Recipe + Hospitality + gardons les choses simples (one pot meal in the Land of 5 Courses)
Soulagement: Relief after a stormy delivery at our vineyard

False friends, la déception, and it wasn't meant to be?

golden retriever fig tree hills south of france antique guardrail tomettes
Home sweet home...for the moment. But where will "home" be this summer?

TODAY'S WORD: la déception

        : disappointment, blighted hope


Apprendre que nous ne pouvions plus acheter cette jolie bastide, était une grande déception.

To learn we could no longer buy this pretty bastide was a big disappointment.

ECOUTEZ - Hear Jean-Marc pronounce the example sentence in French, Download Deception

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse

We begin the new year with une grosse déception. Before I go further, I should point out that déception in French doesn't have the same "tricky" meaning as in English. The two words seem to be false friends.

"Blighted hope"

One of the definitions for la déception is "a blighted hope". How true! How true! when considering the house we just lost (the second one if you count our current home...the one we have to sell in order to turn the page.) Jean-Marc assured me that if we moved from here, he would find us a place I would love. And he did--or had....


We were set to sign for this Provençale bastide two weeks ago when everything suddenly fell apart. During the formal meeting in which both parties were present with our respective notaires, the sellers learned, for the first time, of our complex situation--that in order to sell our vineyard and so have the funds to buy their bastide, many contingencies would need to be met. (Or as my sister, who sells homes, put it: you have a very long escrow on your place! It was enough to scare off any seller!

I completely understood the surprise the sellers endured, and felt badly for them and us. Just like that the dream home was no longer on our horizon, never mind I had already moved into it in my imagination--assigning each of us a room in the sunny bastide and even placing all the furniture--going as far as to argue with my daughter about where to put the couch! I surprised Jean-Marc with a plan for his new cellar and I even planted, in my mind's eye, a row of lavender under the clothesline for fresh smelling sheets.

After all this naive planning, I watched our dream go down the drain as the "promise to sell" meeting broke up and everyone went home. Oh, non! We would NEVER find a place like this again! A place that was move-in ready--no need to paint or re-tile or knock out walls. (After 22 years of fixing up houses our lungs were coated with demolition powder. Enough!)

But the dust on this  decision didn't have time to settle before we received another call! After a few days of reflection and looking into the details of our own home sale, the sellers decided to go ahead and sell us their beautiful home. They would take a chance on us dust devils after all!

Beautiful view

I was ecstatic! Going over all the pictures of the new house, my mind resumed its planning--with even more elaborate details. This hopeful time around my mind went to work installing bee hives in the back yard, knocking out the kitchen window for a bigger view (more dust, but who cares now!), and setting up Mom in her own apartment, off the kitchen (Mom, if you are reading, this is in the future. Continue your mission in Mexico--passing out Tickets To Heaven and feeding orphaned horses! You're young. We're young. But just in case--we all have a future place to live!!).

This time around Jean-Marc began planning too!--suggesting we organize a neighborhood pot, or "meet the neighbors cocktail" when we arrive this summer. Yes, of course! A great idea! I could almost feel our glasses clinking, even if I couldn't yet make out the faces of our future neighbors!

And then we got the call.

It came late Tuesday, the eve of the signing. The deal was off for the second time! Our 6-month escrow was just too risky for the sellers, after all.

                                *    *    *

That saying comes back to me now. Man plans. God laughs. Well at least one of us is laughing! Meantime, I have been swallowing a lot of pointed aggravation these past three days. Perhaps all this barbed emotion will finally clean out these dusty lungs--thick from years of home renovation. Au revoir to the seemingly perfect-for-us house. Is it true what they say--that something even better awaits? Ça reste à voir.

climbing vines south of france window shutters

Stories you may have missed...

Simple hospitality in 2017 - updated post, with recipe for cappellini primavera!

Lâcher prise, finding peace

Increase your vocabulary with these words. More tools here.

la bastide = farmhouse or country house
le notaire = (in real estate transactions) attorney, lawyer, notary
un pot = drink, cocktail
ça reste à voir = that remains to be seen

Bandol beach
Jean-Marc and I are actively looking for a place to live, and discovering neighborhoods we've never seen before. Follow me on Instagram where I share photos in between these blog postings.


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