I’m having an early dinner tonight, because in a couple of hours, I’ll be off to that timeless tradition, the high school reunion… I won’t tell you how many years it has been, except to say that it somewhere between 19 and 21. And for those of you who have seen photos of me on this blog and are puzzled by the math… I graduated high school when I was 3. I was a very precocious child.
This week I have been reflecting on the fact that even though I still live in the same town where I grew up and went to high school, I hardly ever run into people that I went to high school with (I used to work with a childhood neighbor, but he has since sought greener pastures and changed jobs). Even though I work in HR, it had nothing to do with me – I swear! We live in the kind of small city that is blessed with abundant beauty, tons of recreational opportunities, great restaurants, low crime, and lots of small town charm. The inevitable tag alongs are screaming high real estate prices, lots of retired Californians, few jobs, and tons of college educated competition for those few jobs. OK, perhaps the Californians aren’t inevitable, but they are here.
I was fortunate to find great jobs and a rare career progression here, when a lot of my peers weren’t so lucky. Moving away after high school or college to find employment somewhere else is the norm around here. So this weekend I will be reunited with my childhood peeps and I’m sure we will tell stories of life lived away from here and life lived here, and laugh about the crow’s feet, the gray hairs, the triumphs and the not-so-successful moments. Except I won’t have any stories about gray hair and crow’s feet, because I’m only 23.
With my early dinner (because I’m certainly on the downhill slide to 5 o’clock dinners followed by BINGO, right?), I decided to do a little pre-celebration with a glass of local wine. I’m drinking the 2008 Dolcetto by Dakota Creek.
Dakota Creek was founded in 2005 by Ken and Jill Peck, who source most of their grapes from the Yakima Valley – many from the Rattlesnake Hills AVA. The Dolcetto has light tannins and aromas of ripe blackberries and prunes. It is smooth and fruit forward, with the same flavors following the nose. While not a terribly complex wine, it is a light red that won’t overpower anything you decide to pair it with. The winery is open Thursdays through Saturdays, and it is always a pleasant experience to sit out on their patio and enjoy your tasting while taking in the lush grass fields nearby. It doesn’t hurt that Ken and Jill are two of the friendliest people you will ever meet, and always the most gracious of hosts.
Here’s to friends, old and older…