Les Gens are the secret to a long life + faire d'une pierre deux coups
Maraicher: Flirting with the produce guy? Non. C'était autre chose.

The French are always saying this word. But they're NOT talking about money!

My desk and almond blossoms
Parlez peu, écoutez beaucoup, voyez tout et faites en sorte d'en profiter. Hear this in French and see the translation, below. (picture of my former "writing desk with a view". I just learned, yesterday, that we have an almond tree in our new back yard...after it bloomed this week!)

PROFITER

    : make the most of
    : enjoy

Click here to listen to today's word and phrase with "profiter"

Parlez peu, écoutez beaucoup, voyez tout et faites en sorte d'en profiter.
Speak little, listen a lot, see everything and make sure to enjoy it all.


A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE...

    by Kristi Espinasse

My father, known for his sunny disposition, swears his secret to happiness is the fact that he can't remember what happened yesterday. I get this forgetful trait from him (I would have preferred to inherit Dad's happy-go-lucky gene instead)!

When I can remember to, I try to exercise my mind before falling to sleep by using the age-old prière d'examen or examination of conscience. It is a review of the day in which one tries to glean lessons from the all the bumps and scrapes....as well as the high notes of the day!

Reimagining the ignation examen

               (So enjoying the ideas in this book! Order here)

Such a day in review is a worthwhile and valuable tool or outil for living a more meaningful life. But a small snag (or two...) kept me from continuing this thoughtful practice throughout January: One, my memory (turns out ce n'est pas fastoche to remember every event of the day). 

The other thing that deterred me from examining my day, was the rub-your-nose-in-it factor. The truth is, January got off to a bad start and I blame it all on jet lag. C'est tout la faute du décalage horaire! We landed in Marseilles in a million little pieces, just in time for my belle-mère's funeral, the next day. I'll never forget my sister-in-law meeting us at the airport. And my daughter's boyfriend was there too, to surprise her with a bouquet of flowers!  

We all left the airport in two separate cars (the lovebirds in the other). I sat in the back seat as Cécile drove Jean-Marc and me home among the bistro lights in Marseilles (we'd gotten lost and were making our way out of the city's maze). Above us, the night surely held stars, but I could not see them from the backseat window. Already my mind was fogging over from exhaustion, dehydration, and grief. That, in a nutshell, is my excuse for January's grumpy beginnings--and the emotional scrapes that followed (how easy it is to take everything out on the person closest to you, the one you are wedlocked to!).

Through it all, my belle-mère's voice was as clear as the North Star: Ma ChérieMa Chérie. "My Dear, My Dear"..... Consoling, comforting, all-forgiving (if a little feisty at times: "You could have visited me more often!"). Yes, I certainly could have

After my own feisty month, I'm ready to return to a nightly "day in review." I don't want to underestimate the littlest thing, bonne ou mauvaise, that happened across my path today. Not even the whisper in my mind, right now--the words my belle-mère spoke the last time I saw her: "My Dear, Enjoy your journey." Ma chérie, profite bien de ton voyage! 


Sunflowers or tournesol from our vineyard
FRENCH VOCABULARY

un outil = tool
fastoche = easy
le décalage horaire = jet lag
la belle-mère = mother-in-law, stepmother
ma chéri(e) = my dear
bon(ne) = good
mauvais(e) = bad
profite de ton voyage = enjoy your journey

The Bonjour Effect: The Secret Codes of French Conversation Revealed. Click to order.

French Jacquard Dish Towels, order here.

Do you know the popular French breakfast drink, "Ricoré"? My belle-mère and I used to drink the 60/40 (chicory/coffee) mix all the time! You can order it, and many other French delectables here

Smelling the scent of capers and caper bush on santorini island Greece leather sandals
    Enjoying the beauty of a marvelous câprier or caper plant.

 

Caper bush on Corsica with capers and flowers
I leave you with a beautiful caper blossom. A bientôt!

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 
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