Jeanne, your words couldn't be more true. Read on in today's story...
Tirer sa révérence
: to go, to pass away
Beautifully renovated and decorated home in the Luberon. 4 bedrooms and a study with a sofa bed, each with ensuite (full) bath. This villa comfortably sleeps 7-9 adults.
AUDIO FILE: (please check back later, all the Francophones in the house are occupied and unable to record at the moment!) Meantime, improve your French pronunciation with Exercises in French phonetics. Click here.
A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE... by Kristin Espinasse
On Monday, during a pause from planting his baby vines, Jean-Marc looked over at me and said: Aujourd'hui ça fait 30 ans que mon père est décédé. (Today marks the 30th anniversary of my father's death.)
My mind rushed back in time, to a 17-year-old boy who grew up overnight, to become tuteur, or legal guardian, of his small family....
Searching for comforting words, I took my husband in my arms, but it was he who volunteered the next thought....
Je suis content de planter aujourd'hui. I am happy to be planting this vineyard today.
Post note: nowadays giant tractors exist for the task of drilling, planting, and even watering baby vines via a three-in-one process. Wheras the planting machines pour 5 liters of water per plant, Jean-Marc is giving each baby 2 liters. Yesterday, he managed to water 600 vines. Today several hundred more--always with the same serene look on his face, and such a change from his usual hectic pace.
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This hillside vineyard has many restanques, or stone walls. Some of them are crumbling, now, owing to vegetation or heavy rains. On the ground, you see the little red wax tops of our newly-planted mourvedre, cinsault, and ugni blanc vines. The baby vines are no bigger than the stem of a wine glass, and in three years they'll fill one!
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Photo notes: in one of the pictures above, you can hardly see the one-year-old vines among the "weeds." Did you know that one way to tell whether a vineyard is using chemicals or not is the absense of weeds? Jean-Marc regularly weeds by hand, leaving many of the mauvaises herbes in place. They protect the soil and keep insect life going.
A planter's hands. Look at that tan!
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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