sans plomb


A tree-lined lane in our village where horses stopped traffic over the weekend.

From "The Ultimate French Review and Practice":
Review + Practice = Confident Communication in French! More here.

arbre (ar-bre) noun, masculine

L'arbre devient solide sous le vent.
The tree becomes strong beneath the wind.

On Saturday morning, hours after the grapes had shed their morning dew tears and been carted off in the back of my brother-in-law's truck, the sky turned ripe red. I looked over to my mom who studied the rustling autumn leaves above us. Next, the sky rained down jujubes.

The downpour occurred in the town of Courthézon where Jules (that would be my mom) and I had been swept, via a dusty broom, into the medieval courtyard of a Corsican. The Corsican woman wore five gold chains around her neck and when she spoke she shook her broom. Turns out she wasn't angry at us for peeping through her portail.* By the time she had unlatched the gate and swept us in, I understood why: fact is, she was a little bit proud of that red fruit that fell from the sky.

The Corsican shut the gate behind us and in the silence that followed I begged her pardon. "We've been harvesting..." I explained.
"I can see that," she said, pointing her broom to our grape stained shirts. I told her that we had made a post harvest périple* through town and were on our way out when we saw the great arbre* with the gorgeous red flecks of.... fruit was it?

"My mom thinks it is a weeping willow but it looks like an olive tree to me."
"C'est un jujubier,"* the Corsican announced, and her broom shot up to the tree. When next she shook her broom, the branches trembled in response.

"Jujubes are a delicacy," she said as she shook the tree's branches. And that is when the blue sky turned red with those jujubes pouring down from above.

As the fruit hit the cement floor below, Jules and I ran around the courtyard like chickens, plucking up the red fruit and shoving it in our pockets like petty thieves.

The Corsican steadied herself with her broom, bent down and picked up a jujube. Next, she popped the fruit into her mouth, twisted her lips, then turned and spat the seed out. The grape-stained petty thieves followed suit and, like that, perfect strangers stole a lip-pursed moment savoring sweets swept down from the sky.

References: le portail (m) = gate; le périple (m) = tour, journey; un arbre (m) = tree; c'est un jujubier = it's a jujube tree

     A favorite book: L'Homme Qui Plantait Des Arbres
     Children's (French) book: L'Arbre Genereux (The Giving Tree)
"Tune Up Your French" is "the next best thing to a year abroad"
In French music: Gourmandises by Alizee
Terms & Expressions:
  faire l'arbre fourchu/droit = to do a handstand (with legs apart/together)
  faire grimper quelqu'un à l'arbre = to pull somebody's leg
  l'arbre généalogique = family tree
  l'arbre de Noël = Christmas tree
  l'arbre fruitier = fruit tree

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