Last year a sea storm delayed the Denkerses' departure and the arrival of the summer's caretakers, a Pennsylvania couple in their 60s. "You have to be a family that takes things in stride, and we discovered that we are," Harry says. Lawrene also learned something about herself. "Taking three months off in the middle of our lives seemed irresponsible, but it became the best decision we could have made at that time. I learned that you don't need much stuff to get along, and that people are more important than place."
Judith Reitman is the author of several nonfiction books, and her award-winning articles have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly and The Village Voice. She is spending increasing time in France.