Serre Chevalier 049
All photos © Kristin Espinasse

crever (kreuh-vay) verb

    : to burst, split; to break
Also: crevé(e) = exhausted

Audio File: listen to Jean-Marc read the following expressions and pronounce the verb conjugations to the French verb crever Download MP3  Download Wav

crever un pneu = to flatten a tire
crever de faim = to be starving
crever d'ennui = to be bored to death

je crève, tu crèves, il crève, nous crevons, vous crevez, ils crèvent

*Thanks for adding additional crever terms and meanings to the comments box. Merci d'avance!


(Note: for part one of this story, click here)

I happened to be staring at an ancient French cemetery (opposite Madame's chalet) when a little voice whispered to me, "Don't push your luck!"

There in the town of Le Rosier, I had been set free for 15 delicious minutes in time to capture one village's Alpine uniqueness. But Jean-Marc and the kids, who were waiting for me back at the village parking lot, needed to return to Serre Chevalier by noon, in time for snowboard lessons. The three had kindly devoted the morning to me, for this photographic-themed family outing (basically, the kids agreed to tag along and play in the snow, while I tip-toed up and down the icy streets snap-shooting; it was Jean-Marc's job to navigate).

Now feeling the pressure to finish up, I took one last photo of a faded flourish, just above an ordinary wooden door -- one that had been hastily replaced. The new style didn't match so well, but then isn't that part of the charm?

On the way back to the car, I passed the wise woman, who was still reading on her porch, and nodded "bonjour". That's when I stole a mental snapshot... to replace the image that I had not dared capture with my camera. Like that "Wise Woman Reading on Deck" will forever be burned into my memory.

Back at the parking lot, at the bottom of the village, I thanked Jean-Marc and the kids for waiting for me and for their patience. With that, we buckled ourselves into the car, and rode up the concrete ramp leading to the main road.

At the top of the ramp, there was an old lion-head fountain (water gushing from its fierce chops), beyond a picturesque building with yet another sundial.

"Did you get that one (on film)?" Jean-Marc inquired, pointing to the colorful cadran.
Did I get that one on film? I, the roving photographer, did I get that one on film?!

And that is all it took... for a zillion zen-like thoughts, thoughts that I had wrangled into one primo philosophical treatise on Peace (just moments before while floating through town, psycho-babble in tow), yes, that is all it took for such noble "nuggets" to dissolve into pathetic pride -- in time for me to revert right back to my usual pre-teen wit:

"Duh!" I thought. "How could he think that I could have missed THAT one?"

Immediately I regretted the sarcastic, unfriendly pensée... but it was too late... for the Powers That Be had another plan for holier-than-thou me: TRIAL BY TIRE !

And, like that, all eyes on the sundial (the sundial that I had indeed photographed and not at all overlooked), the car inched over toward the ramp's edge.... and the next thing we heard was a very loud POP!

(Final chapter on Friday)

Serre Chevalier 050
photo © Kristin Espinasse

What are these two clinking to?  Time now to celebrate achievements: I'll begin: Tchin-tchin to Jean-Marc!, who won a gold medal for his Domaine Rouge-Bleu Mistral wine! and tchin-tchin to Jackie for winning a gold ribbon in Sunday's horse competition (the horse she chose was handicapped, with only one eye (the other permanantly stiched!). Your turn: who are you clinking to today? Say a toast, write a mini (or maxi!) tribute, to someone in your circle who has recently succeeded in something. Share it with us here, in the comments box, where we continue to get to know one another.

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