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Ne changez pas de cheval au milieu de la rivière. --Abraham Lincoln
Don't change horses in midstream.
A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE
by Kristi Espinasse
My Mom once told me to take a new path each day. I never forgot her suggestion, although I took it littéralement the first time around (taking an alternate route to work the next day, enjoying the change of scenery there in the beautiful Arizona desert).
My wise Mamacita is also a horsewoman, and though she doesn't jump thoroughbreds any longer, she did get on a horse a few weeks ago, after it trotted right past her tin-roofed casa in the foothills of Puerto Vallarta. As nervous as I was seeing Mom on that horse (via the photo she sent with WhatsApp), it was yet another reminder to changer mon chemin chaque jour: change my path, change my schedule, change my habits--autrement dit--to shake things up in an otherwise predictable daily existence.
There is a reward in changing our habitudes, but I can't take credit for a recent gift that came of this. It was thanks to my daughter that I ventured out before daybreak on a Sunday morning. You see, dear Reader, I was on a "guilt errand" (the pastries I was after were my way of saying sorry for flaking out on our dinner date. Jackie, her boyfriend, Jérémie, and I were set to go to the brand new Casino (and its restaurant) here in La Ciotat, but by the end of the day I was worn out. So I gave the young couple my credit card (for a meal, not for gambling) and bid them bon appétit!
The next morning I felt terrible for not joining them (in the end they went to MacDo, followed by a game of Monopoly here at home). To ease the guilt I hatched the "Pâtisserie Plan": surprise the young couple with fresh pâtisseries--a delicious selection of pain au chocolat, croissants, pains au raisins (and whatever else the bakery tosses into its mix of mini-size brioches (did you know croissants come in mini sizes? They do! 12 for 4 euros 50....)
And this is how I happened upon the most amazing scene! The boulangerie-pâtisserie in question is located en face de la mer--right across from the sea....where, for the first time, I saw horses in training! I leave you with a few images of these magnificent chevaux and a few reminders: when a young couple of the smartphone generation wants to play Monopoly with little OLD you, don't miss out, as I did. And, finally, each day, changer de chemin.
Post note: please forgive any errors today. I lost my entire story and had to rewrite it. Grrrh! To cool down from this aggravation, I went for a walk and, while walking along the sandy beach, snowflakes fell from the sky! Il neige ici à La Ciotat!
entraîneur = trainer, coach, instructor
le cheval = horse
autrement dit = said another way
une habitude = habit, custom
bon appétit = enjoy your meal
MacDo = what the French call McDonalds
la boulangerie-pâtisserie = bakery (serving both bread and pastries)
Horse of Pride - One of my favorite books!
Le Cheval d'Orgeuil - (the same book, in French)
Embryolisse--the moisturizing cream I use (and so does my daughter), try it!
Saddles and horse supplies available on Amazon.
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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