You’ve been practicing your French for a month; you try to instinctively remember the differences between je veu, je vu, je va, je vais and je voudrais.
You’ve gotten someone to pick up your mail and water the plants. Your grass is cut and your gutters are newly clean.
You had that pesky tooth filled (it still hurts). (“You don’t want to get over there and have to deal with a damn French dentist who can’t speak English,” said your dentist.)
You’ve packed your boules, ready to play petanque where it started, wondering how you’ll measure up to les indigenes.
You have power converters, ipod, passport, les cartes de credit, a few restaurant recommendations. You have car and train reservations nailed down (merci, Reba!).
You’ve read A Year in Provence.
You discover "prelude" is in fact a French word.
Finally, sitting on Air France flight 681 at Hartsfield/Jackson (“Once you step on that plane, you’re in France,” said a friend), you can relax: if you didn’t pack it, plan it or prepare for it, you ain’t got it. You'll be gone for a month.
Après soixante ans, you’re on your way to France -- spécifiquement Provence -- pour la première fois.