Chief Grape in his tractor. (Photo taken earlier this month.) The vines are now leafy green and those bushes, in the foreground, are covered with sweet-scented, golden, Scottish-broomy buds.
Un update on Jean-Marc's test results in today's story: "Light at the end of the Tonnerre"...
Correction: The pronunciation for chocotte, or "to have the jitters" (and nothing to do with "chochotte", or "a fussbudget / fusspot"), is updated here.
le tonnerre (toh nair)
Le tonnerre ne vient pas au même moment que l'éclair.
Thunder does not come at the same time as lightning.
un coup de tonnerre = clap, peal, of thunder, thunderbolt
un tonnerre d'applaudissements = thunderous applause
du tonnerre = terrific, wonderful, fantastic
Tonnerre de Dieu! (or "de Brest!")! = heavens above, or hell's bells!
A Day in a French Life by Kristin Espinasse
"Light at the End of the Tonnerre"
After the pounding thunderclap, I burrowed farther into my husband's arms. Lying there we looked out the bedroom window to the flash of lumière.
Out of blackness, the vineyard became illuminated, every leafy vine coming into view, the stones beneath them glistening. Overhead, a jagged hand of lightning pointed downward, like a conductor's swift command, and the field below was awash in the melody of light.
I listened to Jean-Marc count quietly: un, deux, trois...
A breath of French numbers tickled the back of my neck.
... quatre, cinq, six...
I recognized his "distance of lightning" calculation. The seconds, divided, correspond to the number of kilometers between us and that threatening bolt.
... onze, douze, treize...
The counting trailed off. In the wait between time and space, I asked Jean-Marc to repeat the nurse's exact words concerning the test results for the kidney biopsy he had two weeks ago.
I repeated his answer, as I had when we first heard it, and again in the hours between then and now. "Rien d'alarmant"....
"Oui, Chérie," Jean-Marc agreed, his arms reenforcing his hold on me.
We lie there in peace, having stopped counting the distance of lightning. After twelve seconds and twelve long days that menacing thunderbolt never came.
Post note: Apart from the assurance that "rien d'alarmant" showed up in the biopsy results, we have no further details from the medical exam. Jean-Marc is to return to the doctor's in three weeks (the soonest the nurse could schedule him in) for an evaluation.
la lumière = light
un, deux, trois... = one, two, three...
quatre, cinq, six... = four, five, six
onze, douze, treize... = eleven, twelve, thirteen...
rien d'alarmant = nothing alarming
oui, Chérie = yes, Dear
"Flower Boy". Smokey-Doodle says: You always hear about Flower Girls...
New, in books on France:
A French standby. Strong, durable, all Emile Henry cookware can be taken directly from the freezer to the hot oven, can go under a broiler and in the microwave; freezer and dishwasher safe. The natural clay is unsurpassed for conducting and retaining heat. Color choices: blue or red. Order here.
Thank you for the time you've spent reading my column. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that ongoing support from readers like you helps me continue doing what I love most: sharing these missives from France. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi