To Be Had: to Fall for Something Hook, Line, and Sinker in French
A Common Mistake + favorite English word translated to French

Bonjour from North Africa + A Gift from Strangers!

Ocean sunset jean-marc agadir morocco north africa
Twilight in Agadir, Morocco, in Northwest Africa. Jean-Marc snaps a photo of le coucher du soleil.

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TODAY’S WORD: le crépuscule

    : twilight, dusk, gloaming, nightfall

Listen to all the French in today's story via the sound file below. Then scroll to the vocabulary section to check your language comprehension.

Le crépuscule c’est la lumière incertaine qui succède immédiatement au couché du soleil. The twilight is the blurred light that immediately follows the sunset.

French-English Audio file here

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE…by Kristi Espinasse

“Just 5 more minutes,” my husband says, as we gaze at the glowing red Moroccan sky. Jean-Marc’s bare feet are planted in the wet sand on the smooth shore of Agadir. We’ve been standing a long time before le coucher du soleil, until all that remains are ink black lines drowning out the fiery blaze beyond. The horizon resembles molten lava.

Jean-Marc is transfixed by the final curtain on this radiant show called “Nightfall.” Only 5 days ago the curtains were drawn on an episode in his own life. After a chapter called “Rouge-Bleu” and another called “Mas des Brun” (2 vignobles), Jean-Marc has reached the end of the current chapter “La Cave”. He has sold his wine shop and for once in his life he doesn’t have a plan. Looking straight ahead can be blinding.

“Don’t stare at the sun,” Jean-Marc cautioned, taking my hand as the soleil made its descent into the Atlantic. Looking away I catch another glorious scene: all the colors of the sunset are reflecting on the wet sand. C’est merveilleux!

As the sun goes down I close my eyes and carefully make a wish. My vœu is to grow closer and closer to my husband, like the colors melding together on the horizon. 

When next I open my eyes, something magical happens…

THE NEWLYWEDS (Les Jeunes Mariés) 

A few strangers approached us from behind, waving a smartphone. “We were adjusting the settings on our new camera when we got this picture of you two….” The young couple pointed enthusiastically at the phone’s screen.

Jean-marc kristi holding hands sunset morocco

Jean-Marc and I were caught off guard but were soon reassured by two smiling faces. “We just got married,” the strangers offered and the joyous sparkle in their eyes was contagious.

Vous êtes en lune de miel? You are on your honeymoon?” Jean-Marc asked, and so began a little conversation in the sunset's afterglow.

Before we said goodbye to les jeunes mariés, I typed my email address into the woman’s phone, thanking her for her offer to send copies of the photos. “It will be a nice souvenir of our trip. Merci beaucoup!” I say, gazing at the image of a peaceful couple—us—holding hands before the sunset. In an instant, our 28-year married life flashes before me. Next, I think about the newlyweds innocently beginning their own nuptial journey. Whoah! Like molten lava it will be beautiful, it will sizzle, and it will sometimes burn.

One thing that will help any marriage, new or decades-old, is the support from friends and family--even the benediction of strangers, and in this case it was reciprocal: in their photo, the young couple captured an ideal image of our union and in return we left them with a blessing.

Tous nos vœux de bonheur pour un long et heureux mariage! All our wishes of happiness for a long and happy marriage."

Back in our hotel room, I found an email from The Newlyweds, containing the peaceful photo—our best version of our married selves. Sweet and united. “Closer and closer.” Remembering the sparkle in the young couple's eyes I turned to my husband and smiled: In this next chapter we could be newlyweds….

It was just an idea—an inspiration. Because at this point we don’t have a plan for this next chapter. It’s kind of like The Twilight Zone…. Only I don’t want a husband zombie roaming around the house all day. That’s been my turf for the past 5 years while JM was away at the shop all day. I wonder…is anyone out there hiring? I’ve got a stellar candidate who is thoroughly knowledgeable in French wine and who appreciates a good sunset anywhere in the world.  


Jean-marc kristi sunset
24/7 or full-time housemates in this new chapter. (Only now, at the close of my story, do I understand the irony in my “closer and closer to hubby” wish :-)  Currently, I have put Jean-Marc to work making lunch as I finish typing up this post. Earlier, he washed the windows, changed a burnt-out lightbulb, and swept the front patio. I'm going to keep him busy! (Photo credit: Majdouline B.)
IN BOOKS: Your Name Is Renée: Ruth Kapp Hartz's Story as a Hidden Child in Nazi-Occupied France
Ruth kapp hartz your name is renee
While in Morocco I had the chance to read Ruth Kapp Hartz's story "Your Name is Renee". I have read many Holocaust accounts and this one is especially touching as it is the survival story of a friend and reader of this journal--and it takes place in France. Thank you, Ruth, and Stacy Cretzmeyer (who told Ruth's story) for this unforgettable read. Interestingly there were several mentions of Morocco as Ruth's father initially avoided deportation by joining the French Foreign Legion in Morocco. Please check out Ruth's book.)

Ruth and kristi
Ruth (center) and Monique visited us at our vineyard in 2009. 

Barry ruth jm moniqueBarry, Ruth, and Monique tasting Jean-Marc's wine at our first vineyard.

Kristi in kitchen at domaine rouge-bleu
Ruth also sent this snapshot from our kitchen at the vineyard. It's a sweet souvenir. Merci, Ruth. I hope others will read your highly recommended book.


le crépuscule = twilight, dusk

le coucher du soleil = sunset

le vignoble = vineyard

le soleil = sun

la cave = wine shop

la lune de miel  = honeymoon 

C’est merveilleux! = it’s magnificent

le vœu= wish

les jeunes mariés = young married couple

Tous nos vœux de bonheur pour un long et heureux mariage! All our wishes of happiness for a long and happy marriage.

Moroccan cookies patiesseries desert
Sweet of the Week, No 7: "Les Pâtisseries Marocaines." On our third night in Agadir, we ordered room service. We shared a vegetarian pizza and, for dessert, these chewy honey and nut cookies. I hid several in the nightstand and was punished for hoarding them when a bunch of ants invaded my side of the bed!

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


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Eileen Burns

So very sweet! Eileen XO


What a beautiful story. A renewal of your marriage. The sunset is gorgeous and the two people standing before it with hands clasped look happy and content. You are blessed to live near such interesting places to visit.
Peace, Kathleen


What a great idea to take this trip. The tender story and the beautiful photos warm my heart.

Diane Van Gorden

Merci beaucoup for the book title. I just bought a copy for my Kindle. It's fillings up with books I want to read when I retire from my teaching position in May.

Sue J.

A God moment, mon amie.

Donele Monte

Wonderful post today! Beautiful picture of you, Jean-Marc and sunset! Must also say those are some beautiful patisseries too!
Thank you for the book recommendation. It is now on my TBR list.

Caroline Morton

Kristi, I started reading this story being so glad that we had visited you and Jean-Marc in his wine shop in April. Such a special time for Marshall and me. Then I end the story in tears! What a dear, dear tale about how wonderful love is and what those newlyweds have to look forward to. Do keep Jean-Marc busy, he may even learn a new talent. Retirement is great we think or we wouldn’t have met y’all!

Mary-Jo Johnston

Everything about this post brings warmth to my heart and a smile to my lips. Things happen for a reason and your journey together continues to unfold. Thank you as well for the book recommendation.

Bud Raspail

Nice story and photos. Thank you, Kristi.

Andrea Woods

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your life. I also appreciate the books you recommend. It would be nice to have a few in french to read. Small suggestion, if the link for the audio file and the list of vocabulary words were together it would be easier to read them and listen. I had the pleasure of visiting Morocco many years ago. It was nice to see your photos to remember.
Bonne chance for the new chapter!

Beth Fiacco

Great photo and reminder of the sweetness of married love. ♥

Leslie, Falls Church

Such tenderness in you two and the newlyweds. It inspires me. I smiled too at the hoarded cookies. That's something I would do!

Jackie Hallinan

Best wishes for your new chapter


stunningly beautiful!

Have a wonderful holiday in Agadir, maybe it will be like a Honeymoon now!

Enjoy and all the best for Jean Marc's new chapter...


Loved the post. Merci pour les photos aussi. Allez au Maroc!

Patricia Sands

Warmest wishes for your future adventures, Kristi and J-M. The world is open to you. The photo from the "Newlyweds" is a touching gift that brought tears to my eyes. I hope you keep it prominently displayed and feel the love from it every day. Thank you for the recommendation of Ruth's book. I'm going to buy it now. Bonne continuation et mes millers voeux.


I see a potential movie script here. Three act structure and final scene. You now have the image for the poster.

Pat kim

Have followed and enjoyed you site since it’s early days.
There always new horizons for you and your husband to explore and enjoy together.
A new landscaped garden, cooking adventures, learning a new skill or language, definitely traveling…. The world is your oyster. Enjoy!

At age 70, I took up French and watercolor.
Our group meets regularly to speak French; we traveled together to Provence, and I illustrate and write children‘a books for family and friends.


Dear Kristi: All of your posts are magical; I so look forward to reading them. How beautiful your trip to Morocco was; what a lovely tribute to you both when the young honeymoon couple approached you. Life surely does have its mysterious side, doesn't it?? I will look up a copy of Ruth's book. As for your life with Jean-Marc, there are roads to be travelled that you both haven't found; you will reach them! Merci beaucoup for your writing. Please don't let your computer take me away!!! Amicalmente, Ann

Charlotte West

Thank you Kristi for the beautiful photos and thoughts of renewal- your relationship and a change in career direction for Jean Marc. How brave and intrepid to be prepared to relocate anywhere, without needing to hold on to your current life. Blessings for your next steps.
And thank you too for the book title, it’s joined my TBR list as well


Dear friends,

We are heading to France next week, abandoning the Wisconsin cold for the Cote d'Azur. Can anyone tell me how long it takes for mail from France to get back to the US? We're hoping to be able to vote absentee in a February election. (Ballots will not be ready until after we're gone).

Many thanks.


Barbara Stephano

Chère Kristi, cette incroyable photo est symbolique d’un bel avenir sans limités. Bon courage!
Bisous, Barbara

Suzanne in NJ

A touching post and a lovely photo.

K. J. Laramie

Everything about this post says ‘bright future’ … yours, the newlyweds, the incredibly inspiring beauty before you, so vast and limitless, and the kindness of strangers …
I think the message of hope and love and the assurance of Everything is Perfect in the Now comes through loud and clear.

Julie Douglass

Merci for all the book recommendations! I have actually read some of them, and several more have just jumped onto my "must-read" list. Especially "Your Name is Renee", since I read so many Holocaust war memoirs. And how wonderful that she visited you - love the photos!

Jerry Wood

I hope. I’m never dropped off your posts, as they often bring back so many wonderful memories of France for me.
As I’m now 88 and no one will give me reasonable travel insurance any more I don’t think I’ll be visiting lovely France again.
Mes nombreuses visites dans la belle France vont me manquer

Cynthia Lewis

Thank you for this beautiful and touching post!
That magnificent sunset takes your breath away. How thoughtful of the newlyweds to make the photo of you and Jean-Marc holding hands as you watch the fading sunset. I send my sincere best wishes as you begin a new chapter in your lives.

Judy Feldman

Kristi, the sunset in Agadir reminds me of our beautiful couchés de soleil here in AZ: I’m, sure you remember them! A lovely post, as always, and thanks for sharing another journey in your lives with us. Hopefully Jean-Marc will find a new passion in this next phase of his life (& not in the house 24/7)!

Alice Shupe

The sunset is a reminder of how in life the sun sets on one season and a new season is waiting to dawn just around the corner! May God bless you and guide you as you and Jean Marc explore what the next chapter might be.

Richard Kahane

A lovely story, but if you were in Agadir, the sun was setting in the Atlantic, not the Mediterranean!

Kristin Espinasse

Ah! Thanks, Richard. This comment is funnier than you will ever know. I am working on a story about a similar mixup and I will try to weave your words into it. 


So beautiful! Your post and sunset photos touched my heart, Kristi. What a beautiful memory of your time in Morocco.

Suzanne Dunaway

Beautiful, just beautiful. All of it. And how exciting to be on a new path, Mr Lunch-Marker. Bonne chance! We are 47 years together and feel like newlyweds every day just because we are so thankful for our meeting…which is another story……….

Laura Purdy

You have been so blessed with beauty, in every sense of the word. And in turn, you bless us with your story and perspective. Merci Kristi.

Nyla Witmore

I looked at the photo and got shivers! The good kind.
two thoughts…
1) Someone whose husband was retiring said to me..”I married him for better or worse but not for 24 hours a day!”
2) When my husband retired and my domaine seemingly invaded, we worked out a schedule, sort of. Each of us would spend a few hours doing our own thing and then we would “ meet for lunch somewhere in the house or yard, like a date. Or go out for lunch or plan lots of picnics. Anything to keep surprises happening. Also, we took turns fixing the lunch, but for evening we would cook together.

Truly, You will find yourself laughing more and more…more than you thought.

You would be surprised how resourceful you can be and how you can happily develop a new rhythm. We have been married 57 years and my Husband has been of and on retired for 32 years. It still works even with a downsizing to one bedroom apartment of 750 sq feet.

Don Leach

20 year reader here.
I was in Morocco with USAF in the 1950's near Marrakesh. A weekend pleasure was an Atlantic sunset at Safi, Agadir or, my favorite, the Old Fortress at Mogador (Essaouira). I would think that: that as the sun is setting here, it is rising on my home in California. My wife, of 49 years, have had many fine trips to France. Another favorite, sunset at Mont St. Michel.
Best of luck to you both.on your new phase.
Don Leach
Fair Oaks, CA


Long retired I’ve dreamed of learning how to paint using water colors and to also get back into French. You’ve inspired me. Now to do, not just to think about doing! -judi


Oh such a dream of sunsets, love, and new beginnings. What a beautiful place for it to all to come together -another Chapter!

Richard Kahan

I'll be looking forward to reading it!

Marilyn Louise Whalley

Thankyou Kristi for sharing your romantic sunset. A trip to Morocco is out of the question for me so it is a very special way of enjoying vicariously the sunset at Agadir.
Amicalement Mazzie


Hi Kristi,
What a gift Kristi!
Blessings to you and JM!

Renée Dauplaise

I spotted that book while visiting my niece at college just last year and was drawn to it because, well, my name is Renée. I enjoyed the different perspective it gave me of life in France during WWII. You were fortunate to meet the author and her subject.

You are also fortunate to have your husband, time together, and the wonderful photos from your vacation. Your wish is granted!

Susan Sansom

Best wishes to you both with retirement! My husband of 50 years has recently retired from our family meat business and he is enjoying volunteering and meeting new people. We also have been traveling in the USA and have trips to Europe planned. Time management is challenging! Enjoy your time together, and apart!! XOXO

Marianne S. Rankin

Thanks, Kristin, for the lovely photos and, as always, your posts. I wish J-M much luck in his search for the Next Step in his life career-wise (he is too young to retire).

A note to Mara: I haven't been to France in years, but I suggest you allow a week or more for mail to get to/from the USA to/from France. And BE SURE TO SEND EVERYTHING AIR MAIL, or it could take ages to get from France back to the States. My first postcard from France to Virginia, USA arrived at my mother's house a day after I returned from a 2-month trip.

Diane Covington-Carter

Yes, be newlyweds again! When my husband and I were first together, he was very gun-shy and afraid of marriage. but then I got the idea, "Let's just start having honey moons!"
So we did and then back tracked 10 + years ago to the wedding.
Blessings on your new phase of life from New Zealand,

karen bardelcik

J'ai lu le livre en français et en anglais. C'est a très bon livre.


Hola Kristi,
This mission church in Taos looks similar to your pic from Agadir. Fortress vs Church
Hope you can open it.


Happy Anniversary, Kristi. So proud to know you. You are an inspiration!

Kristin Espinasse

Merci, Carmen 💓

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