The long summertime hours tend to pull you away, sometimes far away, to places where there is trail dust and ocean spray. A few weeks ago, my family filled the weekend bags with essentials and went where the wind blew us. In just a smattering of days, we squeezed sand between our toes, indulged in sweet, flaky fish ‘n’ chips, chased foamy waves, and laughed for an an hour, then another — and far later, one more.
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In early May this year, I found myself unemployed – just barely recovered from the shell shock of working at one of the best and worst jobs of my entire career. I was leaving the gym, headed home for a much needed shower, when the phone rang. It was Jamie and Niki – the sweet couple who sold their house to Nick and me back in October.
They were about to buy a 40-foot catamaran, which happened to be located in the Caribbean on an island I’d never heard of before, and could I drop everything and help them sail it back to the United States?
My heart skipped a beat at the thought of participating in such a big adventure. I had raced dinghies and the odd keelboat for about 15 years. And I’d always wanted to try sailing a long distance. I’d just never had the opportunity. The pull of the wild unknown made me say yes immediately.
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She ran across the sand, long tendrils curled by saltwater mist, trailing wildly. Her oldest boy kept pace with eyes only for her. The littlest one reached – hand over fist – up weathered driftwood. Brothers skipped stones, laughed, and let the words come and go as they pleased. The ocean’s monologue filled the spaces in between.
It was the kind of time that settles you, and we grabbed big fistfuls of it with gratitude.
(Click any picture below to embiggen.)
Our new year’s resolution was to not buy any wine and only drink what we already had in our collection. So far, we’ve only been half-way successful. Two and a half months in, we haven’t bought any wine. Yay! But thanks to wine leftover after two parties and a generous gift from our realtor, we hadn’t touched the wine in our collection. Boo!
That changed last week, when Nick stopped by Grape Choice, where our wine is being temporarily stored, and brought home a case filled with some real gems.
We tried to remember when we bought the bottle pictured above and concluded that it must have been around the time we got married. As we took the first sip, we were blown away by how absolutely perfect it was. We thought about how some things have to take time in order to be good. They need to be fostered and fermented.
In a few weeks, Nick and I will celebrate 20 years together. (Crazy, I know!) Maybe it’s the nostalgia talking, but I think like wine, relationships get better with age, too.
With the right amount of tending, our hard edges soften and make room for acceptance, forgiveness, and respect. We learn to savor the unique qualities of our friends and partners instead of wishing they were something else. Our patience, loyalty, and connections grow.
Let’s drink it in!
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The dear friends who owned our house before us used to host a cocktail party in February to celebrate the hip chicks and cool cats in all of us. In their honor, we continued the tradition (and maybe even kicked it up a notch).
The party started Friday night with a family-friendly pre-funk with some friends who stopped by on their way to the mountains. On Saturday, I could hardly believe my eyes! Who are these people dressed to the nines? Not a lick of lycra or poly-pro to be seen. Everyone looked absolutely gorgeous!
The cocktails flowed freely and photo booth hijinkx ensued . . . (Click the small arrow in the lower right corner of the slideshow to embiggen.)