Tuesday, April 13, 2010


It was 5:00 am and I found myself once again sitting before the ever comforting glow on my humming little laptop. My little couch perch, my very own space in my humble and chilly home. I confess to having a terrible habit of falling asleep on the couch, not sure what my deal is but ever since I was a kid the idea of going to bed has always felt like some kind of surrender. I fought to stay awake, would even give myself a little pinch on the arm to keep myself up….not much has changed really. I don’t pinch myself anymore but I will pour myself one more glass of wine and try and nurse it through my nodding off to sleep. More often than not I wake on the couch, glass of wine still on the table at like three in the morning and hobble off to bed. It’s my silly routine and my hubby has grown accustomed being single until he feels my icy feet slip next to his at whatever in the morning.

Last night was a tad different; I did not fall asleep on the couch. I was however still awake at 12:30, wrestling with a fierce case of heartburn. It was wretched, the kind that starts like a bubble in your chest, grows and ends with that gurgling burn at the top of your throat. Now if any of you ever suffer with this you will know that laying down only makes this whole burning, gurgling business worse….and of course we were out of anything that may have helped soothe me, awesome. I teetered off to bed hoping that sleep would be a strong enough medicine, yeah not so much. Gurgle, burn, sit up, curse and repeat…..it was fantastic I assure you.

Around three I curled up on my right side, my eyes burning nearly as bad as my chest, tired…so painfully tired and finally drifted off to sleep. Forty minutes later I was awoken by a very loud, “Mom!!!!” my own voice screaming, shaking me from my much needed slumber. I stayed in bed trying to shake it all but I lost and found my way to my little space. Now I’ve never been one of those dream analyzers, I don’t try and figure out what they mean, what my mind is trying to tell me or feel that there are lessons to be learned by studying what my crazy ass head does while I sleep. Just never been one of those people and truthfully I rarely remember my dreams most of the time but this one, this one I have had so many freaking times that if it weren’t so terrifying it would be like a visit from an old friend.

Sometimes the setting or situation changes, me walking in to find or waking on the couch to find that the front door….the one I had locked before falling asleep, is open. I walk to the door to shut it and, SLAM….a foot blocks me from closing the door and then the shoving starts. Me against the door and “Him” pushing from the other side, always the same struggle and the most terrifying part, I open my mouth to scream and nothing ever comes out. I’ve been having this same dream since I was like seven or eight, it follows me each year and each dream I am my current age but it always ends the same way, me trying to scream for help and not having a voice. That was until last night, last night in my dream I was able to scream for my mother and woke to find I was actually screaming. So funny thing, turns out my hubby is going to be worthless in this situation, there I was screaming for my mother at like 3:40 in the morning and the hubby didn’t even flinch….very reassuring that. I stumbled out to my little perch and gently humming laptop heart burning and pounding thinking about dreams for the first time.

“So what do you want to do when you grow up Sam?” a question that followed this scholastically challenged, street running, authority fingering, pregnant at seventeen girl around like this stupid bubble of are-you-kidding-me. What did I want to do? What the hell could I do, survive, try not to be a massive fuck up and try and raise a person that was better than I was. Lofty right? I was never a dreamer, not sure if it just wasn’t in me or if the reality of my situations didn’t give me the time to even think about it. I knew I didn’t want to be a stereotype; hood rat turned breeder. I knew I didn’t want to live off the system or take a dime from anyone to raise my son. I let my mother help me, she let me live with her but I started working as soon as my tiny son was healthy enough to be with a sitter. I would not take a dime from the man that helped me create my lovely son, a decision that would have my ear bent over and over again…to take one penny would give him access, he didn’t deserve access and I would have sooner worked three jobs, give up sleep for good and sell my blood than let that kind of evil near MY son. Well, so I guess I did have one dream…be a good mother, give my son all that I had, show him what was possible if he was willing to work for it. He did…a junior at U of L, still cannot believe my son is a junior in college.

Sitting here this morning I let myself think or dream a little bit. Dream of what is next for Jeremy, dream of my Amy finding new friends and exploring her passion in culinary school out there in Dallas. Dream about my adorable neighbors, a one and four year old….their journey just beginning. Dream about The Wine Country, how I so long for that store to get the business and recognition I so feel it deserves. Dream of a friend up North being healthy and watching his children grow. Dream of a beloved man that is starting a new chapter in his life, hoping he knows how honored I am to be a part of it. As I sat here running through it all I heard those words again, “What do you want to do when you grow up?”…..

Guess the only thing I have ever really wanted for myself is summed up by the nightmare that has followed me all these years…I want a voice. I want to be heard. This shy woman that would rather swallow her own tongue than speak in public, this self deprecating woman that finds it difficult to walk past a mirror, this woman that is proud of her actions but has not as of yet learned how to be proud of herself…I want to be heard. I want to have my fingers stroke my keys, share my words, thoughts and opinions and have someone give a shit. So at least on a small scale, my dreams have come true.

So please indulge me when I extend a full hearted, overwhelmingly touched thank you to Ron Washam, Alfonso Cevola, Charlie Olken and Nancy Deprez. All four of these people nominated me for a Best Writing on a Wine Blog award, fuck seriously? These are some of the finest writers I have ever had the pleasure to read and they heard something in me worth tossing my name in the ring…unreal, a dream come true for me. I also loved the email the boys sent shortly after the nomination, the “don’t be shocked or upset if you don’t win” email….matter of fact I think those emails touched me even more than the nominations. The owning of their praise and concern, the knowing that they heard me….dreams coming true.

Okay so I would also like to take a moment to confess that I bit Ron’s head off when he nominated me, just felt like when my Mom would tell me I was pretty….Ron, thank you My Love. I am honored by your adoration and praise. I love that you hear me and your warm hug is in every post I write. Your acceptance and guidance, your support and admiration make me proud, proud of myself My Dear Sweet Man. Thank you. Thank you for paving the way and opening doors that let me feel and really hear that people like Eric, Alice, Charlie, Alfonso, John, Michael, Marcia, Benito, Jeremy, Jimmie, Eric, Jess, Vicki, Heather, Thomas, Anon 1 (although he remains silent I know when he’s here) Sara, Kevin and all the others have heard me and for showing me that I do have a voice.

It came to me in a dream this morning, I opened my mouth and heard my voice….thank you all.


John M. Kelly said...

My dream is that you win. It really is an honor just to be nominated, but your friends hope for more for you. I'll be with you there, in spirit at least.

Samantha Dugan said...

And you Sir are adorable. I don't need to win love, feels like I already did...

Charlie Olken said...

Ah, Samantha. I find great joy in the fact that you have come around to accept that we love your writing and you for what it is and what you are, and that winning a popularity contest is far less important than writing for your own soul.

You are right. You have already won. You have already won because you see yourself in a bigger, brighter light. I am hoping that this new "light", this new vision of you makes it more fun to write for yourself--as all writers who share themselves ultimately must.

Forget the popularity contest. Forget the number of comments counter or the visitors counter. You need only live for yourself, and your voice will serve you.

And we who love you and what you bring to us will be here with you.

Michael Hughes said...

You deserve every wonderful thing that happens to you. That award isn't good enough for you! Your ability to rip yourself open & bare all is so staggering to me because I could never do that myself. I feel honored that you even mentioned my name.

Samantha Dugan said...

Sir Charles,

If you intended to cause me to take more air into my lungs then they could handle and cause my hands to slap against my face in order to cover the flowing tears...you succeeded love. I was in so touched by your nomination of my voice, even more moved by this sweet comment...I love you Charlie, your friendship and support has changed my life. Thank you. Thank you so much....I am without words love, forgive me.

It is an honor to know you, love you and call you a friend...cannot wait to meet you. I am bringing the bubbles baby, (oh and maybe a bottle of Silex) be ready for me!

Sara Louise said...

You have a voice, and it's a strong, kind, fearless, and well spoken one. I'm just glad you can finally hear it. You rock Lady. Really, you do.

Ron Washam said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,

When I first start finding my voice, and this was a long time ago, I was lucky enough to have gotten encouragement from some very smart and talented people who gave me the courage and motivation to just let it fly. They convinced me I was funny and talented. So there is a time for lying.

I had promised you I would not nominate you for a Wine Blog Award, but I knew I was lying. I was just postponing you biting my head off. I nominated you because I believe in you and because you deserve any award the judges are smart enough to give you. It was my time for lying.

The people, college professors and loved ones and my Mother, who always encouraged me gave me a great and precious gift. The only way I can repay them is to pass the gift along. I knew when I first read your work and we became friends that I could, in a small way, pass the gift along. But you give me far too much credit, Love. All I did was make you see what was already there. Your talent, your voice, your brilliance. I deserve no credit or praise, but I am proud to be as close to you as I am.

Ron Washam said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,

I hit the publish button too quickly.

It's a small little world, the world we live in, you and me and Charlie and John and the rest of the gang here, but, with your talent, it's about to get bigger. But in this small world you are universally admired. You touch people, and in this difficult and cold world, that is what we are here seeking. I make people laugh (well, once in a while), but you make people feel. That is far more difficult, and far more important.

This post touched me profoundly. You know why. Thank you for allowing into your remarkable and boundless heart.

I love you!

Your HoseMaster

Samantha Dugan said...

Okay where is my ken Peyton when I need them? This was to be my Thank you post, so why is it that I am in tears?


You and I, we gots us a thang girlie. I was honored that you shared your secret with me, share your time with me and I absolutely adore reading about your adventures in your Petite Village. I was in from the first post I read and I am so grateful that you found me....

Ron My Love,

Fuck just typing that brought a knot to my throat and tears to my eyes...You are a remarkable man. I know I piggy-backed on your talent Love, wiggled my stuff over on your brilliant blog and was able to catch the eye of people like Our Charlie...Our Puff Daddy and Eric, Steve and 1Wine Dude still ignore me but whadda ya gonna do? They are more in love than you and I are...least I got Alfonso outta the deal. My readership grew when I found you, my heart swelled when I found you, my giggles got bigger and I have never been more proud of myself then when you read and honored me with your friendship and love. You are the Yin to my Yang love and without you I am not sure I would have pressed on. Knowing you is an honor loving you is a pleasure. Now I am going to stop before everyone yacks....

The Woo said...


You are a great writer with a voice and things to say. What else is there really? Throw in a few bottles of killer wine and that's not a bad situation at all.

Don't stop speaking your voice and letting the stuff out. It's REALLY GOOD STUFF.

We all know this. Don't stop.

Now quit reading this and go write something cool.

Yer Pal,


Joe said...

Wow! Nominations well deserved. Benito turned me onto your blawg, and it appears to be yet another one that makes me think, "maybe I should just hang it up and leave the writing to the more talented folks."

Glad I found another gem, and keep up the great work!

Samantha Dugan said...

Awe thanks pal, you are so very sweet and I gotta tell you that it still floors me that you read my silly crap. Big hugs to you!

First of all welcome! Thank you for the kind words and I too just found out that we are both buddies with Benito. I have to tell you that I found your blog like a week ago and was even telling the HoseMaster about it. Very much enjoy your style...McRib and beef in a can, gotta love it...

Joe said...

why thank you! I've always aspired to achieve the ultimate honor in this circus side act: to be parodied by the Hosemaster.

Eric V. Orange said...

Uh...yeah...,what they said.
Yours is always touching, Sans. We love it.

Ron! I thought you were done?? I took you off my list and hadn't looked back until now.

Right on!


Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey Joe,

Be careful what you wish for.

You have a blog?

Hey Eric,

Yup, I'm back. I always said it was a hiatus. Man, the reading comprehension in the blog world is amazingly low.

Don't forget to put it on your Facebook page! The HoseMaster is dead, long live the HoseMaster.

Now let's give Samantha her blog back.

Sip with Me! said...

Sam, I write this note through tears. I cry them for you, for taking a risk and achieving your dream and for myself. I often feel like you're speaking my voice and here you go again.

Best of luck to you, I look forward to meeting you at WBC2010 and shaking your hand congratulations.

Samantha Dugan said...

Yeah well who doesn't?

Thanks sweetheart and YES he's baaaaccckkk! Aint it grand?

Me casa is su casa kid.

Sip with me,
Dammit I hate it when I make people cry...well unless I intend to. Thank you so much and I am very touched. Don't think I'll be at the conference this year but it would be cool to meet you! Girlie I can't win this deal, not sure that I should even be considered seeing as my wine focus here is not all that marketable, not really anyway. I am also incapable of the kind of self promotion that goes into winning one of those awards....begging everyone you know, even the ones that never even read you, to vote for you? nah not me and that is not how I would want to win anyway. My award is here in my comments section with all of you wonderful and warm people. Like I said, "dream come true"...

Sip with Me! said...

First of all I'm not even a crier!! Secondly, you sell yourself short, so stop doing that. But you are correct in that you're a winner everyday you write, make your voice heard and keep chasing the dream - thanks for putting yourself out there!

Joe said...

Ron, aka HMW,

If you can call it that. But I haven't worked hard enough yet to draw your ire. Someday...suburbanwino.com.

Or, perhaps you were aware that I had a blog that is so small and insignificant that it warrented your "you have a blog?" comment.

Good form, sir.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Suburbanwino, aka Joe,

I've only glanced at your blog because Samantha thought it was pretty good and told me I should look at it. I never disobey my Mistress Samantha.

My ire just appears to me, I don't actually plan it. So I don't know who I'll lampoon next, though everyone keeps asking me to do them. I have a hunch it will be some sort of Wine Blog Award winner, but I don't know. The parodies do get a lot of reaction, I'll say that.

OK, now I have to do the groveling that Mistress Samantha commands.

I love you, Samantha!

Your HoseMaster

Annie Browne said...

Okay, Samantha. All I'm going to say is that I love reading your blogs. Now, you may be thinking that I'm stating the obvious here, but wait...there's more. When I read your blog I get the same feeling that I did when I was a kid and had just picked up a good book. You know the kind where you get pulled in, but because of the cheap and easy dramatic ways to pull people in, but for subtle intrigue and that something that you can't quite put your finger on, but you identify with. Ahh, the good old days of being able to spend days becoming part of the story within a wonderful book; only stopping to pee or eat something. Anyway, I'm tangenting with a side of babble here...but the bottom line is that I dig your writing. It makes me happy. Well done. More, please. :)
P.S. I also like that your entries are short enough that I don't have to worry about food/pee breaks. Another bonus.

Marcia Macomber said...

Crap! I'm on deadline to write a newsletter and all I can do is come over here to see what Ms. Sam's got goin'!

I'd 'a nominated you too, honey, but i knew Mr. Ron wouldn't NOT nominate ya. Couldn't help himself!

'Kay gotta get back to work....

Samantha Dugan said...

Sip with Me,

You are so very sweet. I am not selling myself short lovely girl, just knowing my limitations.


You know no one can punish you the way I can....


I so know those days! I am profoundly moved that my writing gives you that feeling. Wow guys we gots us a love fest up in here.


You are too sweet lady and boy do I feel you, I'm on deadline too!

Nancy Deprez said...

You just keep doing the great thing you do, Sam! Writing, being awesome at wine (working in wine, enjoying wine, talking about wine, teaching about wine), being a great, cool person, and all that!

Thanks for the mention, and you're most welcome, can't think of another wine blog I'd rather read consistently.