Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas At The Blue-Merle Winery

Welcome, warm, Santa Ana winds gusted through the rows of vines in Blue-Merle Country as the orange glow behind the eastern mountains signaled daybreak's advance, bringing paradise weather to a land in winter. Christmas Morning; Red Flag Warning. Unlike those frightful days of October when those devil winds ushered in acrid, ocher smoke, today they are an enjoyable gift.

As the 20th anniversary of our marriage approaches, the Queen has left several hints for the present she desires. Not just a diamond. Twenty diamonds, one for each year she has endured with me (and boy does she deserve them). I have hid the big "rock" in her stocking. Twenty tons of rocks. Merry Christmas, darling.

If there were a poll about what profession Jesus might choose for a next appearance, I would vote for mason. Laying the cornerstone; laying the bricks. What a noble line of work. Building things. This is how we are spending our Christmas. Laying the foundation for retaining walls, holding back the earth with rocks. It is body numbing work, giving the mind a chance to wander, reflect and to say prayers for all of those we care about. Vineyard is art. Vineyard is meditation. Vineyard is prayer.

Attentive readers will ask, "Where is the Princess?" She has gone Indian, with a decorative nose piercing. She was in Bollywood last week, New Delhi today, the Taj Mahal tomorrow and a pilgrimage to the Ganges next week. When she returns in January, there will still be plenty of paths to be dug, and rocks to be placed.

John & Gunvor brought a special gift -- 6 bottles of Chateau Lafitte Rothschild! Of course, they are all vinegar, John says, as they are from the 1970 vintage, and have been cellared in California homes all of these years. Well, if my Queen wishes for diamonds, I wish for one of the bottles to be unspoiled. We will share the spoils at a hastily called meeting of the Hidden Meadows Winemakers Association . Merry Christmas!

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