Les dents de bonheur - "Happiness Teeth" are part of this elogy
Try this in the New Year: s'aérer l'esprit

Enchanté de vous rencontrer + rest in a teachable spirit

Smokey golden retriever bougainvillea france
This photo was taken years ago, at our vineyard, but it could be our new place here in La Ciotat. We have the same chairs (from my belle-mère), same bougainvillea, same gravel, same dog. Familiarity is comforting, isn't it? If you have read this letter for years, you are getting to know our family. If you are a new reader, Bienvenue! So nice to meet you (hear our message below). New or longtime reader, it would be a pleasure to hear from you in the comments. Tell us which city you live in, your age, and your reason for studying French. Merci beaucoup.

Enchanté de vous rencontrer

    : nice to meet you

Audio File: listen to Jean-Marc and me read the following French words:

Enchante sound file

Enchanté. Nous sommes enchantés de vous connaître.
Delighted. We are delighted to know you.



    by Kristi Espinasse

The adjective enchanté is just the word in which to kick off a new year for this French word journal.  May we all be so enchanted in 2018--happy to meet new people and new challenges, and delighted by the serendipities we are bound to encounter. And when things go wrong in the coming year (for can things always go right?), may we find inspiration from today's word...and "en" "chant" or inwardly sing until things are back on track again.

It is difficult, if not impossible, to inwardly sing when you are hurting. Believe me I know! But during a week of hard knocks, I happened on a missing note--a kind of bridge between despair and hope. It is advice from my 370-year-old French friend, Fénelon, whose paper-thin book "Let Go" is a fixture on my table de nuit. Here's Fen's advice:

Rest in a teachable spirit.

The suggestion can be interpreted as deeply as you'd like (Allez-y!), or it can simply be taken "surface level". Either way, let's learn, learn, learn! in the new year--beginning with the sunny French word enchanté, and continuing on with whatever leçons de vie are thrown our way. (And there will be plenty if you are in any kind of relationship with mankind, n'est-ce pas?)

*    *    *

French Vocabulary

enchanté = pleased to meet you, delighted, enchanted

la table de nuit = night stand

allez-y = go on! go for it!

leçons de vie = life lessons

n'est-ce pas? = isn't that right

Easy French Step-by-Step - master grammar fast! 
Embryolisse - an affordable and popular face cream from France

A swimwear shop in La Ciotat...and a new friend for Smokey?

Your support is appreciated
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Mille mercis!

A Message from KristiOngoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal each week. If you find joy or value in these stories and would like to keep this site going, donating today will help so much. Thank you for being a part of this community and helping me to maintain this site and its newsletter.

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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Learning new things and meeting new people keep us young. Thank you for the reminder.


Age 62, living in Kensington, CA. I studied French for many years in school, long ago. Currently doing a fun online French course with Frantastique so that the next time I am in France (in June!) I won't be tongue-tied. Happy New Year to you, Kristin!

Paul Guerin

Living in Mill Valley, California with the enchanting Jean Guerin...74 & 78 yo....why French....because it is so sexy....

Jeff J Purcell

Salut! Managed to acquire my life's dream 17C longère in Dept 44 some 20+ yrs ago. Small agricultural hamlet with 0,27 ha of 'lawn'. I love trying to acquire the local argot but resigned to never achieving the authentic accent. Trè decu by the concept of Brexit, as are my neighbours. Jeff


I received my BA in French in 1979, but waited until my retirement cruise in 2012 to experience France for the first time. I went back to la belle France by myself in 2015 with a Rick Steves tour and again in 2016 with the boyfriend for a magnificent France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy tour. En 2018, nous pensons à visiter la Loire et le Sud de France. J’aime beaucoup la melodieuse langue française! Much of French terrain reminds me of my home in California. Merci for your entertaining blog.

Mary Carlton Lull

Seventy-five in Berkeley. I will never speak French but love reading about your life. I cheer for your family! Your resilience is inspiring. The pictures transport me to your world. Thank you.

Charmarie Blaisdell

Alors! Is enchante de faire votre connaissance incorrect? or less correct?
Love your newsletters.
Rockport, Maine.


I am living in Sacramento, CA after returning to the US following 9 years in Strasbourg, France 😃. I found your blog when I was first learning French many years ago and have followed you ever since, feeling a kinship to another American living abroad in beautiful and crazy France. Je te souhaite une très belle année 2018!! Robyn

joie in Carmel

Bonjour encore de Carmel, California.
I believe I am a couple of years older than your mother, Jules. And have been following you since Jacquie and Max were probably around 8 and 10 or younger. Certainly before Smokey. Before Braise went on her spree of Marseille with her boyfriend.
And remember each year, each day is a new page with a new story to be written. So remember to Live, Laugh and Love and you will have many stories to tell.

Margaret MAWER

Always wanted to live in France. Life throws curve balls which weren’t in the planning.
Instead we now live in The Mar Menor, Costa Calida, Spain.

Have been following your posts for a number of years and love reading what’s going on with others on planet Earth. Thanks so much.


Age 78 in Sedgefield, South Africa. I learnt French as a teenager and have never lost my love of the language. Nowadays I watch French films - I have a screen 2,5m by 1,5m - and I switch off the les soustitres. A recent find was "La Famille Belier".

Mes bonnes voeux pour la nouvelle année.

Janet Neckyfarow

Age 68 in Chocowinity, NC. I started learning French in 6th grade and decided I would be a French teacher at that point. Studied at l'Universite de Nice in "70 - '71. Taught French (and Spanish and ESL) most of my adult life. Still working with a group at the library in Washington, NC. Was a fellow in the first two NC Governor's Institutes in French - one in Greensboro, NC and one in Paris. I heard about your blog many years ago from my francophone friends at the Brown Library in Washington, NC. Allez-y!

Bill Evans

We are readers from your Sainte-Cécile days. We live in Memphis and a few weeks a year in les Issambres (Sablet prior to 2015), hence the quest for French words. But our greater needs are your small doses of French life and light to help sustain us while we are 4000 miles away. So, keep up the great work. A bientot, Bill & Mary


Completed my primaire in a Lycee in Mexico a long time ago. Always thought of France as my second home but only visited, for the first time, ten years ago. Reading your posts keeps me emotionally connected to France as my visits are not as frequent as I wish they were.
Je vous remercie pour tout ce que vous faites et je vous souhaite une bonne année.


I have said all my life that I know I was French in a former life so it was necessary to take classes in French in high school and college and then spend 11 years taking les leçons privées pendant onze ans! And now living in Santa Fe we are lucky to have an active French Meet-Up group so we can continue à parler! J’aime beaucoup touts les choses françaises!, And I adore your blog! Thank you!

Richard from Arlington Texas

Enchante. What a lovely word.

Brenda Prowse

Bonjour Kristi,

Je ne travaille plus!
J’ai enseigné l’anglais en Australie pendant 6 ans et travaillé 35 ans dans l’immobilier près de Seattle, WA. En 2013 j’ai pris ma retraite à Paris, la cité de mes rêves. Bonne année et merci mille fois pour votre blog! Bisous

Elizabeth Jones

Elizabeth from Charlotte, NC. The big 5-0 bday just passed and I learn French to speak it when we go over every summer to stay in my grandparents' home in the south of France in the beautiful village of Grimaud. Come visit in July! I have been reading your blog since I read your book 10 or so years ago! Time flies...


I'm 29 and received a BA in French and International Relations. One of my French instructors told me about this blog (can't recall if in MS, HS or college). I am in need of practice. I am in Southwest Virginia!

Carolyn R Chase

As always - full of feeling and wisdom. Thanks for sharing and a good start suggestion for the new year.
I live in Salt Lake City, UT and am 73. I studied French a couple of years way back in high school from a Latin Teacher at the time that "conversational" French was first starting out to be popular, partly as prereq. for college, but also because of a glamorous, red-headed French war bride in our village whom I wanted to emulate. I brought it all forward when the opportunity for working in France was offered to my husband, Jack. Our family studied for a number of weeks prior to moving, and then we lived in Dijon for a couple of marvelous years. Our neighbors were very patient with me, and I'm sure I was the "crazy Americaine", but I loved every minute of our life there. Now I enjoy trying to keep up with what I had gained, and to vicariously revisit life in France, through your eyes and voice, and sharing of your adventures and thoughts, Kristi.
I am so grateful for your writings! I wish you Bonne Année, and Bon Courage as you deal with your loss.

Eileen deCamp

Bonjour Kristi,

Je suis une femme d'un certain âge.....LOL

J'habite à Charlottesville, Virginia

J'adore le français! :-)

J'adore votre blog!



I've been following you for years, after reading your first book. I am a lifelong Francophile who studied French in high school and planned to major in college but decided that I wanted neither to teach it nor to translate it, so I switched majors and was a psychologist for my professional life. Finally made it to France in 2006 with my husband, and we went back several times prior to his death in 2015. I have recently bought a house in a village in the Aude, next to friends, and plan to spend about three months a year there as long as I'm able. I've enjoyed your adventures and loved seeing the kids grow up and you and JM dealing with life's joys and sorrows. Je te souhaite une belle année!


Our dear Kristi,
Once again,you have given us food for thought(Fenelon!)and!also the inspiration to make resting in a teachable spirit part of our own lives.At 71,I find my mind sometimes getting too lazy(!) and decided to make an effort to do daily online courses and some additional "keep my brain sharp "exercises.Don't always feel like doing these,but force myself because they really help.
Your gifted words and wonderful FWAD have been a bright spot since the first time I read them,which was pretty much at the very beginning.What a pleasure and privilege to share in your life.
Thank you!
Natalia xo

 Desiree lMcKenzie

I live in NewZealand - down under . Great message today about enchanté ! I go to France every year to stay with friends in Sablet and then a few days to soak in the culture of Paris. My ancestors came to NZ from Rochefort , France in 1840. I feel there is french in my blood somewhere !!

An Scott

An Scott reading your posts from beautiful sunny Naples, Florida

We just returned last night from 10 days in Paris, celebrating the New Year.

At a young 64 years old, I have been a Francophile since I was a child of about 8 or 9 years old. I believe I lived in Paris in a prior lifetime and have carried my French obsession into this lifetime. I studied French for 8 years back as a teenager in school and college.

Enjoy reading your messages!

Trish Nickell

Hi Kristi1 I have enjoyed your blog for about 8 years. My husband and I lived in Paris for 12 years then moved here to Portland, Oregon at the end of 2008. I am an artist--a painter and 71 and like to keep in touch with my "French home". I miss living in France but like Portland. Thank you for your photos and your stories which help me stay in touch with a language I like very much!

Patience in L.A.

From the amazing city of Los Ángeles,California. And the amazing age of 87! I have followed the blog since the kids were practically babies! I lived in Vermont,near the Canadian border for the summers for years. Learned French from Madame Bolle when I was six years old. My mother spoke French and she passed her love for everything French on to her children. I think that the community that you have created is amazing. We are all your fans! Look forward to every posting and wish you only good things for 2018,

Faye LaFleur

I am a retired psychotherapist living in Lafayette, La...I have been following your blog for 3-4 years. I am of French heritage & enjoy keeping up with my French thru your blog since, although of French heritage, I rarely have the opportunity to speak it. I have gone to France a number of times but have a difficult time understanding French there, possibly because the French, I find, speak so fast.
I also enjoy keeping up with your family....love your photos so much!

Beth Fiore Kral

I’m in the Asheville, NC area, having studied in Aix-en-Provence for Junior Year Abroad in college, oh so many years ago. I love still being able to say and read what you post in French. Keeps me a little brushed up on the language and culture. Plan to accompany my daughter’s high school band to Normandy in June 2019 for 75th anniversary of D-Day. I hope to be more than helpful with my knowledge of the French language and culture.


Enchante, bien sur! Mon esprit chante en lisant ton blog! Merci, Mon amie!

Jean From Utah

I'm a 78 y/o widow whose mother studied French and teased us with a few words from time to time. I discovered your blog a few years back and am absolutely entranced with your writing and thoughtfulness. I'm so very sorry for your recent loss and it brought back vividly my own, just over a year ago. Today's word and advice was needed, and I thank you. I'm contemplating a French language course from Great Courses. My grandson has done some history courses and I'm impressed with the instructors. I have to keep looking up French words and how to pronounce them on my tablet. I live in Price, Utah. God Bless you.

Catherine Berry (But you are in France, Madame)

Love your writing, love your openness and honesty and love the virtual community that you have created through your blog.

Morgan Davis

J ai étudié le français pendant mes trois ans à l'université de Columbia dans la ville de New York. J'ai récemment obtenu mon diplôme et j'ai trouvé une article que vous avez écrit. J'habite à Brooklyn, New York maintenant et j'adore le français mais, j'oublie beaucoup de choses et je les oublie très vite en dehors d'une salles de classe. Je lis votre publicité donc je n'oublie pas ce que j'ai appris lol. Merci beaucoup!


I'm a 66 year-old recent retiree in Seattle Washington. I am focusing on Norwegian in anticipation of our trip there in early summer, but when we return I plan to get back into French, later reviewing Japanese and Spanish. Why all the languages? Why not!

Susan Newell

Hello Fellow Francophiles,

I love the country, the language and Kristi's blog. I worked for American Airlines for many years and Paris was my route. I would love to spend time in France. Any fellow readers who want to join me? I like the idea of like minded spirits sharing space and experiences...and la langue.


What joy you bring to us sharing your family's life experiences in France. I'm 75 years old living in Denver, Colorado. My second language has always been French, having grown up in a bi-lingual community. Thanks for keeping me current with " all things French". You are a breath of fresh air.

Sari Hotchkiss

Kristin, I am saddened to hear of you mother-in-law's passing. Clearly she was a cherished gift in your life. While tears may flow now, in time her memory will bring smiles. I love "inwardly singing"-thank you for that reference. I am making enchante my new mantra for the new year.


I have been reading you for years. At 67 & a 3rd generation Northern Californian (worked in SF most of my nursing career), My French husband & I decided to build a house in Taos, New Mexico. We were through with overcrowded & too- expensive California. And Taos is the closest thing to a foreign country in the US. Which brings me to France. I should have moved there when I fell in love with it in 1973. But I was too timid. And now we are too old & what family I do have is small & I want to be close enough to them. Soooooo, I have instead traveled to France on a regular basis since 1973- 40 Times at least. So France is my love, but full time is not in the picture. My franglais doesn’t get much better after studying French in high school & college. But I can communicate!!


Bonjour de Wollongong en Australie
I originally studied French in school, long ago and have had a special interest in the language, culture, history and people ever since. Whenever my husband and I are fortunate enough to include a part of France in our travels, I like to brush up to help with a need to talk with others no matter where I am travelling. My mistakes ensure that there is plenty of laughter. We spent some time just last September travelling from Paris to Nice and we loved every minute. Like you, Kristi, we live near the sea, and I loved the colours and the light of your "neighbourhood". I fell on your blog about three years ago and have been a keen follower of your shared stories and exploration of the meanings and ideas that come from words and phrases. Enchante de vous rencontrer.

Alanna Strong

Alanna living in Whitefish, Montana. I’m older than you, but young at heart! My mother turned me on to your blog when you were still in Sainte Cecile. I learned my French living in Algeria in the 60s. I cheer your successes and mourn your losses. You have brought much light into my inbox so a great big MERÇI!

Marianne Gooding

Salut de Hartville, Ohio!
I am Marianne, age 65, a retired French and Spanish teacher. I started studying French in high school and loved it so I became a teacher and had 35+ wonderful years teaching French! I love your posts!

Jan Hersh

I am a 68 year old long time reader and big fan from Danville, California. Like others, I studied french in both high school and college and earned my B.A. in french in 1971. Like another responder I have always felt that I lived in Paris in a previous life. I even cried on the train when I left Paris for the first time (during my first trip to Europe) back in the summer of 1970. My claim to fame was a picture taken on that trip while I was in the Amsterdam train station that was published in LIFE Magazine! The article featured students traveling abroad with the rail pass.

My husband and I lived in Oxford, England for a couple of years after he earned his PhD as well as full post doc fellowship to work with a Psychologist at the university. We traveled to France while there.
Since then I have made several trips to France and Europe and would never turn down an opportunity to return.


Hello Kristi. I've been reading your posts for several years. I've always appreciated your ability to express and describe details that make up your French life. I am a 57 y/o living in Concord, CA. I first became obsessed with the French language and the country/lifestyle/culture when I met a French man here in the US. He took me to France (my first trip across the pond ever). I met his family, indulged in French food and wine and, what can I say? I was immediately smitten. I have been lax on my language studies for a few years now (no local French people or speaking groups I have found in my area) but plan on ramping up my studies again. My dream is to live part-time in France. I am sorry for the recent loss of your Belle-Mere. Hope all is well at your new home.

Eileen Burns

I will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of my 39th birthday very soon and have lived most of my years in the Hudson River Valley, having been born here, moving to the big city a few times but always returning to my HOME. My beloved father Jack began speaking French to me as soon as I could speak, so I have never really considered it to be a classroom exercise, which is what I suppose he intended. Happily, last night I began a conversational Spanish class, as we have many new residents in our town from Ecuador and Guatemala and I would like to be able to better communicate with my neighbors. One of the first words our teacher gave us? "Encandata"...which is equivalent to "enchante"....One of the older women in the class mentioned that her reason for wanting to learn Spanish was for the "beauty of all languages"...How lovely. You mention serendipity; I am a true believer....MUCH LOVE TO YOU ALL, Eileen


Bonjour de Wisconsin!
I'm a French teacher in the Madison, Wisconsin area and have been following your blog for at least 10 years. I love your stories, and share them from time to time with my students. The school where I work does an exchange every other year with the high school in La Ciotat! We will be coming this summer and I can't tell you how excited my students are for their first visit to France. Do you remember that feeling? I wish I could bottle that excitement.

Eileen Burns

Morgan, did you know Professor Daniel Penham while at Columbia? He and I were friends. Eileen Burns

Chris Allin

Dear Kristi,
I live in northeast Kansas on the edge of the prairie. With all the sunflowers we call it Provence on the prairie!
Your post today is providential for me. Your word enchanté is inspirational. I had a brush with death this past spring and after recovering we lost my father-in-law. (Thank you for your sympathy.) Following our daughters' lead of choosing a word to abide by for the coming year, I was considering courage. But I think I like your word enchanté. It makes me want to sing out, "Enchanté, life! I am so glad to know you!" It is true that good comes from adversity, that we learn from devastating events and losses. Sometimes it just takes a while to get there.
George and I lived and met in France as teenagers in the '60's (I stayed longer for college) and hold it forever dear in our hearts. Our journey with the french language started 55 years ago! The highlight of recent years was taking the Normandy wine cruise that your best friend Susan, you and Jean-Marc sponsored. We were both enchanté to meet you all and our spirit was renewed. Thank you so much for that. And your journal... it touches us, makes us laugh and uplifts our hearts. Always something to look forward to ~

Gail L from AZ

Bonjour mon ami,

I am Gail from Phoenix, AZ. Began feeling a strong internal yearning for France 🇫🇷 around 2008. It was the year prior my father, while studying our family history, discovered our ancestors were Huguenots from France. My father had taken French in high school and gave his two girls French names. My dearest friend and I began dreaming, wishing, hoping than planning and we were blessed to visit France in 2012. We stayed in Paris for four days and Normandy 5 days. I cant remember what year you came to Phoenix for a blog meet up? Heidi was there, too. A small group of us had coffee and went on a hike. I have a photo of the two of us and you autographed your first book for me! If circumstances were different I would go to Europe and not come home until I was finished exploring and experiencing!! However, God has me here in the sunny Southwest so I work on contentment and live in France via your blog! Thank you for sharing your life and experiences with us all. BIG HUGS, Gail (who would like to have had her name spelled Gaelle)


70, Lakeland, Florida. Studied French in HS and college, but never mastered. Yet, I used Spanish, my minimal Italian and even a soupçon of Francais in communicating with people I met in 2016 while traveling through Italy, including family in Piemonte. Words and languages have always fascinated me, and your blog is a charming way to encounter new words and ideas in French. I've also felt your joys and sorrows. Reading about your journey through life has given me a sense of sharing our common humanity.

Deb (Australia)

Such wonderful advice and a hopeful message for the new year. Fenelon's wise words are a great guide for a good start in the new year (and for life!). I have been enjoying your posts for a number of years and always find the thread of faith, hope and love in your posts very uplifting.

Helen Johnstone

Hi Kristin

Have followed your blog for years we have a apartment in Beaulieu sur mer, and house in England and spent equal time in both, when we retire will live permanently in France , your words have been a great assistance in learning French thank you Helen J


The glimpses of France nourish us. I particularly love the pictures; so on a grey cold London January day I am served with a generous helping of bougainvillea and sunshine. And a bonus dog. The flowers encourage as do your words. Plus the global network of fellow learners and lovers linked by your generous offering. Merci !

Margaret Kalvar

Bonjour! J’ai soixante ans! J’ai etudie francais depuis longtemps- en universite et plus recemmement avec une classe d’Alliance Francaise, avec que je continue encore. J’adore la France et toutes les choses francaises et voyage la quand je peux. Bonne annee a tous et toutes!


Small town outside of Montréal,French Canadian,bilingual ,64.
Take care!


J'ai le meme age que toi je pense, Kristi! I also spent my junior year in France years ago, had a french boyfriend, whom i DIDN"T marry:) Do you read Fénélon in french or english? I'm in Charlottesville VA and have loved getting to know you and your family over the years.

Sherry Frank

I have been following French Word A Day since the very beginning. As a retired former teacher of French and English as well as a career computer geek it has been such a joy to be part of your family and see your children grow into such beautiful (in all ways) adults and to watch you develop into such a wonderful writer. I am rooting for that novel.
I have traveled to France several times and was tres enchante' on my last trip in 2012 when my brother and I were able to meet you and Jean Marc at Domaine Rouge-Bleu just before you moved south. I have all of your books and even won a copy once. We will never forget that you tube video of you showing us how to open a bottle of wine with a book and a shoe. That is the book that I am proudest to own.

I live in Lexington, Kentucky and once drove all the way to Alexandria, Virginia to purchase a case of Mas des Brun rose' because Jean Marc does make the very best rose'. I will be enchante' to see what adventures the new year brings.

Joan Jacobson

Joan Jacobson......Overland Park, Kansas, 71. Love to hear that others have the sensation of being French in a former lifetime! My mom and the French wallpaper in the kitchen where I lived as a child inspired my love of French. Taught French for ten years.....5th grade through high school before becoming a high school counselor. Your blog, filled with life, love, joy and sorrow, help me keep my treasured connection to this beautiful language (also a large dose of Charles Aznavour discs!). Thank you for your always beautiful, heart-felt, authentic words on this oh so complex subject of life!

Faye LaFleur

Susan, I have been thinking of doing this for a long time! Can U B more specific about what U have in mind?

Trina from St. Petersburg, FL USA

Like Eileen in VA, I am a woman of a certain age, and I believe Eileen could be a decade younger than I! My screen name reveals my location ... for now. I first discovered your blog after reading your first book. I first studied French as a young teen with Olympic dreams; French is the language of the equestrian. But, use it or lose it they say. So I took a year of French again in college and again at the Alliance Francaise de Chicago. Alas, I still do not speak the beautiful, enchanting language. Fascinating tidbit is my Italian grandmother spoke French to my mother in a dream, and my mother (who did not speak French) spoke French once to me in her last months.

Leslie NYC

I was born in San Francisco in 1960, and grew up in California and Ohio, with vacations in Virginia at my grandparents’ farm in the Shenandoah Valley. I have lived in NYC 38 years.I began studying French before school when I was 7. My teacher was young, tall, handsome. That may be how I got hooked—a first crush! I had a yellow book with pictures of common things and their French names. I still have that book. It opened up a magic world to me. Since then, I studied throughout my school years, including speed-conjugating irregular verbs with a wonderfully creative teacher from Germany who wrote all over the chalk board with crazy enthousiasm. The language really took hold when I went traveling through France at 22. My muscles developed, I was not afraid to sound like a fool, and the French took the time to correct my mistakes in their beautiful language, which others might not have appreciated. I just thought I was getting tutored for free!
I go back once a year now during the grape harvest, to help at a vineyard in Burgundy, in Cheilly-les-Maranges, near Beaune. I cook for the grape-pickers there. Otherwise, I work as a freelance catering chef.


59 from Powhatan, Va (just outside Richmond).

I took my first trip to France at age 15 with my HS French class. I got my BA in French in 1980 and spent my Junior Year ('78-'79) studying in Paris with Sweet Briar's Junior Year in France Program. I visit France several times a year and take a French class with a retired HS French teacher - we meet every other week.

Kitty Wilson-Pote

Almost 73, in Ontario Canada. Grew up speaking English, and learning academic French in school. Despite attending French summer camp and living for a year in French Switzerland, I never became fluent (too lazy!). Can read French fairly well, though, and do enjoy it. Raised two kids solo after early loss of my spouse, discovering strengths unsuspected. Attracted by your blog in 2000, even before I retired (was a prof of English language and literature). Visited your French-Word-A-Day for the words, lingered for the true family stories so well-told, resonated with your authenticity and seeking spirit, and now love you all to bits! Enjoying my quiet, simple life as a rather hermitty-retiree. Am myself spiritually-oriented, an HSP, a 12-Stepper, and a human being who's endlessly, caringly curious about Everything and Everyone. Happy as can be to be here, savouring the moments we so miraculously are given and can share!

Herm in Phoenix, AZ

Salut ma chère amie Kristi,

My wife, Sharron, and I have just celebrated our 55th wedding anniversary! We have both followed your adventures for many years.

Hopefully the bad stuff for 2018 is out of your way and you can make way for lots of GOOD stuff!

Your blog, with the sprinkling of French, has always been helpful. I’m now reading the daily world news in French from several internet sources. I’m also finding videos from a number of French teachers helpful with the spoken French.

Being 87 years old makes it harder, but I am determined to be able to communicate in French

Bonne Année.

Herm in Phoenix, AZ

Hi Gail,

I remember the meet-up also....What fun that was!


Maria Trejos

I follow you from San Jose, Costa Rica. I’m 45 and like your stories. I learned French 20 years ago because I want to visit France, but I’ve never been able to. This summer, however, it seems that my dream of going to France will finally happen!

Mike Heye

j'avais boucoup d'amis dans le sud de France. i even tried to visit Rouge Blue when there in 2009, but your family was gone to , i believe it was Romania, on vaction and i couldnt say 'Allo" Mike 62 ans, St Joseph, Mo., E.U.

Audrey Wilson

Hi! Kristin from your old friend in hospital still! !! It is so good to have contact with the out side world.


Hi, Kristin,

I am in my 70s and living in Eugene Oregon. I love the challenge of learning a language. Every week several friends I meet for two hours of fractured French conversation. The effort keeps us alert and the topics keep us updated on what is happening in France. Your newsletter is a welcome resource for better understanding the culture.

By the way, last week I spotted bottles of Mas des Brun wine on the shelf of my local wine shop. The owner was amazed that I knew of JeanMarc and his recent visit to Oregon. The wine was delicious and I will be returning to buy more this weekend….if there is any left!


Hello Kristin
I just turned 62 and first learnt French through the Alliance Francaise du Cap soon after we were married 34 years ago. Over the years I have had an on/off relationship with French but I have not lost the love I have for the language, even with my futile attempts. Our lady teacher bounced into the class on that 1st day, and a new world opened up in front of our eyes, I remember her telling us to write our grocery list in French!! Sucre, sel, pommes de terre sound so terribly sexy! I have stopped working fulltime but I have never stopped learning, so love the interaction with your followers - many of us much older than you! Incidentally, last year I made so many new friends, all of them over 60 years of age! Travelling via Paris to Berlin in April for our son's wedding !


After getting my DNA results from Ancestry, I discovered that I am from an extensive network of French Huguenot descendants. Connecting with my French cousins and joining their Facebook page has enriched my life. I've managed to get as far back as the early 1600's and hope to keep discovering even more from the old documents I uncover...which are of course in French. I am 70-years-old and live in a rural town NE of San Diego which has vineyards popping up all over the place. My first cousin and I have it on our 'bucket list' to travel to France together someday soon!

Ken Foss

Charmarie, what a great little town you live in! I’m from Camden but now live in South Carolina.

Sharon L Marchisello

I majored in French at the University of Houston, and in 1978-79, I had the privilege of living in Tours, France, on a Rotary scholarship. I still keep in touch with friends I made there, but my French is getting rusty. Love your blog, because it helps me keep up! Thanks, and happy 2018 to all your family.


I would love to join you and like Faye would love to hear more about what you have in mind... renting an apartment in Paris for a few weeks, traveling through France, the South.. or a whirlwind museum bonanza in Paris for a week, etc. Maybe Kristi can connect us. I'm older but young at heart and looking for traveling companions who also like to maybe do their own thing at times, but come back to regroup and spend time and energy together!


I've enjoyed reading your blog for years.. I'm 48 live in London but have a small apartment in the 4th in Paris. We are total Francophiles and intend to move to southern France in the future - hence hearing the stories of French life is so captivating. I've been learning French for years but am clearly not a competent linguist and struggle... your posts motivate me though to keep at it !! We spend a weekend in Paris each month and adore it...

Carmen Clarke

I started studying French in High School, even though I had enough language credits in Spanish. (Why?) I continued in college, and could speak 'textbook French' when I graduated. Who knew that, 10 years later, my husband would be transferred to Paris? I finished my formal study at Alliance Francaise in Paris, where they incorporate Culture with Language Learning, and I fell permanently in love with the language. Since I moved back to the US in 2007, French Word-a-Day has kept me connected to France, and now I feel I have a family in France: Kristi, Jean-Marc, Max, Jackie and Smokey.
La France called me a long time ago, and I still find myself thinking, 'Now, how would I say that in French?'
Thank you Kristi!! for your blog that has enriched my life so much.

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