Epine: Mr Farjon, the plant man, returns

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Mr. Farjon came by to drop off this newspaper clipping (see our son, Max, posing with our town's mayor after a military march). Mr Farjon brought a few other things when he came to visit. Read today's story for more.

une épine (ay-peen)

    : thorn

Audio File: Listen to Jean-Marc read the following sentence: Download MP3 file or Wav file

Les épines, ça ne sert à rien, c'est de la pure méchanceté de la part des fleurs. Thorns are good for nothing. Just a flower's way of being spiteful! —Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

 

A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse

I had an unexpected visit from Mr Farjon the other day. It was such a coincidence, as I had been thinking of him recently—nostalgically remembering all the visits he paid me a several years back.

Just like old times, Mr Farjon parked his ancient Peugeot (a bicycle) outside our portail, leaning it against a giant wine barrel, one of two that flank the entrance to our courtyard. Running up to the gate to greet him, I noticed how stiff his legs were as he walked, slightly hunched over. Instead of leading him to the picnic table, beneath the old mulberry tree, I offered him a seat on the steps beside it.

I was eager to point out our new friends in the garden.... Four years ago, there wouldn't have been any mirabilis jalapa, or marvel of Peru, growing here—and forget about the lily of Spain, or valerian, which now shot up throughout the courtyard, in splashes of raspberry red! Today our garden is home to many a drought-tolerant flower, thanks to those who have sown the love of plants in my heart.

Despite the drought (read: we did not water our grass this year, and parts of the garden suffered the pinch), there were a few plants I wanted to show Mr Farjon, now that the plant whisperer had re-appeared after a 4-year absence.  

But it was difficult to concentrate on my guest, what with Smokey hovering between us. Like a gawky and attention-vying sibling who wants to join in, Smokey wagged his entire body, inching between my friend and me. His full body wag said I'm so happy to see you!, never mind the two had never met before. Indeed, it had been that long—a dog's life—since Mr Farjon last came to visit.

Despite the giant fly of a dog buzzing between us, I managed to speak to Mr Farjon.

"What have you got there?" I asked Monsieur. Waiting for the answer, I casually pushed Smokey aside, but the dog just wiggled back in again, so I gave in.  

Smokey and I watched as Mr Farjon selected a long and thorny stem from the pile of just-picked weeds beside him.

"It's a chardon. We call it chausse-trappe," he explained. With that, my friend told the story of how the plant got its name: the roman army dug ditches and filled them with this needle-sharp weed. And the poor used it as well, piling on rooftops....

"To keep away thieves?" I guessed. 

Mr Farjon shook his head, repeating, simply, that the dried plant was piled on housetops. (I guessed again: for insulation?)

As I tried to picture the thorny rooftops, Monsieur Farjon presented the next specimen, aigre-moine .

"Sour-monk" I mumbled, trying to translate the term.

As with each plant he brings, Monsieur took pains to point out where he had uprooted it. "Next to the telephone line. Beside the ditch—just up the street, after the fork in the road."

If I made the mistake of showing a blank look, Monsieur repeated himself, in addition to his usual stuttering, until I nodded convincingly "Yes, beside the telephone line, up the street--just after the fork in the road!" It seemed important to Monsieur that the plant's location was understood, and he insisted that certain plants were very rare these days. When new vineyards are planted, many of these rare plants are torn out. "You can find this plant by the telephone pole," Monsieur repeated, sending an unmistakable order that I should stop and observe the weed the next time I drove by.

"It contains tanin," Monsieur spoke a bit about the aigre-moine. "It was used to color wine." Just as I began to wonder whether or not to run and get Jean-Marc from the wine-cellar (wouldn't he love to know about this one?!), Mr Farjon set down yet another specimen.

"Epine du Christ."

"I remember that one," I said, softly. Mr Farjon had once showed me the thorny weed, otherwise known as "Christ's crown". It was this weed—found here in our neighborhood, that was used to torture Jesus.

We paused in time to move to the picnic table, where I asked Mr Farjon if he would note the names of the plants in today's lesson.

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As he wrote, I noticed his hands--the hands of a plant man! Long nails, perfect for pinching or cutting weed samples, and dirt beneath the tips--evidence of the morning's plant harvest!

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To some people, long soil-stained nails equal unkempt.  Others might notice the beauty of these nails, with their hard, smooth surface and elegant curve--perfect for scooping out a plant's delicate racine. As I stared at Mr Farjon's nails, I was unexpectedly envious. I wished my own nails were as healthy looking (though, admittedly, I couldn't own up to the caked dirt part--but that is only because I have not earned the right to wear dirt on my person--or under my nails. But a plant genius may sport soil wherever he pleases and the world would do well to respect him for it!)

As for Mr Farjon, he was oblivious to all the thoughts bubbling up in my head, thoughts about how and how not to appear to society. Thankfully, Monsieur's attention was focused on the task before him.

Watching him write, I had a hunch that the moment was something to capture. It may not have been history in the making, and this may not have been an historical figure, but the moment and the person were just as fascinating. I ran to get my camara.

It occured to me to try and capture a shot of the two of us, by using the automatic timer. I wished I had put on make-up or styled my hair, but that was a poor reason to miss capturing the moment. 

DSC_0339
The first photo didn't turn out, for my hand flew up as I fell down in the seat, just before the camara clicked.

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Voilà, the second photo worked. Notice Mr Farjon's concentration. He would eventually look up, to question what all my running back and forth was about.

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"Now look into the lens," I said, coaching my subject.

 "I'm not photogenic," Mr Farjon demured.

"You are beautiful!" I assured him.

"My birthday is tomorrow," he confided. 

(He was turning 83.)

 

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The trusty Peugeot... I took a photo of the two when I first moved to Sainte Cécile. I didn't know Monsieur at the time, but thought I'd spotted an unforgettable character. (Now where is that photo... somewhere in the archives here.) 

 I sent Mr Farjon off with some samples from my own garden. He very much wanted the two kinds of chamomile growing there, gifts from the Dirt Divas. I tucked several dates inside the bag, for a sweet surprise--nourishment a plant genius needs while burning the midnight oil, poring over plantasauruses or thesauruses or dictionaries, rather. 

Then I watched as he rode off into the blue and green horizon.

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As Mr Farjon took a right at the end of the lavender row, I wondered if I would ever see this man again. And this, not because of his advancing age.

***

Click on the highlighted words in today's story to read the corresponding stories, such as "Love in a Cage" in which Monsieur asks: is your husband the jealous type? Click here.

Meet Mr Farjon's older brother, a wine farmer, in the story "to help out"

Meet several of Mr Farjon's "friends"--that is, the wild plants that grow in this part of Provence

Read about another visit from Mr Farjon, in the story "fleurette".

More garden posts here.

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Mr Farjon's handwritten notes botaniques, above

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Here's the rest of that newspaper clipping that Mr. Farjon thoughtfully clipped for us.

A Message from KristiFor twenty years now, support from readers like you has been an encouragement and a means to carve out a career in writing. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider a donation. Your gift keeps me going! Thank you very much.

Ways to contribute:
1. Send a check (to this new address)
2. Paypal or credit card
3. A bank transfer via Zelle, a great way to send your donation as there are no transaction fees.

Or purchase my book for a friend, and so help spread the French word.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety


amour-en-cage

Robert Farjon
The Plant Whisperer. Read on in today's story.

amour-en-cage (uh-moor-ahn-kazh) noun, masculine

    : ornamental plant*, of American origin

[literal translation: "love in a cage"]

*a.k.a.: physalis or "Chinese Lantern"

Listen to today's word: amour-en-cage: Download amour-en-cage.wav. Download amour-en-cage.mp3


A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse

I told you about the Ban des Vendanges: that official proclamation issued by a modern-day "lord" inciting the town to "Let the harvest begin!" But, you may ask, just who, exactly, determines the grape's ripeness? Whose job is it to say whether a grape is ripe-ready for picking?

This year that honor went to none other than Monsieur Farjon, one of the oldest winegrowers in our town, according to our local paper. You may remember him as the "Herbal Don Juan" or "Plant Whisperer," who has taken to spending Tuesday mornings chez moi, sharing with me his passion for the plants of Provence.
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Yesterday, while Monsieur and I studied sumac,* physalis,* and "l'olivier du bohème"* at the picnic table, Jean-Marc passed by, on his way to the cave.* As usual, Farjon felt the need to explain his presence:

"Ah... Bonjour Monsieur Espinasse..." he began. "Well, it is me again. Nothing to worry about," he assured my husband, who chuckled in response:
"Salut Monsieur Farjon. Je ne m'inquiète pas! I'm not worried."

I hope Jean-Marc's response didn't cramp Monsieur's style. Apparently, my husband doesn't sense any threat. Then again, my guest, seated there beside me, may have just been gracefully let off the hook... After all, what would you do if a man brought your wife a bouquet of "amour-en-cage"? I'd say my husband handled the situation with délicatesse*.

After my botanical lesson, we shared a tray of vine peaches, Basque cheese, and a hearty slice of homemade chocolate cake--this, washed down by a glass of Innocent Absinthe (anise-flavored iced tea). Finally, I escorted Monsieur to the front gate. Arriving at the stairs, I discreetly offered my arm (never certain whether Monsieur might need assistance).

Fuzzy_dice_2
As I thanked him for the decorative bouquet, including a generous amount of that lovely variety called "amour-en-cage," Monsieur interrupted me.

"He is not jealous, your husband?"
"Oh... uh. No. Not to worry."

As soon as I'd said it, I regretted my words. Was that "disappointment" written across Monsieur's face? Without missing a beat, I added, "I mean... you know....just a little bit jealous...."

Monsieur's face lit up and I noticed the grayish tone to his skin turning a pale pink, like those vine-ripe peaches he'd brought me.

Well, I reasoned, helping Monsieur down the rest of the stairs, he may be forty years older than I, but why shouldn't my husband be jealous? After all, there I stood: amour-en-cage in one arm, my herbal Don Juan on the other.
END

***
They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Tell us about something beautiful to your beholding eyes: an authentic friendship? Pre-war penmanship? A second-hand scarf? Silence? Share your story in the comments box.

Not up to talking about beauty? How about helping to translate today's word into another language? What's the word for "love-in-a-cage" in Spanish? Russian? Swedish? German?

More "Lessons in Love and Language" in the book: "Words in a French Life"


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~References~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
le sumac (m) = tree that grows in warm regions; le physalis = "love in a cage" a.k.a.: cape gooseberry Chinese Lantern (plant); l'olivier du bohème = bohemian olive tree; la cave (f) = wine cellar; la délicatesse (f) = tact (sensitiveness)


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Shopping~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Pronounce It Perfectly in French: with exercises in sound discrimination and accurate sound creation
Chocolat: Music from the Miramax Motion Picture
Chinese lantern Plant some Love in a Cage, or Physalis, in your garden. Order a packet of seeds here and help support this free language journal. Click here.

A Message from KristiFor twenty years now, support from readers like you has been an encouragement and a means to carve out a career in writing. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider a donation. Your gift keeps me going! Thank you very much.

Ways to contribute:
1. Send a check (to this new address)
2. Paypal or credit card
3. A bank transfer via Zelle, a great way to send your donation as there are no transaction fees.

Or purchase my book for a friend, and so help spread the French word.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety


"Lexique" + a botanical glossary of plants in Provence

Botanique
What do you do when a plant savant gives you two dozen botanical cuttings? You speed home from the village, dart out to the clothesline, and grab all the clothespins you can get, run back into the kitchen and scour the armoire for glasses (champagne flutes, wine goblets, old jam jars...)... then you carefully label each and every species (thanks to the handwritten notes that one venerable Frenchman carefully penned).

lexique (lexeek) noun, masculine

    : glossary
.

A_day_in_a_french_life
Monsieur Farjon talks about plants as some talk about humans. They have their relations, c'est-à-dire,* they have families, "ancestors". They reproduce. They are "born": some as bâtards, others with silver spoons in their botanical bouches.* Speaking of mouths, they even have body parts, such as "armpits" (aisselles), from which thirsty French birds drink à la "cabaret des oiseaux".*

They have their faults and their moods, good and bad. Ornery they are, as witnessed by their spiky "skin" or prickly "peau". Their many "fingers" cling to you like children... when they aren't altogether sticking their tongues out, teasingly. And they are liable to spit as you mosey on by, minding your own onions, in some abandoned French village.... (Just ask my own mom, who stood beside me, stunned, as one alien-like concombre d'âne* squirted at us in the ancient hilltop village of Le Cannet des Maures.)

Plants teach us, scold us, and reward us. Some are smelly, some sweet, but they all merit more than a passing glance and to most, Farjon would argue, we owe a sincere reconnaissance* ... or one final salute -- as more and more of these medieval plants are disappearing, concrete pushing up in their place. Gone are the flocks and animals that, in their own humble way, nourished these "old folks": these sometime irascible, often irresistible botanicals of prehistoric and modern Provence.

It is another kind of green that interests people these days, Farjon laments. Money and modernity would seem to have taken the limelight off of botanical antiquity. But that won't stop one "plant whisperer" from combing the countryside, to render a daily homage to his heroic heirlooms.

                                                         *     *     *

Here is the most recent batch of botanical cuttings that Monsieur Farjon brought by in a mid-summer medley. There are stories, funny and sad, behind each and every one. I hope to share some of them with you, as Monsieur Farjon has with me so as to keep their French histories alive, for posterity.

                                                        *     *     *

Note: The plants are listed in French, sometimes in Latin, in English and, here and there in Provençal (as indicated by parenthesis). In this glossary, I have included some undefined terms which I will try to clean up petit à petit.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~References~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
c'est-à-dire
= that is to say; la bouche (f) = mouth; le cabaret des oiseaux = bird's inn (a cabaret, apart from a place to watch dancing, is a watering hole); concombre d'âne (see glossary, below); la reconnaissance (f) = gratitude, recognition

                                 Petit Lexique Botanique / Botanical Glossary

Armoise camphrée : Artemisia abrotanum : Southernwood

Asperge Sauvage : Asaparagus acutifolius: ("lou roumanieu counieu" or "rabbit's rosemary")

Bardane : Great burdock : Arctium lappa : "herbe aux teigneux"

Cardère : Dipsacus fullonum : Wild teasel : "cabaret des oiseaux"

Chicorée Sauvage : Cichorium intybus : Root chicory: (Cicoréia)

Clématite : Clematis vitalba : "Old Man's Beard"

Concombre d'Ane : Ecballium elaterium : Squirting cucumber; momordique

Euphorbe petit cyprès : Cypress spurge : "Graveyard weed" : (lanchousclo veneneuse)

Euphorbe des bois : Euphorbia characias : Wood spurge

Gaillet : Galium verum : Yellow bedstraw : "Frigg's grass"

Hiéble: Sambucus ebulus : European Dwarf Elder and Walewort : "Blind man's herb"

Laurier Tin : Viburnum tinus : (Provençal : faveloun / pato molo / lausié flouri)

Onagre : Oenothera biennis : Evening primrose : Onagraire : "herbe aux ânes", "jambon des jardinières"

Prêle : Equisetum : "Queue de cheval" - horse tail

Rue fétide : Ruta gravéoleus : Common rue :"herbe à la belle fille"

Salsepareille : Smilax aspera: Prickly-ivy : salsepareille

 

Bibliography by Monsieur Farjon
While many of these books (in French) can be found at Amazon, most are rare or a bit pricey. Look for them in your local library.

"Guide familial de la medecine par les plantes" by Dr. Paul Belaiche

"Se soigner par les légumes, les fruits et les céréales" by Docteur Jean Valnet

"Aromathérapie" by Docteur Jean Valnet

"La phytothérapie : Traitement des maladies par les plantes" by Docteur Jean Valnet

"Les Plantes de mon père" by Didier Messegue

"Of People and Plants: The Autobiography of Europe's Most Celebrated Healer" by Maurice Mességué

"C'est la nature qui a raison" by Maurice Mésségué

A Message from KristiFor twenty years now, support from readers like you has been an encouragement and a means to carve out a career in writing. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider a donation. Your gift keeps me going! Thank you very much.

Ways to contribute:
1. Send a check (to this new address)
2. Paypal or credit card
3. A bank transfer via Zelle, a great way to send your donation as there are no transaction fees.

Or purchase my book for a friend, and so help spread the French word.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety


fleurette

Daisy
In the town of Sault, the last week of June, the lavender fleurettes were too shy to show themselves, so I snapped a photo of these instead.


Order a bottle of Domaine Rouge-Bleu and read what wine enthusiasts are saying about our first vintage.


fleurette (flur-et) noun, feminine
    : floweret

Expressions:
conter fleurette = to say pretty things, to flirt
la crème fleurette = liquid cream
fleurettes du chou-fleur, du brocoli = cauliflower / broccoli sections


A_day_in_a_french_life

                          "Professor Plant"

I watched a skinny-legged spider trot back and forth across Monsieur Farjon's wool hat and wondered, Should I swat it? And would he, if tables were turned? But spider-swatting didn't seem to be Monsieur's style: for one who loves plants must love insects... er, arachnids.

Beneath the Chinese mulberry in my front yard, I sat with the One Who Loves Plants, trying to ignore the light-footed araignée* that ran laps around Monsieur's tweed cap.

Sliding a tray of dates and pecans toward my guest, reaching to refill his cup with cool water, I listened to Farjon talk about the flowers, the plants, and the seeds that he had brought me, and marveled at how each had its own story.

Handing me a leafy stem, Monsieur introduced me to the yellow-budded "pastel des teinturiers,"* and told me how the French once used its green leaves to dye their textiles blue. He talked about the Guerre des Gaules* and I listened to a funny anecdote about Napoleon, who once sniffed: "C'est affreux, ces Gaulois vétus de bleu!"*

Monsieur passed me a branch of paliure,* which he referred to as "l'épine du Christ." I noticed the thorny bits in between the delicate yellow flowers. The innocent-looking branch, I learned, formed the cruel crown that Jesus wore to the cross. I tucked the delicate branch aside; it somehow held more meaning than the "charm" on my necklace.

Had I ever visited the church at Mornas?, Farjon asked, raising another dried flower, one resembling corn on the cob. In ancient times they dipped the épi* in suif* and the lit fleurettes* became a torch. This "Herb of St. Fiacre" can still be found in the town of Mornas, Farjon explained, where the protestant Baron of Adrets* placed stakes at the foot of the cliff and made Catholic prisoners jump to their deaths. When one of the prisoners joked with the Baron "You go first!" The Baron, amused by the prisoner's sense of humor, set him free from impending death.

After several of Farjon's stories, that light-footed spider had fallen to sleep and so tumbled off the side of Monsieur's tweed cap. As for me, I was wide awake and at the edge of my seat. I had never been good at history until, plant by plant, Monsieur brought the subject alive for me.

                                        *     *     *
Psst! : Read The Man Who Planted Trees -- a touching, fictional story of "Elzéard Bouffier", who devoted his entire life to reforesting a desolate portion of Provence, in southern France.

... and why not read it in French?


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~References~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
une araignée (f) = spider; le pastel (m) des teinturiers = woad http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woad ; la guerre (f) des gaules = Gallic Wars http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallic_Wars ; C'est affreux, ces Gaulois vétus de bleu! = Frightful sight, those Gauls dressed in blue; le paliure (m) = paliurus, "Christ's-thorn; un épi (m) = ear (plant), cob; le suif (m) = tallow (from suet) obtained from the fat of cattle and sheep and used to make soap, candles, and lubricants; la fleurette (f) = floweret; Baron des Adrets = François de Beaumont http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baron_des_Adrets


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Shopping~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Un, deux, trois... French numbered dice - and original and inexpensive gift:

Madeline Child Costume

In music: Christine Albert: Paris, Texafrance

The Eight - an "astonishing fantasy-adventure in which a computer expert banished to Algeria by her accounting firm, gets caught up in a search for a legendary chess set once owned by Charlemagne. - Publishers Weekly

A Message from KristiFor twenty years now, support from readers like you has been an encouragement and a means to carve out a career in writing. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider a donation. Your gift keeps me going! Thank you very much.

Ways to contribute:
1. Send a check (to this new address)
2. Paypal or credit card
3. A bank transfer via Zelle, a great way to send your donation as there are no transaction fees.

Or purchase my book for a friend, and so help spread the French word.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety


Feuilleton: Meeting Monsieur Farjon "The Plant Whisperer"

Convive
Monsieur Farjon (hand in the air, ever ready to participate in "plant talk". Notice what the other man is holding: a gift from Monsieur? More in today's column).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Feuilletons et Frères"

"Oh, wasn't that sweet!" I say to my daughter after her brother called from summer camp, anxious to talk to her. "He misses you!"
"No," Jackie insists. "He just wanted to know what happened next on "Plus Belle La Vie" after Monday night's cliffhanger!

                           *     *     *
Plus Belle La Vie is a French soap opera that is all the rage around here (it takes place in my son's birthplace, Marseilles). Today, learn the French word "feuilleton", and follow a less dramatic "soap" (feuillotte? savonette?) in today's column.

feuilleton (fuhy-tohn) noun, masculine
    : serial (program), soap opera

Listen to the French word feuilleton and to today's quote, below. Download feuilleton.mp3 . Download feuilleton.wav

Les feuilletons doivent être lus par petits bouts, aux cabinets.
Serials should be read little by little, in the loo.
--Jules Renard

                          *     *     *


A_day_in_a_french_life
This is no feuilleton,* in the modern sense of the word, but a story about a folkloric friendship: ours (his and mine).

Only, I don't know exactly where to begin... that is, with him. I should tell you how we first met: how my car careened off the side of a road and screeched to a stop, before its driver scrambled across two lanes to reach the unknown man that looked like a gardener (spotted working in his potager*). As it was, I had a question for him, an inquiry about a flower called "valerian". Tugging on that trademark wool cap, "Bonjour, Madame," he released his grip from a beat-up brouette.* Monsieur looked like someone that knew flowers... What an understatement!: for there, before me, stood a veritable plant savant.

I might tell you about the first time I ever saw him.... at the Saturday farmers' market, where I spied him from my cachette* (behind the salad stand salt-and-peppered with roquette). I admit to having profited from this leafy vantage point, where, camouflaged by the mixed greens, I secretly snapped Monsieur's picture as he stood beside his bicentennial bike.

When we were still strangers, I noticed him once or twice at the supermarket, his old-fashioned aura already entrancing me. I watched as he ordered dinner for one: a meager tranche de jambon,* and I looked the other way when he added the lonely item to an empty basket, my own cart posed to feed a family of four.

Skipping back and forth in our history, I'll mention that after the grocery-store meet, I had the pleasure of running into him again and again on the street. "Bonjour, Monsieur Farjon!" I sang. "Bonjour Madame," he answered (I did have to remind Monsieur that it was I, the flower girl, that had run my car off the road... before running up to him on a whim).

I've already told you about how he showed up at my book stand, botanical cuttings in hand. But I didn't mention how I took his gift to heart, as a mother does a newborn, how I felt certain that all those "baby" boutures* would hold a place, somewhere, in my future.

And though I have only ever received flowering "weeds" from the little ones closest to me (my children, who gather them from the Provençal prairie), I had yet to receive wildflowers from a man on the eve of eighty.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~References~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
le feuilleton (m) = soap opera; la brouette (f) = wheelbarrow; la cachette (f) = hiding place; le potager (m) = kitchen, vegetable garden; une tranche (f) de jambon = slice of ham; la bouture (f) = cutting (plant)

A Message from KristiFor twenty years now, support from readers like you has been an encouragement and a means to carve out a career in writing. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider a donation. Your gift keeps me going! Thank you very much.

Ways to contribute:
1. Send a check (to this new address)
2. Paypal or credit card
3. A bank transfer via Zelle, a great way to send your donation as there are no transaction fees.

Or purchase my book for a friend, and so help spread the French word.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety