chef-Boutonne, the only large cities nearby are Poitiers, Niort, and La Rochelle.

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Posted: Mar 07, 2014 at 11:00 PM
Dan and me, 2007, visiting in the Pacific Northwest