Vendange + Hostile? (Please don't sign off after reading this!)
The Secret Revealed: word for rip current or undertow in French

Devoiler: The Secret My Husband Kept from me


Smokey's Excellent Vacation - We just returned from the Ile d'Oléron with all four--make that five!--members of our family. From a nightly game of Yam (Yahtzee) to regular forays to the ocean, we had a restful and memorable time together. See all the pictures right here. (And did you spot Mr. Sacks in the photo above?)

Thank you for your thoughful responses to the previous story, "Hostile." After reading your comments my Dad wrote to say, "Your readers are incredibly caring!"

I am deeply touched by your words and very grateful for this endearing writer-reader relationship. I hope it continues for a very long time! 


Today's Word: DEVOILER

    : to reveal, to disclose

dévoiler un secret = to reveal a secret
dévoiler ses batteries = to show one's hand (cards)
dévoilé = laid bare

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE... by Kristin Espinasse

Toward the end of our vacation, I learned my family had been keeping a secret from me.  To the relief of my husband, I was not angry on finding out the truth. I was only surprised at how little my family knows me--to think it necessary to spare me the grief. 

Le secret was revealed late one night, after Jean-Marc had taken me into his arms for the second time. "There is something I have to talk to you about," he said. The tone in his voice was unfamiliar and it woke the inner stranger inside of me.  As different as we are to one another--as mysterious as our hearts are even to ourselves--our married souls occasionally reveal an ongoing conversation, so that we will be thinking exactly the same thing at the moment one of us voices it (if not in unison).

Except this time. This time I could not have fathomed what my husband was about to say--his thoughts being nowhere on the cusp of my mind. Even my trusty vibes had abandoned ship. Instead, like a drawstring that closes a hood, it felt as though my skin was shrink-wrapping around my bones, and I held my breath, wondering: What is he going to say next? 

(To be continued...  Click here to read Part 2)


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I hope what you are about to divulge is happy news. You've had enough sour news for a while!

Jules Greer


What can I say - except - I love you. Please have Jean-Marc call me this morning.

Also I wish you could have been a fly on the wall when I tried to tell my new Pastor's wife about you and your blog and then to confess that she probably shouldn't read last weeks post.

For some reason my rotten computer is working this morning and after hitting many keys in the early morning darkness, somehow I had your real homepage and the comments link worked. Oh how I have missed spilling my thoughts upon your ears in this form.

I love you strong, and know you light up my life like no one else on this planet.




"To save you the grief" I am worried.

Kristin Espinasse

Jeanne and Cyndy,  No worries. It was a moments grief. All is well. 
Mom,  thanks for your wonderful comments.  Glad you are back,  and no pressure to comment regularly!

Tim Averill

More, please, and good luck!

Cassie Alexandrou

Dear Kristin,

So happy that you had a wonderful vacation with your family and that you were able to put that "unpleasantness" behind you. Now that you've reassured us that all is well -- no worries -- I look forward to reading the second part of your story.

P.S. -- I love what your dear mom wrote to you.


I hope everything is well and await the next part of the story. When I see an email from French-Word-a-Day in my inbox, I excitedly rush to click on the link and always feel grateful for your words, Kristin. Thank you for sharing these honest glimpses of your life with us.

Micki Simms

Chère Kristi,

Méchant vous! 😀 To leave us in suspended animation! Now we have to wait for the next blog post to find out some happy news.

We'll all be reading!

PS My friends planned a vacation solely for their Akita two years ago. They took her from Houston on a driving trip to Colorado where they had rented a house with their children for 10 days. Nala stopped along the way and got ice cream from children, pats and rub downs from fellow travelers. In CO., she went hiking and swimming in the rivers. She has a special harness in the car so she can sit up or lie down but is in a seat belt. The photos are priceless. The album was called, "Nala's Great Summer Vacation." Seeing Smokey reminded me of that. I'm sure it helped Smokey after losing his mom.

So very happy that you had a wonderful vacation with "le cinq" altogether.

Until the follow-up!


Micki and Chami 🐾


Happy to read your post to Jeanne and Cyndy. I was about to write "Not fair!!! We want to know the whole story NOW." But after learning that all is well, I can wait. You are our friend, you know, and what you feel, we feel.

Eileen deCamp

Hi Kristin,

So happy you all enjoyed the vacation! Looks like Smokey did too! I just ordered Under the Wide and Starry Sky from here for my Kindle! Thanks for the recommendation. I'm so happy to see Jules commenting again. I missed her! :-)

I wonder what the secret is? I hope it's not too sad!

Chris Allin

Dear Kristi,

I was settling into what was looking like an intriguing story and POW! Very effective...
but grateful for your response to Jeanne and Cyndy. My stomach was starting to twist into knots with a wild imagination running rampant. Now we can all eagerly anticipate the rest of the story.

So very glad that Jules is back!!!


Do not leave us hanging...

Donele Monte

Oh my gosh, I was so concerned until I saw your comment about a moments' grief. I too click on your emails as quickly as I can . You are so brave revealing so much of your life. My best always. xo


I look forward to hearing what he had to say...


Brenda Prowse

Bonjour Kristie,
I can't wait to find out the secret. Thank you for the suspense and the new to me, French word. Glad that your family had such a marvelous vacation. I am also so glad that you loved reading Under the Wide and Starry Sky. I loved that book and Nancy Horan's other novel, Loving Frank. I had sent an e mail to Nancy with a question about Under the Wide and Starry Sky and she very kindly responded with a very full explanation. Turns out she lives not far from where we lived in the US before moving to Paris. She is an excellent writer.

susan klee

My husband, David: I have a confession to make.
Me (mentally): Oh my lord, after 33 years!!
Me (out loud): What?!
David: I *love* our new car.

Faye, Gleneden Beach, Oregon

I'm so glad you are safe & home - and had a great vacation. Thank you for taking us along with you.

I know you love to keep us in suspense. So glad all is well. I just ordered the book you recommended. Thanks!

Be well!


Welcome back! I just love to see your name in my inbox - another great story to read! Now I can hardly wait until the ending! Smokey looks so happy on the beach!


Isn't it great to get a response from a writer you admire (like we do from Kristin). But I must say your "...before moving to Paris." got me. Would love to do that but can't really imagine getting my act together at this stage of life, nor my husbands, but it's a great thing to think about and to hear that others have done it! Tell more!! Regards, Judi

OMG, Kristin....after such a wonderful vacation I don't want any bad news for you!!!
Thank you for the I can be patient for the "other shoe to drop".
You know, when a husband takes you into his arms to tell you something serious it will be all right....because you will be sharing the news with him.
Looking forward to your next post, Thank you,
PS Also thank you for the book suggestion, I loved her writing in Loving Frank, will order this one now.
PS #2 Hi Jules !


So glad you had a wonderful vacation. Cannot wait to hear the secret. Nice tease.

Susan Carter

I'm holding my breath.

Cynthia P. Lewis

I'm very happy to know that you had a relaxing vacation ... family vacations make the best memories! Smokey looks like he is having the most wonderful time ever.

Mille mercies for the new words which accompany your secret (something good, thank heavens!). The kid in me loves being kept in suspense.
Best wishes for all and you, too, Jules ... so nice to hear your "voice" again!

Judith dunn

.....Love seeing Jules' posts! she simply adores all of you so much and what a gift that is! Keep positive and happy thoughts and share the 'news' when you can... Glad you all are back safely and have 'recharged your batteries'! Best wishes, Judi Dunn, Tallahassee

Kitty Wilson-Pote

Welcome back, Kristi! Missed you much -- all of you. And now here you are, keeping us on tenterhooks for a bit, you rascal of a writer... cannot wait to hear the rest of the unforeseen Discussion! (Special pats to Smokey from this corner of Canada.)

Jill Ferrie

Can hardly wait to read the next post! Love your creative and honest writing.


Our dear Kristi,
Another wonderful post,filled with excitement from a happy vacation and love shared for and with your precious family(5 of you!)
The only thing that will make it all perfect is that JM's
devoiler is NOT one of sadness.You have had too much of that in the recent past.
Prayers for all of you always.
Natalia. xo

Charlotte West

Dear Kristi

Thank you for today's note, but, you simply canot leave us with this cliff-hanger. It's too long to wait to hear what Jean Marc said, and I want to know right now. Even a hint is better than this, my heart's still racing in anticipation, but relieved to know it's not something to dread. You've had enough going on for this past year to contend with. Until next time then, (sigh)

XXXto you all and Smokey

Linda Karber

Dear Kristi, My first thought was "Oh no, I can't wait to hear what Jean-Marc was going to tell you!" But then I told myself how much I enjoyed your to be continued posts. Thanks for another photo of Jean-Marc and Mr. Sacks. It's like he (MS) has a personality of his own. On your recommendation, I just downloaded Under the Wide and Starry Sky. Thanks! Anxiously awaiting Riptide". My imagination is running wild: One of your family had an incident at the beach, Mr. Sacks got lost in the ocean, they have a new puppy waiting for you at home, and on and on.
Bisous, Linda

Jan in Colorado

I missed Jules but was afraid to ask. Welcome back! Let's hope the computer cooperates. Anxious to find out the secret but at least we know that nothing is big-time wrong.

Kathleen from Connecticut

Welcome back Jules. Glad that the computer thing is worked out. My husband is having many problems with his computer, and he still can't get on the internet in La Ciotat. Thanks Jean Marc for your help and suggestions.

Diane Young

Glad you had such a great vacation to that tiny isle. So happy to see Smokey in good spirits and welcome back dear Jules, whom we have all missed. Looking forward to the news, having been reassured it's all ok.

Janet from Delaware

How can you leave us hanging like that? Patiently waiting . . .

Mary in Oregon

Because of my computer's been awhile since I've been able to read you!
I just finished reading, Under the Wide and Starry Sky, too! It was so intriguing I couldn't wait until I had time each evening to continue to learn more about Robert Louis Stevenson! That part that took place in both France and England was exciting as well. I had also rear Nancy's book, About Frank and loved it too!

Now I can't wait to read more about what Jean Marc told you!

Mary in Oregon


your blog is inspiring and im happy you've gotten over that one bad experience. :)

greetings from the Philippines!

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