courriel
Meetup at our place + How to say "fair trade" in French?

bonne rentree (et bon courage!)

Sunflower tournesol golden retriever smokey
Smokey wishes you all une bonne rentrée. And, naner naner!, after enjoying his breakfast baguette, Smo-smo gets to linger beneath the lazy sunflower whilst Jackie hurries for the bus. How to say "to rub it in" in French?

bonne rentrée (f) (boehn-rahn-tray)

    : happy back-to-school

Audio File & Example Sentence: Download MP3 or Wave file

Saw the following greeting on my friend Zahia's Facebook page. She's been busy wishing her nieces, Meissa and Inès, Bonne rentrée or "Welcome back (to school)."

Zahia writes:

Coucou! Toutes les bonnes choses ont une fin, hélas, je te souhaite de passer une trés bonne rentrée! Hi there! All good things have an end, alas, I wish you happy back-to-school!

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE... by Kristin Espinasse

 

Merci Beaucoup! 

This morning, and for the first time since summer began, I woke up in a pitch dark room. Gone was the comforting view of the forest and with it the daily wake-up ritual of searching for my favorite tree (the old parasol pine at the top of the hill. When I focus on the curve of that arbre I see the outline of a giant heart. Any anxieties that woke up with me disappear beneath the promise of that tree).

This morning no light, no forest, no heart. The buzz of Jean-Marc's réveil jolted our family into a new reality: la rentrée! Back-to-school for our daughter (the remaining fledgling in our nest) means a new schedule for everyone. No more sleeping in 'till seven. No more pep talks with Mr. Pin Parasol. Funny how each day feels like the first day of class and, waking to the uncertainty of the next 24 hours, we are like small children approaching the giant gates of the school yard. Shaking in our boots our socks fall to our ankles as we stumble forth, into the unknown. Another day.

Recently even a big-hearted pine tree could not coax me out of bed. You know the old ditty: Mama said there'd be days like this, there'd be days like this my mama said....

Yes, but just what did mama say to do on days like this? To find out the answer I called my Mama and here is what she said:

"Focus on others, not yourself!" The message was delivered firmly but with love.

Facing a new work day, I sucked up and wrote about another's pain, sharing my mother-in-law's situation instead of my own. Next, my thoughts traveled over to you, dear reader, and how you are surely experiencing "days like this." I wondered, Did you, too, dial up my Mom, who gave you the same answer: "Focus on another!" Because that would explain the outpouring of support following the previous post. I did not expect so much sympathy over a seemingly unsentimental subject: email. You must have read between the lines of the story -- when suddenly a heart came into focus

I'm looking out my bedroom window now and the big-hearted tree is finally coming into view. Ouf! It's back! And with it a new day. But I didn't want this day to end before sending you a sincere remerciement. Thank you so much for looking past your own pain and focusing on another's. Your empathy is deeply touching!

This post was supposed to be about back-to-school and the French penchant for wishing everyone bonne rentrée. But we haven't gone too far off theme: "Happy return," after all, is the universal topic, the bonne rentrée everyone's talking about. Yes, many happy returns! May each day be a new day--with new hope and new courage for all. Whatever is hurting you, let it gently blend into this friendly forest and reappear as the giant heart of compassion: the balm to heal all wounds. Bon courage.

Amicalement,

Kristi

French Vocabulary
un arbre = tree
le réveil = alarm clock
ouf! = phew!
un remerciement = thanks
amicalement = yours, best wishes 

 

  Gloves gants arrangement

Things that make me happy? Decorating my potting stand with vineyard gloves and clothespins. Just looking at this scene brings a smile. Any you? What makes you happy? 

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 Pomegranate tree grenadier and golden retriever
Smokey's mom napping beneath the pomegranate tree... this makes me happy.

EXTRA CREDIT
The following stories will build your French vocabulary. Need help deciding which story to read? Check out reader comments below.

Ceder le passage 
Phew! I had my passenger's foot firmly pressed on the imaginary brake pedal through this whole post. I don't remember being this way as a new driver. - Karen 

Rendre service
Le vigneron and le paysan of a previous post are excellent stories and great testimonials of life in the senior years. At 81, I can relate to André and his active life. - Herm

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Ongoing support from readers like you helps me to continue doing what I love most: sharing vocabulary and cultural insights via these personal stories from France. Your contribution is vivement appréciée! Donating via PayPal is easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi
 
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"Bonjour, Kristin, I have enjoyed your blog now for a great number of years, watching your children grow up, your moves from house to house, enjoying your stories and photos and your development as a writer. It's way past time for me to say MERCI with a donation to your blog...which I've done today. Bien amicalement!"--Gabrielle

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