Armistice or Veterans Day & France's Wartime vegetable
Impermeable + sang-froid in French

A Short Letter from France


Dear Friends,

Following the attack in Paris last night,  so many people are speechless. I don't know what to say,  either,  and so I will share a story and hope it comforts you as it did me.

Each of us will react in his or her own way in the face of terror. Don't let anybody tell you how you *should* feel. And be careful not to model your feelings after another's. Some of us are outraged. Others stunned. Still others are desensitized given so many years of sensational news headlines.  As a dear friend's mom used to say, "Feelings aren't right or wrong. They're there."

 There there. Take heart. Continue to share hope and comfort at every chance. With all its broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.



"The Morning After"

I was standing in Mr Bricolage,  looking at a display of window blinds,  when an old man walked past me only to stop in his tracks.  Turning, the stranger smiled and addressed me,  "Bonjour,  Dame Liberté!"

It took me a second to understand--to realize that--indeed!--what with the new table lamp I was holding out in my right hand, and the way I stood frozen before all the window treatments (and their corresponding measurements...but just how big was our kitchen window?),  I did look like the Statue of Liberty!

The Frenchman skipped off with a smile,  his door trim and his glue,  and I watched him gleefully - my heart suddenly swelling with a love for all humanity.

And for the first time since 9/11, I had the urge to reveal my roots. Despite the senseless attack on France,  and a mind still trying to process it all,  fear had instantly left me on hearing a Frenchman pronounce, with unbridled joy, the words "Dame Liberté."

"Oui,  Monsieur!"  I chirped,  ", en plus, JE SUIS AMERICAINE!"

*    *    *

To leave a comment, click here.

Thank you for considering a contribution today!
Ongoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and improving this free language journal, for the past 18 years. If you enjoy this website and would like to keep it going, please know your donation towards this effort makes all the difference! No matter the weather, on good days or bad, I am committed to sharing a sunny, vocabulary-packed update with you, one you can look forward to. I hope it fuels your dreams of coming to France while expanding your French vocabulary. A contribution by check or via PayPal (or credit card, links below) is greatly appreciated. Merci!