There’s a line in a canvas print of life advice I have hanging in my office that sums up a recent visit back home:
“Drink wine, eat great food and spend quality time with good friends.”
I went to Minnesota — by myself, without my Beloved — to take care of a project and wrap up a few loose ends. My Beloved was occupied with other pressing matters, and he’s not just not as enthusiastic about Minnesota as I am (there’s no accounting for taste — he was born in Illinois, go figure). I had a great time.
One of things I had to do was hear about my parents’ 50th anniversary trip to Europe and look at their photos (I could have heard about the trip on the phone, but there’s nothing like looking at travel photos with the travelers). Here’s one of the shots my father captured in Paris:
Dad has always been the good photographer in the family. This shot should be a poster. Mom and Dad prepared a delicious dish of grilled salmon for me. And they shared a bottle of wine they carried back from Germany (it was delicious).
I also got to catch up with my nephews, including Drew, who celebrates his 15th birthday this week. Ah, 15. Such a tricky year. But because he’s old enough to babysit his younger brothers and still tethered to the house by his lack of a driver’s license, his parents and I had the opportunity to partake in an interesting wine tasting where I learned why acidity in a wine is a good thing.
“Spend time with family.”
My best-friend-since-seventh-grade and I went shopping together and enjoyed a lingering glass of red wine while we caught up until midnight. And then my friend Barb, who can solve almost every problem with a good meal, made a Sweet Potato and Black Bean Soup for me. Just because she thought I’d like it. And I did. It was delicious. With a glass of white wine.
“Spend time with people you admire.”
Coincidentally, I was in town for the annual happy hour for former Creative Memories Employees. Maybe not every workplace carries an air of nostalgia for its former employees, but Creative Memories does. Part of what made it such a great place to work (at least when I was there) was the people. What fun catching up with friends, some of whom I haven’t seen in years (and some of us were drinking wine, too).
“Reminisce about the good old days but look with optimism to the future.”
Just as I was leaving the happy hour get-together, I ran into my ex. He worked at Creative Memories, too (and in the end, I think he stuck it out more years than I did, so he could probably lay more claim to the former workplace than I do; we didn’t specify ownership of that piece of our lives in our divorce decree). I walked up to him and brushed his arm to tell him, “Hey, I’m on my way out the door so you can mingle freely,” and the two people he was chatting with took a step back. I think they might have expected a brawl.
No punches were thrown.
But I found it amusing.
“Be nice to everyone. Be happy.”