mamie
insolite

mansuetude

 Caromb
Caromb, next-door neighbor to the beloved towns of Bédoin and Crillon-le-Brave. 

mansuétude (man-sooay-tood) noun, feminine

    : tameness, gentleness, "mercifulness"; leniency


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A Day in a French Life...

by Kristin Espinasse

We were watching, she and me—that is, if heliotropes can see.

Watching...

I, through my camera's viewfinder
and she, the sunflower, gazing unencumbered,
without binoculars or a "digital blinder"

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I followed her example, lowered my camera lens, and observed, unhindered, the scene before us: raw and real now that it was no longer grist for a photo mill.

"I'll tell you a secret," said she, the sunflower in the window sill above me...

"Open your eyes, your very own lenses, and you will see love... if you pay attention—and open up all of your God-given senses.

I studied the rubble outside her window and wondered where love could be hiding there?

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I followed the sunflower's gaze, to a fragile figure down the lonely lane...
On closer look I saw a man—
baguette tucked under his arm, a cane in his other hand

 DSC_0055"There," said she, gazing affectionately. "Do you hear his whistle?"
"No, I hear mumbling. He is talking to himself... I think he is grumbling!"

"Listen closer, Dear," said the sunflower—
and I wondered, do sunflowers have ears?

"Pay attention," said she... "Remember to open your eyes—and your ears! Soon you will sense love, ever-present, quite near!


 DSC_0059
I noticed how she turned her head,
as certain flowers do, following the light as some follow whim.

Only she was chasing "Love" pure and simple, not the passing fancy kind.
Love, as personified in this mumbling man with his loaf of bread and vocal mind.

 DSC_0059-1

I wouldn't have believed her (she and her "Love" theory)—

Had not time stood still
when the man with the cane turned
and smiled up at the flower in the window sill.

***

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A Day in a Dog's Life...
by Smokey "R"

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If Mama Braise sees my table manners she'll have a fit! So don't tell her. She won't put up with any mamsie pamsie behavior—not since my "accident". She's just trying to toughen me up.

But I do get tired sometimes... My jaw was displaced during the attack, making it hard for me to lap up liquids (most of the water falls out one side of my mouth, when it isn't drooling out the other! Good news is I have just discovered this position which lets in the maximum of liquid—and all I have to do is lower my jaw. Yee haw! high-five! and gimme a paw!

P.S. you might have noticed my new signature "Smokey R". "R" is not for "Robinson"--it stands for "Russell". I get the name—and my good looks—from Gramma K's dear Uncle Rusty.

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A Message from Kristi on this blog's 19th anniversary
Thank you for reading this language journal. In 2002 I left my job at a vineyard and became self-employed in France. "French Word-A-Day" has been my full-time occupation ever since. Ongoing support from readers like you helps keep this site ad-free and allows me to focus on writing. My wish is to continue creating posts that are educational, insightful, and heart-warming. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider supporting it via a blog donation.

Ways to contribute:
1. Send a check
2. PayPal or credit card
3. A bank transfer, ZELLE is a great way to send your donation as there are no transaction fees.

Or purchase our online memoir, The Lost Gardens

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