Oreilles, ecouter & 25 years ago tomorrow....
How to say 'minor crime' or misdemeanor' in French? And a fishy story for you today....

s'emparer & seizing the mystery of communication from 'beyond'


I wonder if today's story is confusing or if it may sound strange? Then again, telepathy--whether with the living or the dead--is a mystery! (painting from 1880 of  our seaside town, La Ciotat, by Johan Barthold Jongkind)

Today's word: s'emparer

    : to grab, seize, take hold of

Example Sentence:
Au tournant du xxe siècle, les partisans du spiritisme s’émerveillent des progrès de la technologie et s’en emparent pour démontrer la validité de leurs thèses sur les phénomènes parapsychiques, comme la télépathie ou l’interaction avec les défunts. -Les spectres magnétiques de Thomas Alva Edison

At the turn of the twentieth century, partisans of spiritualism marvel at the progress of technology and seize it to demonstrate the validity of their theses on parapsychic phenomena, such as telepathy or interaction with the deceased.

 A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse

The Other Side

During a morning swim in the sea, I begin looking for my daughter who works in one of the paillotes de plage, or beach restaurants right here along the shore. Normally, I try not to be so conspicuous when I pass by Jackie's workplace (often on foot, via the boardwalk)...but after her father nearly ran his canoe ashore while spying on her, I figure a lap or two...in the near vicinity... is innocent enough.

Some 30 feet off shore, wearing my giant sunhat, I'm doggy paddling past the restaurant and its rows and rows of transats. Glancing over the sun chairs to the dining area, I can't see my daughter. I do see the bartender, the beach attendants, and the manager. I'm sure Jackie is working today... Why isn't she anywhere in sight? 
When next I catch sight of her and begin watching my daughter from afar, I am visited by a thought that's been on my mind lately, especially since close friends of ours are grieving the loss of their son. I wonder as they do: are the dearly departed watching us from beyond? And can they somehow communicate with us?
Being somewhat in another realm myself --I mean, far out in the seafloating--whilst my daughter is on material ground (the solid shore)--my swim provides another perspective on this afterlife mystery....
Looking to shore, I can see my dear one. She is currently unaware of my loving regard from "beyond" as she goes about her busy workday. 
Ah, she is wearing her new shorts and the restaurant's t-shirt. Is that a white bandana in her hair? I see she is sporting a ponytail today. And look at her go! She's her usual efficient self...when at work at least! 
I am now smiling from afar when suddenly my daughter pauses and her eyes scan the horizon.  Does she sense that I am out here? Oh, that gut feeling. Hers is particularly strong!
What with hundreds of tourists in the water, I easily hide behind a cluster of swimmers. It's best she does not know I am around. It will only interrupt her. And she needs to stay on track. Oh! There are some customers! Hurry, Jackie! I can see them even before my daughter does, and she suddenly turns, as if by an inkling... and greets them with that lovely smile. 
My heart swells so big that I begin to float away, along the shimmering barrier that separates us, when I see my dear girl turn once more. She is walking towards me now! 
Ouf! She is only on her way to set another table (still completely oblivious of my presence on the other side of the shore). Good. Keep going, Jackie. You are doing great! Today the restaurant, tomorrow the sky's the limit.
I'm swimming away now. I've got to let her be. Goodbye my girl. Though you can't see it--somebody, on The Other Side, is sending you good energy!
s'emparer = to grab, seize 
la paillotte = a restaurant along the beach that can be taken down at the end of the season
le transat = sunbed, deckchair
ouf! = phew!
BOOK UPDATE: THE LOST GARDENS, by Jean-Marc & Kristi Espinasse
Jean-marc and kristi around 2010
Photo of Jean-Marc and me taken midway into the first vineyard project--right when things were calming down--and just before life stirred up once again...

Reader feedback from Chapter 5 of our memoir, The Lost Gardens:

I had always wondered how you actually got going, so my thanks to Jean-Marc for the insight. I think that for me there is sense of wonder at the way you both balance your writings.  The story would not be the same if it came from a single author. Keep it up. --Mike Young

Thank you, Mike, for your note! I hope it will encourage others who have not yet bought the book, to jump in and follow our ongoing narrative about our vineyards and our struggles. 

Vineyard in Sainte Cecile les vignes

Excerpt from The Lost Gardens

At some point, I started to be disconnected from the reality since, at that point, everything I was doing ended in a positive result. This led to a lot of excess confidence which caused some big tensions between me and my wife. But since I felt certain I was right, I thought that these disagreements were not worth debating and I was sticking to my own ideas, insisting on them even when they made my wife nervous or uncomfortable as she held on to those "unstable ladders" that I climbed, two rungs at a time.

Even with no experience, I really felt like I was going to rock the wine world with the upcoming harvest, making wines which would rapidly become the most famous ones in the area... and beyond.

That was indeed my euphoric state of mind a few days before our first harvest began...and this, just one year after I had suffered from my first depression.

Click here to order The Lost Gardens, and begin reading right away.

Jean-marc t-shirt

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.

Ways to contribute:
1.Zelle®, The best way to donate and there are no transaction fees. Zelle to [email protected]

2.Paypal or credit card
Or purchase my book for a friend and so help them discover this free weekly journal.
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.

Mary Ann Becker

Dear Kristin,

In relation to the subject of your blog today I thought you might find the following website on different types of empaths of interest if you are not already knowledgeable on the subject. https://www.learning-mind.com/types-of-empaths/

Also, the book by Lauren Elkin called, "Flaneuse," Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London may be of interest to you where she weaves (braids) her own walking experiences in these cities with other women (such as Virginia Woolf, George Sand, Jean Rhys, Martha Gellerman, Agnes Varda, Sophe Calle, etc.)


Patricia Sands

A sweet post, Kristi. You express feelings so many parents experience ... straight from the heart. I agree with Mike's comment above about both you and J-M writing your stories in The Lost Gardens. Each chapter is engaging and expressed in a narrative that simply feels so real. We can feel the anxiety, excitement, promise and disappointment vividly. I find myself admiring the courage each step has taken and cheering you both on, even knowing the outcome of the happy space you inhabit today. You have a story that is meaningful in so many ways. Merci à vous deux pour ce partage!

Eileen deCamp

Hi Kristi!
Love your sweet post today!


I have felt my moms presence in times of great distress. In fact I felt her hold my hand. So I believe those we love and love us, are watching when we need them.
Beautiful picture of your family life.


Ditto Mike, Patricia and Eileen - they have said exactly what I was thinking. Thanks for sharing your life with us.


A very poignant reminder that we never stop worrying about our children, even when they are 44, 43, and 36 like mine. God bless them at all ages...


Great story.....kinda surreal....does your hard-working daughter read your blog?


Our dear Kristi,
Your post today just wrapped itself around my heart.So many times I have thought the same questions,and always find peace in the Jewish belief that our loved one's essence is always with us.Such a comfort!
The latest chapter in The Lost Gardens is wonderful!Actually,EVERY chapter is!
I really enjoy this being in installments....not too much to read all at once and more to look forward to!
You and Jean Marc are darling together!
What a terrific picture!!

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you. No, she does not read it. 

Judith B. Dunn

.......I believe the spirits are always with us. All we have to do is summon them from deep within our heart!

Transcending different realities is very easy if you truly have the desire to do it.


Bonjour, Kristi,
This is one of your best blogs! I often want to interrupt my adult son’s life to share something with him or even just to say hello so I can relate to the temptation and the need for self-restraint. The desire for connection is such a strong one! I recall several incidents over the course of my lifetime that I felt connected to another family member who was not in my immediate presence. In one case both of us, unknown to each other, made an appointment on the same day with the same physician for the same complaint (a stiff neck). Neither of us knew that the other was suffering because we lived apart. Nevertheless I felt a spiritual bond in our mutual suffering and healing. Thank you for reminding me of how we are connected in invisible spiritual ways.

Julie Farrar

I don't feel my mother's spirit hovering over me like I used to. And with that absence I wonder if she's stopped watching because she thinks I have things under control and is needed elsewhere or if instead I'm too harried to be open to her presence.

Kitty Wilson-Pote

Oh, what a wonderful blog today, Kristi! As others' responses confirm, your words go straight to our own hearts' deep knowing of these ineffable love-bonds in life both now and beyond. One of these days, Jackie will read this, and marvel at her maman's doting delight so magically expressed. She'll be forever nourished by it, I know.

I just recently bought access to "The Lost Gardens" and am savouring it more and more as it builds affectingly. Jean-Marc's latest chapter blew me away with its natural revelation of his character and individual personhood, adding such vivid dimension to the way I've been perceiving him through your eyes and heart over the years. This immediacy is an unexpected dimension of the evolving story, and quite wonderful for a reader to experience. Brightest of blessings to you both.

Cynthia Lewis

Dear Kristi,

I liked your writing so much today ... can clearly "see" you floating in the sea with your large sunhat looking for Jackie's bright beautiful smile. Yes, I do feel that we have telepathy. Maybe that is not the word I'm searching for (le mot juste). It's difficult to describe such a feeling. Has your heatwave abated? ... hope so! Best wishes, always.

Kristin Espinasse

Cynthia, The heatwave is not as bad as last week, but it is still here. Walking into our house feels like entering a sauna. 😥

Polly Adkins

I paid for the book and tried to follow all the instructions, but my Mac did not let me download it, qpparently. It says in order to download the book, I must cancel the system that keeps my Mac from being inundated with ads and other crap from the Internet. I'm not sure what to do now. And I'm not savvy enough on a computer to figure it out, I'm afraid to cancel the safety system. I'm sure you must have had other pitiful computer weaklings with my problem. ;-) What would you advise?
Polly Adkins

Bettye Dew

I love the gentle humor of this post. The picture of you floating on the sea--the great beyond--while Jackie is still on terra firma will stay with me. You musing, her doing. You watching/spying, her unaware. It's a beautiful piece of writing.

Kristin Espinasse


Thank you for buying our book-in-progress. It is designed to be read online, and the format is similar to the blog. There is no download, but the sections can be sent directly to your inbox each time a chapter is complete. I will email you the codes so that you can log on and begin reading. 


A lovely story and image of loved ones observing us from 'out of sight'.
Thank you, Kristi!

Kristin Espinasse


Mary L Kennedy

Kristi, I love your blog and hope I am still on the list! Today is July 19th and this is the most recent blog I've received. I think I am missing one? Or Two? Please help if you can, thanks so much.

Kristin Espinasse

Mary, thank you for checking in and for your very kind words! The blog goes out once a week, so you have not missed anything. I just need to get cracking for this weeks post!


I purchased your book via Paypal on 6-24-19 but have misplaced or did not fill in required information to access it. Help! My apologies. Catching up with life since we sold Stonewall Creek Vineyards in the North Georgia Mountains. Now have time and look forward to reading your on-line book. Thank you.

Kristin Espinasse

Hello Carla, Glad you wrote. I will send you the sign-in information and the book site in an email. Congratulations on selling your vineyard. 

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)