Thoughts on Killing Off a Bottle of Merlot

I stopped today at a small winery in Chautauqua, Florida. In a tasting room, I sampled the Chardonnay along with a Merlot and a holiday blend. I purchased three bottles, one of each, and tucked them into my suitcase before continuing my journey west on interstate 10.

My plan was to meet up with Studly Doright at a Holiday Inn Express in Crestview, Florida. I love assignations with my husband. The prospect of a pretend illicit meeting with my man is a bit heady, so as I drive I contemplate which bottle to open tonight. The Chardonnay? No, too much of a lightweight. The holiday blend with mulled spices? No, I’ll save that for Christmas Eve. Ah, that left the Merlot. Deep and rich and red.

I can’t divulge the details of our night, but let’s just say, I picked the right wine. Here’s a toast to old married people. We live. We laugh. We love.

Peace, people.

Birthday Boy

Happy 15th birthday to our eldest grandson, Garrett. I remember the day you were born like it was yesterday. We paced the halls and worried the hospital staff with endless questions. It seemed like you’d never arrive, and once you did, our lives were forever changed.

You’ve enriched our family in so many ways that I’ve lost count, and you’re the only kid I know who can consistently spell better than I can. Love you more today than the day before.

I can’t wait to see what your future holds.

You Might Be Studly Doright If….

Studly Doright (aka David Noyes) seemed to enjoy his birthday celebration on Thursday. After an outstanding Thanksgiving feast orchestrated by his mother and sisters, we settled in to fete Studly as he prepares to enter his sixth decade on earth.

First our son, Jason, emceed a game show pitting our five grandchildren against Studly’s four siblings in a quest to see which group knew more about Studly. I’m not sure which team emerged as the winner, but we all got a kick out of the questions and accompanying vintage family photos that served as clues.

(Above, our two oldest grandkids, Garrett and Dominique, discuss their team’s answer.)

Our daughter, Ashley, led us in an activity called, “You might be David Noyes,” in which participants had an opportunity to share humorous recollections about the guest of honor in a format similar to Jeff Foxworthy’s “You might be a redneck.”

The contributed memories had everyone in stitches. I can’t remember many of them; I was laughing too hard. One I shared was, “If you ever tried to claim gravy is a liquid to justify eating it while prepping for a colonoscopy, you might be David Noyes.”

The grandkids got a kick out of these revelations about their Poppa.

(Above, our youngest grandchild, Harper, listens as her Poppa explains one of the many shared stories. She might have been angling for a piece of the birthday cake, as well.)

Afterwards, Studly read cards from family and friends. He got a little emotional at times, declaring this was his best birthday ever.

Thanks to everyone who made it so special.

Peace, people.

Oh, So Young!

This photo of Studly Doright and me literally fell into my lap on Thursday night. I opened a binder and out it tumbled, crudely cropped and slightly faded.

I love this picture so much. It was taken in the spring of 1975 on the night of our junior-senior prom. My mother made the dress, and I felt so pretty in it. Puffy sleeves had that effect on me. Plus, I was so in love I could hardly stand it.

Studly had better hair than I did. At least nowadays I’m ahead of him in that category. You see, I still have hair. I hope I didn’t just say that out loud—he’s sitting right here!

Note the harvest gold pole lamp that almost appears as an appendage on my back. The lamp is an indication that the photo was taken inside my family’s home because Mom was really into harvest gold. Our fridge, stove, washer and dryer were all of the same hue.

I wish I could relive that night one more time, to feel that young and pretty and carefree again. Guess I’ll settle for the next best thing, and kiss this bald guy goodnight. Puffy sleeves might help, too.

Peace, people!

Granddaddy’s Gas Station

I grew up in a Fina gas station owned by my granddaddy. My days smelled of petroleum and cigars,

No wonder I’m a little on edge all of my days. When the world is combustible with the errant flick of an ash,

Everything becomes precious to a precocious five year old. Grandaddy kept candy and red fuses in a glass counter display.

I had the run of the place, but was cautioned about dashing about and around the old pumps, lest someone

Run me over. Pretty heady stuff for a little girl who only wanted to ask, “Premium or Ethyl?” as she washed grimy windshields.

My heart is all tied up in that place. Bound by diligence and the smell of Grandaddy’s Old Spice. The strength of his hugs.

Shipping Label Humor

Today, October 5, 2017, is my 61st birthday. Yay me! According to my youngest grandchild who is five, I am an old lady. Funny, I don’t feel old. In fact, I feel fairly wonderful.

Yesterday I received a beautiful basket of gourmet delicacies from my son and daughter-in-law. I mean this is the mother of all baskets:

Apples, pears, cheeses and crackers, cookies, and a bottle of wine. It’s gorgeous and I’m going to try to be a good girl and share with Studly Doright.

One of the best things about the basket, though, was the label on the box it arrived in. I laughed for ten minutes:

“Do not deliver to an intoxicated person,” it says. I told the FedEx lady it was a darned good thing she’d come before 5 p.m.

Happy birthday to me!

Hurricane Cat

We adopted our precious cat, Scout, after Hurricane Charley in 2004. We lived in Melbourne, Florida, at the time, and Scout along with her brother had been found wandering alone once the storm passed through our area. I wrote a story about her adoption, and it never fails to make me cry. That’s like laughing at one’s own joke, I suppose.

https://nananoyz5formewordpress.wordpress.com/2014/08/22/the-rescue-of-scout/

Scout is now around fourteen years old. She’s still playful and likes to play fetch. She sleeps more than she once did, but she’s still a sweet cat who loves to snuggle. Some day we’ll have to say goodbye to our Scout, but we hope we’ll be graced with her presence for many more years.

I found her snoozing on a fresh from the dryer towel one afternoon. That’s my girl.

Peace, people.