Tag Archives: friends

50 Is the New 30 – A Napa Excursion

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Happy Birthday to us!

Happy Birthday to us!

50 is the new 30. I have decided this to be a fact – partly because this is the year I turn 50…actually that is the only reason. However, after a one night stay in Napa, California (yes even at 50 one can still do a “quickie”) with 5 truly inspiring lifelong friends (all of whom occupy my same 50-years-of-age rickety boat), I am more convinced than ever 50 is clearly the new 30.

These women, my fellow Napa excursionists, are accomplished Doctors, Educators, Designers, Writers, Managers,  Business Owners, Moms and Wives – perfect in their imperfections, beautiful both inside and out. And no matter how many years go by without seeing each other, we seem to pick up right where we left off – as if REO Speedwagon had just been blasting on the car radio.

So what do 6 such women ringing in their 50th year do? Meet up in Napa, CA, of course. There is no better place for such a milestone – except for possibly one of those spas where you magically emerge with a face as shiny and wrinkle free as a bowling ball, lips that look like something on a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade float and perky boobs. But no, I think Napa is definitely the place.

It is beautiful,

Napa, CaliforniaThere is lots of wine.

Napa, California

Now, we just need to get stomping.

Seriously, barrels of the stuff.

Like that little chain is actually going to stop anyone!

Like that little chain is seriously going to stop anyone!

And chocolate is always welcome (hint: it is especially advantageous to have friends of supreme intelligence who know to pack chocolate and lots of it).

Grgich Hills Estate

Grgich Hills Estate

Speaking of packing, we didn’t get to be 50 without learning a thing or two about how to arrive prepared. Since I am the youngest of my group of 6 by at least a full 2 weeks (that’s right, I can retain my youthful status of 49 until almost the end of 2014), I decided to offer to carry everyone’s bags. That is until I saw how much was required for an overnight 6 girl stay in Napa – then I silently reneged (I might possibly have been thinking to myself something like let the old bats carry their own luggage, it’s good for the circulation).

And that is how you arrive prepared!

And that is how you arrive prepared!

And then it was off to the wine tasting, complete with a hired driver to keep us on schedule (and out of jail).

Caymus Vineyards

Caymus Vineyards

All in all, it was the perfect way to spit in the eye of welcome 50.

If I have learned anything in my 50 years it would be this – cherish the people who knew you when you had to wear a head gear to school, thought Leif Garret was cute and attended Jr. High instead of “Middle School”. When it is time to turn 50, they will have your back (and understand why you can’t stay awake past 11:00 pm).

Also (and clearly just as crucial a life lesson) always wear shades when being photographed in bright sunlight.

50 is the new 30 (only, with an earlier bedtime)

50 is the new 30 (only, with an earlier bedtime)

Next time, I follow the rabbit.

 

Big rabbit, hard to miss...

Big rabbit, hard to miss…

Go Ahead, Make My Day

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The letter.  Do you remember that dinosaur?  No, no, no, it is not something you type out onto an email, or text from your phone or even message on Facebook.  It is not the same as commenting, liking, tweeting, repining, stumbling, joining or even following (did I miss any?).  Need a memory jog…or maybe, marathon?

The letter is that archaic form of communication where you actually pick up a pen (if you can find one that works), select a stationary or card (my favorite often had bunnies or rainbows), write by hand sentiments and thoughts (which requires you have some), write the address (that street-city-state-zip thingy), stamp it (the little.44 sticker) and send by (gasp) the US Post – heretofore to be referred to as “snail-mail”.  Coming back to you now?

Well, recently I have been thinking about letters a lot.  I have been remembering the stationary kits I had as a kid, complete with matching paper, envelopes and stickers.  I have been reminiscing over the times when I lived away from home and became closer to friends and family through this antiquated form of communication. I have been cherishing all the letter responses I stored away and saved. I have been laughing hysterically over letters written by my teen self to my Grandmother that were returned to me upon her death. I have been recalling how, when you receive a physical letter, it feels like obtaining a piece of the person who penned it.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the electronic mediums as much as the next girl. You just can’t beat the convenience of texting/emailing while driving, the divides bridged (and marriages compromised) by social networks, and the home created for otherwise completely useless information.

But, here is the thing, I have a friend (yep, true stuff there). She is a special kind of friend. She is the kind of friend I have known since before puberty.  The kind of friend who remembers the leopard patched ripped-up Levis I wore with pride and will still call me out on if need be. The kind of friend with whom I have, fought, laughed, cried, and survived over the years. The ‘til death do us part kind of friend.

This friend, well, she still on occasion writes letters.  When I least expect it and sometimes most need it, a letter will arrive in my mailbox from her.  It will be filled with words of encouragement, sentiment, and love.  It will be decorated with stickers or sayings.  It will have taken her time, attention and effort to accomplish. Sometimes, the stationary will be hand crafted; sometimes the letter will be written all helter skelter; and sometimes the contents will cause me to smile, laugh or even cry a little.

But, no matter what is inside, the letter always makes my day – in that warm, cared about, loved and appreciated kind of way. In a manner that no email, text, IM, tweet, like or follow ever could, or honestly, ever will.

So today, I am going to write my friend a letter. I am going to enclose some words of love, encouragement and appreciation. Maybe, I will decorate it with stickers.  Probably, I will try to write something funny. Definitely, I will pen into the words a piece of myself. Then, I am going to address it, stamp it and send it via snail-mail.

And when the letter arrives in my friend’s mailbox,

I hope, it makes her day.