To win the mysterious French antique, on offer in today's story, simply say hello, here in the comments box + let us know where you are writing in from. After randomly choosing a number, I will announce a winner on Friday. More about the giveaway, in today's story column.
Photo by Alison Johnston Lohry (Note to self: next time you post a photo of your person, choose any other post title... besides "Scatterbrained"! P.S. do you see a scar on my forehead? Ta da! This photo was taken four months after the first operation and a week before the second operation, the one mentioned in the previous post.)
: scatty, scatterbrained; flighty
Audio File: listen to our daughter, Jackie, pronouce today's word and example sentence: Download MP3 or Wav file
Il est bien étourdi; mais, entre nous, son coeur est bon.
He is quite featherbrained; but, between you and me, he has a good heart. —Voltaire, Complete Works of Voltaire
A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse
I am having a fickle of a time deciding what to write about today. It isn't a matter of writer's block, or la page blanche, the difficulty here is l'embarras du choix! So many possibilities! Which path to choose when it is just too tempting to amble down each windy road and lose oneself in that whimsical place affectionately known as "Just Around The Corner"?
Enough dreaming, it's time to choose a topic! Let's see...
I might tell you about our daughter's renewed passion for jumping (BMX bikes, this time—and not horses!). Jackie's hobby has me aching to line our concrete terrasse with mattresses! I watch, from the kitchen window, as our 14-year-old builds a new jump, adding yet another vineyard stone beneath the wobbly ramp (a repurposed wooden shutter) after each adrenaline-rich stunt....
Then again, I might write about some of the readers who come to visit. But then there have been so many.... To write about one would be to leave out the others. Quel dilemme! Perhaps I could backtrack... beginning with a photo from the most recent visit? (See the end of this post.)
Encore une fois, I had thought to write a story about a thank-you gift, the one I am trying to think up for the surgeon's assistante that I see this afternoon (stitches come out today!). What to give someone whom I know nothing about, but whose gentle confidence has touched me? Du vin? Des fleurs?
I should also update you with the good news: Max, 16, passed part of his driver's exam!: oui, il a réussi le code! This brings him to the "hands-on" part of the exam: the actual driving with an instructor! (such a relief to turn over the co-pilot seat—still wet from my sweaty, gripping hands—to a trained teacher!)
As for writing topics, I also thought this might be a good time to bring up the subject of email... please forgive me if you have sent in a note and if I haven't gotten back to you! I am trying, but no matter how many activities I cut out, in order to devote time to answering email, I still can't manage to keep up with incoming messages. I feel terrible about this... please know that I read and appreciate every single word you send, whether via email or via the comments box. Thank you so much!
There were about four or five or fifteen other lovely things, in addition to your treasured notes, that I wanted to talk to you about today, but time is up! So I will get to the fun part of this scatterbrained offering, this anti-essay that ran away to that curious "Just around the corner" place...
The G I V E A W A Y !
In thanks for reading this French word journal, I want to offer you the chance to win a little treasure! The trésor is currently a secret, but here's a hint: anyone would love it: young or "wizened", man or woman. If you like French antiques, you'll love this historic memento, one from my collection... one I adore and would love to offer you!
You might frame the antique... or wear it (making an eccentric necklace or an avant-garde pin?); you could put it in a glass box or make a whimsical collage.... You could carry it around in your pocket as a lucky charm or use it to mark a page in a book (never mind the bulk!). It could make a cool paper weight... though you might have to tie an extra something to it.
To win this antique simply leave a greeting here, in the comments box, along with your city. Example: "Hola from Jules in Puerto Vallarta!"
I will post the winner's name on Friday. No matter where you live in the world, you may enter the giveaway, by leaving a comment here. (Sorry, but no comments via email).
(section under construction... please check back!)
la page blanche = "the white page" or "le blocage de l'écrivain" (writer's block)
l'embarras du choix = a great variety of choices, an embarrassing number of choices
la terrasse = a paved area (sidewalk) or patio
quel dilemme = what a dilemma
encore une fois = then again
assistant(e) = assistant
du vin = some wine
des fleurs = some flowers
oui, il a réussi le code = yes, he passed the driver's exam
le trésor = treasure
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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety