My brother-in-law invites us to a barbecue...but getting to his house in Avignon, Sunday morning, would be another adventure! (Don't you love his "Vacation Hour" T-shirt? From 12 o'clock on, here are the translations: Wake up, Cocktails, Meal, Siesta, Boules (or Bocce ball), Cocktails, Meal, Hugs.)
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TODAY'S Expression: to go with the flow
Two ways to say go with the flow: prendre les choses comme elles viennent and suivre le cours de la vie
ECOUTEZ - Listen to Jean-Marc pronounce today's expressions:
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prendre les choses comme elles viennent and suivre le cours de la vie
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A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE
by Kristi Espinasse
When Jean-Marc said we needed to pass through Marseilles, on the way to our family get-together in Avignon, I knew this was not going to be a smooth trip! The ride would be more complicated and less comfortable (requiring an early-morning departure) than if we took a direct route, as planned. But the detour would now allow us to pick up Jean-Marc's mom, in La Ciotat, make a wine pick-up and delivery, in Marseilles, and offer my sister-in-law a ride to the barbecue at my brother-in-law, Jacques' place!
While it would have been easier to cruise from point A to point B--and catch up on our sleep--there was no question that this detour would help a lot of people. And it was a good exercise in serving others instead of doing what was easiest for us.
You would think that with our motives in the right place, the universe would suddenly align to smooth out the path before us. Mais non! No sooner had we set out on our zig-zagging Race to Avignon, than we hit one obstacle after another! From the triathlon that blocked our shortcut from Cassis to Marseilles--to an almost-foiled wine delivery (at Stop No. 2 the bottles were not ready) to a sudden case of dry mouth (Jean-Marc's mom urgently needed us to stop somewhere for water!) it was one hurdle after the next. I began to wonder if self-servitude would have been the better way to go (the initial point A to point B "me-me-me" plan!). Instead of a peaceful ride, I was now listening to my husband shout at other drivers, waving his arms out of the car window for effect. I wanted to shout too!: Je t'avais dit! I TOLD YOU SO!
Instead, I refocused--from the frustrated driver to his mama who commented on an entirely different scene from her passenger window....
"Look at all these trees.They're called microcouliers... Years ago, these boulevards were lined with plane trees so big they almost formed a canopy over this boulevard! But the beautiful trees came down with a disease and were replaced by these. They seem to be doing well...."
As we inched forward along the busy Boulevard Michelet, Michèle-France looked down the Prado--a street that leads to the sea. "When I lived here in the 60s, I would leave my little chambre de bonne and go to the Plage Borely for a swim. There was a cabanon...there with a restaurant called "La Mer". (Turning to the frustrated driver, Michèle-France offered, "We had your baptism lunch there, after you were born!)
"Ah! Le Castellane!" Michèle-France exclamed as we advanced past the Prado boulevard. "There is a farmers market that lines this entire street. I loved to do my shopping here. Les bigarreaux cherries are the best kind to buy this time of year! "
I smiled watching my mother-in-law sit up in her seat, dry mouth gone from all that salivating! Her head no higher than the seat back, the head rest high above her crown of wispy fine hair, Michèle-France gazed out the car window, taking it all in, her beloved Marseilles.
Not far from the St Charles train station, we made a right onto my sister-in-law's street. Here, Michèle-France studied each and every detail. "Ah! there's a bank... and a bakery not too far. Oh, and blood-analysis lab. That's always handy!" My mother-in-law was happy to see that her daughter lived in a lively neighborhood. Seeing Cécile appear, with a sunny Bonjour and a kiss, my mother-in-law was now beaming!
As convenient as it would have been to have driven straight to Avignon, I'm so glad we took the zigzagging, inconvenient Path of Growth. Wishing you a good day, dear reader, and the courage to go with the flow, to prendre les choses comme elles viennent, and to suivre le cours de la vie. You are sure to be on the right path.
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I ran into my friends Ricard (left) and Tanja (right) while on a date with Jean-Marc Friday night in Bandol. Tanja is so stylish every time I see her! So I thought you would enjoy seeing which shoes she had on, on a midsummer night in the south of France! SOLUDOS! I was surprised to find this brand on Amazon. Read the customer recommendations, which suggested sizing up one size? Check out all the styles and order some espadrilles HERE.
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