Thursday, June 25, 2009
I love my French heritage! I am one fourth French, but I adore ALL things French, especially my ancestors whose French blood I share. Le monsieur on the right in the photo is my grandpa, Jules Arthur Sr, my dad was Jules Arthur Jr. Le monsieur on the left is my grandpa's brother, my great~uncle Pierre Seraphin. (I listed their first and middle names) They do look quite "debonair"! Most people called my great~uncle "Pete" or "Babe" but I always loved to call him by his given name, "Pierre." It sounded so much more romantic for a Frenchman. They were both full~blooded French, and the epitome of French gentlemen. They were a very big part of my life growing up, and I think of them often. I have traced my heritage back to the early 1600's. Almost all of my grandmothers on that side of the family, great grandmothers, great~great grandmothers, generations back, were named "Marie." (I do not think that was a coincidence! Marie Antoinette WAS the Queen of France, you know!)) I am happy my parents chose the name "Marie" for my middle name, in honor of these ladies. (I was named Julie after my daddy and my grandpa) My sister chose the name Marie for my niece Elizabeth's middle name too (in honor of "Moi"??? ) Oui! Liz loves everything French too! (P.S. Je t'aime Elizabeth Marie!)
I wish I was fluent in French, but I am not. I know quite a bit, but would love to take a class. It is such a soft, romantic language. My grandfather used many French words along with his English ones. He always asked for milk as "le lait." My mother used to take my sister and I into the Paris Department store (where else???)in Salt Lake City as little girls to get nonpareils at the candy counter. If you have never eaten nonpareils, you must try some! They are still my favorite! (Nonpareil means unequalled, or having no equal)
Did you know many words we use every day are actually French loanwords we have adopted? I thought it would be fun to list some, maybe do a post each week about them. Here are a few fun ones: Bikini~named by two Frenchmen in 1946 for the skimpy two~piece bathing suit they designed;Derriere~your behind (mine is too big, so I no longer wear a "Bikini"!); Camisole~a woman's undershirt with shoulder straps, often embroidered; Leotard~body stocking worn by dancers and acrobats; Tutu~a skirt worn by ballet dancers. The list goes on and on...
I love to collect vintage French books as well. One of my most prized possessions is a French Bible dated 1904 that I uncovered in a used book store one day in Salt Lake City for a mere five dollars! I also recently found some vintage French opera glasses I have wanted for a long time. They are "Chevalier" from Paris, circa 1900, an Ebay treasure for only twenty dollars! Being born in the month of May, my birth flower is the Lily of the Valley, one of my favorite flowers, in France known as Muguet. My favorite perfume years ago was Muguet de bois (before my allergies took over) I would LOVE to visit Paris one day...(FRANCE, that is, I went to Paris, IDAHO as a child, no Louvre, no Eiffel Tower... just not the same...I was sooo disappointed!) Yes, I really do love all things French... Hmmm...time to fix myself a cafe au lait and order some nonpareils.... I will worry about my "derriere" another day...Bisous!
Posted by Julie Marie at 6:05 AM