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une aubade (oh-bad)
: dawn serenade
donner une aubade à quelqu'un = to serenade someone
A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse
On ne sait jamais ce que demain sera... One never knows what tomorrow will bring and for Tessa and me that meant that someone would sing!
After finishing our writer's room chore, we got into my car and set out to explore... driving past bare vine fields, lone cabanons, and the almond blossoms of promise.
Speeding past the flowering forsythia and irises in the brook beside the road, we felt Hope's hallelujah as we shook off Winter's sock it to ya! Beaten in our hibernal caves, we were venturing out with an emphatic olé oollée!
Sauntering into the town of Tulette, un village avoisinant, we parked in front of an ancient moulin and took out our cameras for a photographic spin. Tess is an aquarelliste who takes photos with an artist's objective in mind: her "captures" will become colorful canvases. I thought about what attracts me to a certain scene: character, quirkiness, and charm to name a few. And people, I love people too!
With that Tess and I headed like bees over to the town fountain, where we met Lolo and Driss! Strangers no more, Lolo and Driss "le Marocain" graciously posed for pictures before the former offered an impromptu tour of les environs.
In front of the town Mairie, Lolo pointed out the Provençal words that amounted to "liberty". He talked about the moulin (beside which we had parked) and told of the fresh water that his town once enjoyed... until a new mayor came along and upset the source—joining the town to an industrial water line.
Lolo marched into town hall one day and "exchanged words" with the mayor.
"Why don't you just take this pic," he said angrily, and go outside and chisel off the word liberté from the sign above the door?!"
Lolo, when he is not fighting for his fellow Frenchmen's rights, enjoys pointing out the Renaissance architecture. Before we said goodbye, just outside the town renovated ramparts, Lolo shared a little about himself.
Lolo has charming fossettes (dimples)
"Je chante dans le chœur..."
Tess could not help herself, "Will you please sing for us?!" And that is how we found ourselves serenaded by the man who almost chiseled liberty. It would have been a sacrifice, defacing the sweet sign above the town hall's entry, but l'eau, just like the air we breathe, is a human right that should not rhyme with industry.
Tess held back her tears until Lolo got into his car and put it in gear. The serenade, which the French call "aubade", was a gift from above... as is freedom, as is love.
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donner une aubade à quelqu'unon ne sait jamais ce que demain sera = one never knows what tomorrow will hold
le cabanon = little stone hut (check out our Facebook page)
avoisinant, avoisinante = neighboring
un village avoisinant = a neighboring village
le moulin = mill
le moulin à eau = water mill
aquarelliste = watercolorist
le Marocain (la Marocaine) = Moroccan
les environs = the surroundings
la Mairie = town hall
la source = spring (water)
je chante dans le choeur = I sing in the choir
le pic = pick(axe)
la liberté = freedom
l'eau (f) = water
A Day in a Dog's Life... by Smokey "R" Dokey
Smokey says: that's my mom. Isn't she bee-yoo-tee-full! And those are my sisters who harvested her milk last September, when everyone else was harvesting grapes!
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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety