Right now I am sitting on my kitchen floor drinking hot tea with honey and listening to Morcheeba Radio on Pandora, my guilty pleasure.
Why my guilty pleasure you may ask?
Morcheeba is a band I loved dearly back in the days of youngness and freeness and hedonistic lifestyle. Back when there were no children, no ownership, no true responsibilities; just parties, rent and lots and lots of vino. It kind of makes me feel guilty to reminisce about that time in my life when my children have their friends over and are playing happily down the hill next to the creek.
So much has happened since I blogged last, and I feel a little overwhelmed trying to write about everything that has transpired since January 14th.
There is a lot of change happening in my world, and I cannot get a grasp of how it is transforming my outlook on the future.
In the world of On the Square, February was a fantastic month for us and while we struggle with customers constantly asking why we don’t have a television show, we feel like our staff has never been stronger in both the kitchen and the front of the house. I am constantly reminded by our patrons and friends what wonderful people we have working with us, and that is the very best compliment I will ever receive. We are truly happy serving and cooking for those who enjoy food and wine. What more could we ever ask for?
In the world of wine, I rediscovered White Zinfandel and then realized I might be aging out of my profession. After a delicious pop-up wine dinner at Raleigh Wine Shop with food incredibly prepared by Chef Lily Gray Warren, a former ECU wine student, I gushed at her grace and talent with creating and executing an unbelievable dinner with wines elegantly paired and served by Raleigh Wine Shop pros, Seth Hoffman and James Voltz.
One of the highlights of the dinner was the 2014 Broc Cellars White Zinfandel from Sonoma County. For those of you who have known me the longest, you may remember the box of Franzia White Zin that had a permanent home in Gran’s refrigerator as well as Mary Ann & Dad’s. When I was a teenager in high school, our family would go to Gran’s for dinner, and in the warm months, we would sit on her beautiful brick patio overlooking the pond where she would serve salted peanuts. My sommelier days began there and then as I was allowed to tap the box of White Zin and serve Gran and her guests.
There are many classic White Zin stories under my belt, one of my favorites being when I was a sophomore at Carolina. It was a cold January evening, and I thought I would dress up a little bit and see if I could get a glass of wine at 411 West, easily the fanciest restaurant on Franklin Street in 1996. I ponied up to the bar and ordered a glass of white zin, thinking I was the coolest thing ever. My coolness came to a grinding halt when I told the bartender “Just so you know, the wine isn’t white, it’s pink.” “ID, please, young lady?” he retorted. Less than five seconds later, I was escorted out of the restaurant. So close yet so far away.
So when the Broc Cellars White Zinfandel was served at this amazing dinner, I have to say so many flashbacks were occurring in my head, I had to meditate for a moment so that I could really evaluate the wine. Wild strawberries, garrigue and red rose aromatics, the wine was so far away from Franzia that only the name could trigger the mid 90’s for me.
Fast Forward to a week later when I braved the winter elements to travel to New York City to work my beloved La Paulee, my most favorite wine event ever. For more information on what an amazing time it is, please visit http://lapaulee.com/index.php.
So, I arrive in the city, and as I work the event over the course of three nights, I realize that I am old, my friends. The sommeliers are getting younger and younger, and I am not. I know every single person experiences this in their lifetime, and it’s almost a feeling that cannot be put into words. I compare it to seasickness combined with a little fear and a touch of envy. Honestly, I am just now able to get a hold of the feeling almost a week later. These talented sommeliers who look like modern day models have talent, confidence and knowledge coming out of their pores, and I must say it is inspiring to see the future of the wine service world look so bright. I do feel old, but I also feel incredibly proud of the profession I embraced 16 years ago.
In the world of beer, our beloved Tarboro Brewing Company faces many hurdles in timeliness because of what I believe to be bureaucratic bullshit. (Pardon my french, Cynt Cynt). We are coming along, but as most aspects of new businesses, if you’re building it rather than buying it, every single thing takes longer than you anticipate.
In the world of mom, I feel like I can barely catch up with making sure my kids are healthy and happy and feel like they have all the tools they need to be successful. Yesterday morning, I woke up to a good-bye love letter from our life coach Marina and as I typed her words into google translate, the children and I cried at knowing she wasn’t going to be a fixture in our home as she has for the last 10 1/2 years. For more on Marina and my undying love for her, please visit http://inezsays.com/does-marina-know.htm.
Cynthia and Stephen are my greatest gifts, and while I know that I may be aging out of being able to work the floor like I did 10 years ago, I know in my heart I will never age out of being their mom. The stories they tell me, the fears they share with me and the hugs and kisses they bestow on me make me know there is nothing like a child’s love.
So, my friends, other things have happened over the past month and a half that I am certainly proud of: surviving one week of a 21 day cleanse (I had only thought I would be able to do a day); running a half-marathon (almost dying, but still finishing); and giving up yelling at my husband for Lent (not 100%, but let’s say 82–how many more weeks do I have?)
We put so much pressure on ourselves to succeed, succeed, succeed, but when it comes to life, all I think we should grade ourselves on is the effort we put forward. God knows we are all giving effort from the moment we wake up in the morning.
When it comes to change, I am trying to learn to embrace it rather than fight it. If anyone has the answer on how I can do this more successfully, I welcome any and all advice.
Enjoy this season, my friends, for they will change. You may think it’s the worst season of your life, but I guarantee you will look back on it wishing you could revisit. I never believed my youthful season of White Zin out of a box was one I wanted to be in again, but here I am, over 20 years later, thinking that season was pretty darn special.