Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Reflections Of, The Way Life Used To Be

“Perfect. Absolutely perfect” my jaw tight as I saw the folded paper that I had fished out from beneath the coffee table with my toes. The jury summons, or rather my extended jury summons, (the first one I pushed back due to my trip to Italy in February) that I was supposed to return like ten days ago….mother fucker. My morning started with watching my son fold and place his washed laundry back into his suitcase, a feeling that sinks deep into the pit of my stomach and brings with it a sadness that no matter how irrational I know it to be, simply crushes me. I do what I always do, what any mother does, I make jokes and only allow myself the relief of tears when I am sure he won’t see them. The day before Jeremy leaves is always the hardest on me…I wish I were better at just holding on to the few remaining hours feeling the joy and peace that comes with his presence, from him just being under the same roof, but alas much like being a responsible adult and attending to my civic duty, I, have, failed.

The next little piece of crappy was getting a call that shook me with that, “Oh shit. Did I screw up?!” the kind that makes me shake and floods me with panic. Again not terribly rational, and this time it wasn’t my error but settling down after that took some tantric like breathing, the rubbing frantically of my un-made-up face and a glass of Chateau la Canorgue Rose. Settled back into my day off, the last day with the kid then I opened an email that ended up taking another crack at my spazzed out and crumbling heart. Closed the email just in time to look at the clock and see that it was just about time for my beloved Amy and Roger to board their flight back to their exiled home of Texas. More muttering and expletives before opting to just lie on the couch and try and rest my frazzled head, quiet the aching and loneliness in my heart.

“Bang! Bang! Thump!” the maintenance men pounding, sawing, ripping out and making all the ruckus that comes with replacing the entire restroom in the now empty apartment above us. Great, no nap and now the worry about dealing with new neighbors. Got up from the couch and shuffled to the kitchen for another glass of Rose. Needed something to get lost in, refresh me and help un-stick my jaw. Pouting and a tad pissy, a favorite combination for me, especially when I know just how very lucky I am most of the time…..

I ran my fingers around the cool and sweating bowl of my wine glass. Made myself focus on the pale pink color, the herbal and mineral aromas, the electrifying thrill of cold liquid hitting my wanting, needing palate. Found comfort in my connection to the flavors and began thinking of all the moments where wine has been at my side, my partner of sorts…with me through the laughter, tears and discovering of myself along the way. The trips out of the country, the trips to our very own wine country, the faces I’ve met, kissed, caressed and spent hours with, our love for this one thing, this thrilling liquid, bringing us together and making each and every one of those moments possible…and it was there, at my side, through it all.

I thought of the past week, the time spent with my beloved son, chatting, just sitting in the same room watching television, being in separate rooms but still close enough. Wine in my glass to share the elation I feel at these times. Taking Jeremy to his first wine and food pairing event and feeling my heart swell as he spun his glass, buried his nose, took that first evaluating sip, the biting of my lip as he described the Francois Chidaine Touraine Rouge….perfectly. Wine and Momma will forever be linked in that young man’s mind and memories and for that, I am so very proud.

Piling into the car on Monday afternoon to travel south and nab a few hours with our friends escaping the oppression of the Texas sun. Wine, or Champagne more specifically, ignited our friendship, introduced Amy and I but our journey was just beginning. Been through a lot since the nights spent on the back patio of their home, (aka The Vortex) in Long Beach popping bottle after bottle of Champagne, getting to know one another and learning, for the first time, what family really means. Jeremy in Louisville, Amy and Roger now in Texas, Merritt leaving The Wine Country and moving forward in her burgeoning career in the growing beer business. Seeds scattered but roots forever intertwined. 

Driving past the sights that I had ingested hundreds of times before, Camp Pendleton, The Giant Boobs in San Onofre, the windmill that once belonged to Anderson’s Home of the Split Pea Soup and has now become a T.G.I. Fridays. The landmarks that once signified that my mother and I were almost home after visiting Long Beach, now connected to walking onto the patio of a resort, my son, husband, Amy and Roger…..a coming home unlike any I’ve known before but just as soothing. Amy and I sipping away on a bottle of Saint-Chamant Blanc de Blanc while opening our hearts and taking a few moments to just look into the eyes that, no matter the pain, strife or struggle, see you as the most beautiful and compelling person on the planet. My glass cold, laced between my fingers and at my side.

Here I sit, just hours before I have to “man up” and hold back the tidal wave of memories, snuggles, kisses and overwhelming emotion that comes with saying goodbye to my baby, the child that is now a man, that changed my game and in turn changed my life. His roots still twisted with mine but needing less of my nutrients to get him through. The last ten days not nearly enough time for me to express my love, gratitude and astounding pride. My living room silent, the kid out and saying his goodbyes, the Texas crew back in the blistering heat, my soul feeling their ache to be closer. My heart full but at the same time…as lonely as it has ever been. Life is forever changing, shifting and spinning our seeking souls in directions that find us looking for footing and a safe place to catch our breath. I find mine here, in my late nights, heart raw and exposed glass of something cold and familiar in my hand with all of you. Thank you. Thank you for being here, listening and feeling me…. 

Scores, alcohol levels and the relentless ranker about both mean…dick, when I think about what wine has brought to my life. I have a partner that sweats and bleeds beside me while I spill my guts and expose myself for the failed and fragile woman that I actually am. I can rant, piss and moan, ooze my femaleness all over these pages but in the end, I am just a girl, in love and wanting more than anything to be heard…..felt and to share that all with you.

Wish me luck with my goodbyes
Hope that I can find peace in my glass when I come home to a quiet house
Walk past that room and feel my heart sail with the emptiness of it

I still have wine to whisper to me
Those of you that are still willing and wanting to read me…
I’ve got this glass of wine and just a few more hours….    


Benito said...

The boy is a lucky man, and I hope that one day we are able to cross paths in some fashion that is not embarrassing to anyone involved. I've never had to whip out the phrase, "Hey, I'm a big fan of your Mom."

If this potential Memphis Octoberfest happens, I hope to get to introduce you to a few members of my own Vortex that have appeared on the blog over the years but have been a serious part of my food, wine, and general fun living over the past decade.

Sincere regards as always,

Thomas said...


Stop worrying about us readers not being there.

Benito, how about telling a son, "hey, I love your mom?"

Samantha Dugan said...

I am so hoping that October visit is a go. Could really use some time away with people that love me, wine and food. Would love to meet your cast of characters kid, can't wait in fact.

I do hope you and Jeremy get to meet one day. It was kind of funny on Sunday, one couple signed up for our Chidaine wine brunch because they had read Jeremy was going to be there and wanted to meet him. That was a little strange but hugely flattering.

Oh I think that worry will always be there for me, especially in those moments when I feel like everyone is going away...helps me to know that you and the others are there. So thank you so much for holding my heart together at times, love you for it.

Selyndria said...

I am a huge fan of your wine descriptions and well, a huge fan and patron of the Wine Country.

I have thoroughly enjoyed introducing my friends to wine and food as a sublime expression of Love.

I love your recommendations and just stumbled on to this blog. I do have to come in on a day when you're there so I can thank you in person for the most amazing cheeses. We did meet at the Wine and Cheese pairing you had recently. My friend was the anti-brie rind girl.

p.s. I'm ange gos on FB

Marcia Macomber said...

As Thomas said, we'll be here reading, m'dear!

I, for one, am always delighted to spend a few minutes reading about your world and vicariously enjoying your wines du jour.

webb said...

All present and accounted for. All glad to be drawn into your current vortex. He's a great son and will be quite a man. Ya done good, Girl!

Samantha Dugan said...

Well welcome! Glad you found the blog and hope you stick around. You should come in and introduce yourself, I would love to put the name and face together. Thank you for the compliments and for all of your support on The Wine Country fan page as well as my little cheese department!

Awe, thanks lady. I'm so lucky to feel less lonely because of all of you. Means more than you know.

He is a good kid....simply cannot believe how lucky I've been. Thanks for checking in lady.

Joe said...

Why can't we enjoy the last few hours? Do you start counting down the days until something good must come to an end right from the start? I know it drives my wife nuts if/when we're on vacation.

Dude, you hit "what wine is supposed to me" (to me, at least) right on the head. The study helps us understand it better, and it's perhaps easier to enjoy what we understand. But it connects. Isn't the best conversation always when the lips a loosened a bit by a little alcohol? Don't we tend to form the strongest bonds in life/work/etc. with those who have shared a meal, a drink, a few drinks? It's the part of why so many of us love wine, and that so many others just don't seem to get (and I'm not talking about novices; most of them are awesome... talking about seasoned pros who have made it a task rather than a pleasure).

Cry away when your son leaves. This, too, shall pass, but the fond memories will remain.

luvgrapes said...

With you, darling.

Valerie said...

"When I think about what wine has brought into my life" - Sweet Fancy Moses can you write, woman! Went from snickering at Sandra's, laughing out loud like a hyena at Sara's and then I come over here and you've elicited a little sniffle - but a sweet one, Sam.

Wishing you GodSpeed with the GoodByes - I understand, I said them and cried them for the last 3 decades ... sick to death of manning up to letting go, but always sending love and light with those that have to follow their own bliss. Big hugs from the Colorado Front Range to you and all you are laying down in these pages...<3

Samantha Dugan said...

Dunno. Must be part of the human condition. I don't do it so much on vacation, well other than the ones where I am visiting Jeremy...but I do it whenever miles are about to separate my son and I. Just spent so much of my life having him be my purpose that it's hard, at times, to find a place for all of that energy. The shop and this blog help more than I can tell you.

Gotta agree that wine is such a unifying beverage, part of the reason I loathe all the pissy "I know more than you" or "You're doing it wrong" shit that tends to pop up from time to time. Been steering clear of that crap on the blogs and won't allow it at The Wine Country. My job and elation come from sharing wine with others and I get no pleasure bickering with people that simply have another point of view. Well, aside from the chocolate eaters that insist on wine pairings....ugh.

I kept it together pretty well when Jeremy left yesterday....the long, "Don't let go" hug damn near killed me but, having my son be a strong, smart and driven human was always the goal and on that, I have not failed. Thanks for the support love.

Samantha Dugan said...

Thank you...honestly.

Well shit howdy woman, "I'm tired of manning up to letting go" I would say you have quite the writing chops yourself there lady. Thank you so much for the words, compliments, support and that hug, well it was much needed and appreciated more than I can express....

Ron Washam said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,

Only you could have written this post. I mean that as the highest compliment I can give a writer.

Wine has also always been my connection to reality, though that's tenuous at best. Each sip of an old familiar friend brings me back to what it means to be alive, to be able to savor the beauty that is around us at all times. It reconnects me to my passion for life, a passion that can be absent for long periods of time when I feel lost, abandoned, or lonely. And, as you write about, the act of drinking wine reminds me of the community I have been a part of for thirty years, the wine community. Hard to be lonely when I am with all of you every time I drink a great bottle.

Your bond with Jeremy is wonderful and unique. That you share it with us is a gift. Thank you.

I love you!

Samantha Dugan said...

Ron My Love,
Oh, I think there are plenty of people that could have written this...maybe not as many compelled to do so in order to feel sane, (term used loosely) again. But as ever, I do thank you so much for the compliment.

The wine community is lucky to have you love. Fantastic palate, passionate, funny as shit, amazingly talented and actually humble as hell, what's not to love? You are exactly the kind of wine lover that makes sense to me and I'm lucky enough to have had some great moments drinking wine with you. I will think of you tonight as I conduct my Champagne class, think of your groan when you smelled and tasted Camille Saves Rose, and know how truly grateful I am to wine for bringing you into my life. I love you too...

vickibarkley said...

This is a beautiful post. I've been living a life parallel to yours in so many ways!

I love her too! And, your taste is impeccable.


Samantha Dugan said...

We share many common ties sweet girl, our love for our grown sons just the tip of that iceberg. As for Ron's taste, brilliant writer, funny as hell, sweetest most gentle man I have ever known but...fucker is blind, half deaf and drinks Zinfandel so I would say his taste is questionable at best...but I love him and you!

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