See those cacahuètes above the mushrooms and beside the lychees? More in the following story and lunch with Max and friends.
Today's Word: la cacahuète
Peanuts also go by the name arachide, though Jean-Marc tells me cacahuètes (also spelled cacahouètes, which means cacao de terre) are the more popular term.
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A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE, by Kristi Espinasse
The upside of three generations living under one toit is that when one family member is sore with you another is completely ignorant of your sins and is still your friend....
As I mope around the house this morning, doing chores to cleanse my soul, I've become aware of this lump in my throat. One thing that works it out (anxiety or unexpressed tears) is sitting down to write even if I'm not gonna tell you who I've unintentionally hurt! What matters is I'm compuncting, which is neither a word in French nor English, but it means you are feeling angoisse from guilt and mistakes you've made.
If mistakes aren't humbling enough, I was moved when my son and his friends wanted me to join them in the garden for lunch (I believe they invited Jules, too, but she's disappeared into her room...). Max went as far as to find me in my room, where I was shelling a factory's worth of peanuts and grinding them between my teeth (there is no greater anxiety relief than this peanut processing activity).
Come on, Mom! Everyone is asking for you! Max said. Hesitant (yet honored a group of young people wanted me at their table), I picked up my jar of nuts and extended it....before yanking it back.
Cacahuètes! Max shouted. Give them to me! The laughter and the tackling (Max pried them away, like a football) put a halt on my compuncting.
Le faux-poivrier or false peppercorn tree...and our Smokey
I wish I had taken a picture of the garden setting, notre basse-cour as Jean-Marc calls it (for the chickens running around)--a bucolic setting for this le déjeuner beneath the Mediterranean blue sky, full sun and warmth (en janvier!), the weeping pepper tree--and Max, Antoine, Zoé, Yann, and Mommy, as they now (jokingly) call me, having learned the story of an adolescent Max, who'd missed the cultural clue about teens calling their mom Mom in the States. How could he have known? Raised in France by an American maman who didn't let him in on the term. Ah well, he eventually figured it out.
And I will eventually figure it out too: what is said and what is not said. If only it were as simple as "Mommy"....
I have no idea how this story is coming across. I hope at the least you have learned a few more French words and, in so doing, we can all better express ourselves, in French, in English, whichever, whenever, pour le mieux.
le toit = roof
l'angoisse = anxiety
la cacahuète= peanut
la basse-cour = farmyard
le déjeuner = lunch
en janvier = in January
la maman = mom
pour le mieux = for the best (possible outcome)
A park here in La Ciotat--and a beautiful place to walk, think, and pray for serenity.
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