Given the choice or traveling in the rain or not, NOT is usually the choice but it sometimes happens that we must press on . . . As it did one long, long drizzly day just to be in the port at Joinville before Aug 15, Assumption day, one of the few days in the year when France literally closes. We wanted to make a 2 day stop at the Joinville port which is supposed to have electricity . . . But at the end of that long dreary day we found all the electrical connections on the quai were broken. Still, what lovely relief it was to be moored before the heavy rain and gusty wind grab the day in a grip of wild sogginess, just to spend a quiet afternoon reading.
Joinville did turn out to be a good stop . . . The bright blue sky replaced the dreary gray one and the entire town celebrated! Or were the colorful streamers of flags draped across every street for the Assumption?
It was as we were looking from the new bridge down the river to the old bridge that we had a rather touching encounter with an elderly lady taking a rest from her morning stroll. She greeted us and we did the same which started a conversation about the hard times in France economically, the flight of the young people from the small towns like Joinville for places with work opportunities which inadvertently leaves the older folks with fewer services and thus a harder life. As we stood there the mail delivery person had a familiar cheery hello for her as did other passersby. She was lovely. And before parting she told our fortune . . .
The church in Joinville was interesting as they all are. But one feature stood out here as different from all the other churches. While many have guest books, this one included an apology and plea for forgiveness.