Favorite word for car in French
Quelle idée! = What a crazy idea! Or was it?

apprendre à se connaître

Meetup-Kristin Espinasse-April-2014

From left to right: Kristi, Carole, Nancy, Bernd, Jill, Agnès, Charles, and Jean-Marc. And behind the camera, Charles's wife, Martha. We are in the Crêperie du Hameau, which overlooks the sweet fishing port of Madrague, just east of Cassis. Don't miss Jill's wonderful write up--and you'll love her "vintage buying in France" blog--click here.

apprendre à se connaître

: to get to know one another, oneself

Audio File: Listen to Jean-Marc read: 
Download MP3 or Wav

Apprendre à se connaître, à comprendre sa personnalité, ses réactions, ses ressentis, ses blocages, c'est une autre façon de grandir et de profiter pleinement de sa vie. To get to know oneself, to understand one's personality, one's reactions, one's feelings, one's mental blocks, is another way to grow and fully enjoy one's life. --psychologies.com

A Day in a FRENCH Life... by Kristin Espinasse

Do you know that feeling when you wake up in the morning and, still dumbed by sleep, you are eerily at peace?

And then, petit à petit, reality creeps in. You remember the lab test that came back positive or the dogs that went fugitive or the person beside you--the one you are no longer speaking to. 

Seized, you wither like a stolen rose--circumstances are out of your control. A familiar voice whispers to you: "The doctors will screw up, traffic's run over your pup, and your husband's had enough!"

The trick, Fellow Traveler, is to run faster than the rose-petalled robbers! Hope is your engine. Get out of bed and keep moving through your day UNTIL YOU HEAR BARKING ON THE HORIZON.

Everything will come back to you if it's meant to: health and loved ones--including your damn husband. 

(Chou-chou, if you're reading--this song's for you: Like To Get To Know You Again by Edie Brickell)

Comments welcome here. If you are new to this journal, catch up on our cross-cultural story in the books Blossoming in Provence and First French Essais

French Vocabulary:
  petit à petit = little by little
  chouchou = sweetie

Chief Grape
Damn handsome, and I can't argue there :-) I made a video of him on his vintage tractor. Don't miss it here.

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A beautiful lesson of life, beautifully put. Keep moving until you see the signs of the return...
Thanks for the nod at Le Trip! So glad to be able to meet you. Bon weekend!


The easy thing to do is sit with eyes glued to le ordinateur, thinking that some "sign" will appear here. But you have the right idea. Keep moving. Keep busy. Get out into the open air and breathe deeply.
Loved the moving picture, with its saturated colors giving, not just the tractor, but the whole video vignette a vintage look. And the song was heartrendingly gorgeous. I must add that to my Favorites playlist. :)
All will be well, Kristi. You've come too far for anything else to be "reality."

Chris Allin

Oh my, Kristin. This one reaches deep down inside~

Eileen deCamp

Hi Kristin,
Looks like a fun meet-up! Is all the renovations, yard work, etc. getting to you? Maybe you need a little vacation with JM somewhere. Remember the Serenity Prayer? Take care and things will work out.

Karen from Towson, Md

Yes, I know that feeling. Except for the test that came back positive. :-(


It's sure not for wimps.


So beautifully and soulfully written. Makes our hearts melt, because it's a place we've been, and, hopefully, traveled through to adventures of the more rewarding kind.

Cynthia Lewis

Kristin, you are so kindhearted, thoughtful and sensitive that you can see and feel situations more clearly than most. This can be a strength and a heartache, too. You are so right to get up and keep going, for these few days will pass and life will be right again. You are in my thoughts. (This from someone who has been married for fifty-six years.) My best wishes,Cynthia

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you for these warm words which, as Natalia might say, really hug me! I look forward to telling you about how yesterday panned out. Meantime, enjoy your weekend.


I hope all went well yesterday. You're so right. The only thing you can do is put one foot in front of the other and keep going. I've been married for 46 years, and it's been my experience that storms pass, though it's hard to remember that when you're right in the middle of one.


Karen from Phoenix

I hope all is okay. We can only try and stay calm and weather the storms that roll in as they shall pass.

Big hugs your way.


Faye Stampe, Gleneden Beach, OR

Hi Kristin,

What a lovely post --- and so true. Very good advice! I used to do marriage counseling (100 hours) and it is the same issue: communication. It's not about the goofy things, it's about respect, love & friendship. Passion always comes and goes -----it's the friendship that is critical. And it is one day, one hour at a time. Marriage is work --- we have to work at it, and hang in there.

Stay well!

Trina, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

Short and sweet ... deep ... post.

This from a Hallmark card I saved to frame:

"Love is like an umbrella. Sometimes it shelters you, sometimes it pokes you in the eye."

Be well dear (never met) cyberspace friend. (We all consider you friend, I am sure!)

Trina, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

oops ... that was supposed to be "sometimes it shelters you from the storm." Well, we all have our days :)


I've not commented before but your fabulous video + music was soooo wonderful. I feel as though I am there.

Kristin Espinasse

Learning so much from the collective wisdom of cyberspace friends, as Trina calls us here. Thank you. I posted more about yesterdays wake-up call here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152004234667163set=a.49507832162.73897.684477162type=1theater  

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you, Leslie! 

Betty Gleason

I believe God gives us our travails so that we can have faith, not worries. We are only in control of how they are handled - with love, concern, compassion & chuckles where appropriate. You have those in abundance; all will be well. Hugs.

Susan Klee

I am absolutely sure that 89% of the women in this world wake up 46% of the days of their lives, turn their heads, see a man lying there, and say to themselves: "Who the heck *is* that? Do I know him? I'd certainly rather not!"
Luckily for those men, the feeling dissipates. It does come back, and the women are always surprised by it, and it goes away again.

Kristin Espinasse

Susan, MDR (LOL!!)

Betty, absolutely love what you say in lines 1 and 2 -- and very much appreciate lines 3 and 4!

joie in carmel-by-the-sea

Life is a big white fluffy ball with a few dirty spots on it. They can be washed out with a little work.

Kristin Espinasse

Joie, delightfully put! Love the picture this paints :-)



You might want to alter the photo caption to read: 'Carole, Kristi, ...' rather than 'Kristi, Carole, ... '.

(Susan. The same percentages might equally apply to the men in this world!)


Kristin Espinasse

Nick, those percentages definately go both ways! Re the photo, I hesitated, then listed us *exactly* left to right. 


Our dear Kristi,
What a beautiful and moving post today!
Your words(and photos!) always touch us all,your fortunate readers!
I do NOT have words to express how happy I am to know that something(anything!) I have said (or written)to you has brought a smile and been a hug!
THANK YOU for telling me this.Made my day!
There is a quote that really helps me when things go sideways in life:"The mind is its own place,and in itself can make a heaven of hell,or hell of heaven" (Paradise Lost,John Milton)
Sending prayers and wishes that you don't have any of those days!
Natalia XO
PS What a terrific meet up!!


Cher, Kristi, I hope that positive lab test turns into a good ending. Those darn emotional roller-coasters with our relationships . . . can be quite draining, but, I'm sure all will be well in the end. Keep running away from those robbers of your well-being and stay strong! Sending virtual hugs your way! :)


Love this post, Kristin, and I suspect that most- if not all- of us women have at some point, awakened and asked ourselves who that stranger was lying next to us!

Also, so impressed that you're keeping up-to-date on NY gossip and by extension, the music world. Edie's song is spot-on in its brutal honesty and simplicity.

Thank you and hope your temporary "estrangement" from Jean-Marc is already a thing of the past. Happy Weekend!

Nancy, San Antonio, Texas

Trouble in Paradise! The love you have for each other comes through in your stories/pictures so I believe that this is a time, as your song says, to get to know each other again. After all is said and done, change is the only thing that is certain - as some wise person said years ago. As life changes you can rediscover yourselves and fall in love even more. Hope you both are well on your way to some great make up fun.


Kristen, It was so great to see you featured in the April 20th edition of France Today's online newsletter! Loved the excerpt from your book that they chose, too.
I have been enjoying your "dernier mot" from the magazine itself, and this was so much fun to see you written about online!

Diane Young

Chere Kristi,
I went to sleep the other night after reading letters from my departed husband that he had written me in 1957 when he was a traveling medical detail man and we were first dating. When he died in 2011, we had been married over 53 years, which covered a lot of problems with health, money, communication, etc., as do all marriages. But far and away the good outweighed the bad and I feel incredibly blessed to have been through all of my adult life with a loving husband. Never forget, "this too shall pass" and know that God is watching over you. Remember when Christ asked Peter 3 times, "do you love me?:. That was so Peter could repent from the 3 denials he had committed prior to the first Easter. We are always given the chance to reconcile. It is up to us to do it and move forward. Bonne chance, chere amie.

Kristin Espinasse

Susan, thank you for sharing about the France Today article, and for your enthusiasm!

Diane, your story of reading your husbands letters, and remembering the good times and the scriptures, is both touching and encouraging. Thanks and hugs.


Thinking if you, on a lovely cloudy morning in Roanoke, VA.

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you, Pat--and to all who have responded to this post. 


Dearest Kristin - I hope you are ok. It sounds like a lot is going on right now. Hang in there and just know that we are all here for you and love you dearly. Our hearts hurt when yours is hurting. Sending a big hug and a rain check for a fabulous girl's day out someday if the chance ever presents itself!


wow, this is so well put, and kind of what I needed to hear now. Thanks so much for this and good luck on your journey too.

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