Monday, June 30, 2014


St. Helena, CA

A new phase is upon us here in Napa, "verasion," when the grapes ripen enough to blush (or turn yellow in the case of "white" grapes). If you look closely above, you'll see the tiniest hint of pink. We went searching for it, because according to the scuttlebutt in Napa, verasion is early this year, as opposed to late July like last year. This bunch is on a super-old vine, but maybe the others aren't far behind. That same scuttlebutt says all signs point to a stellar vintage so far. 2014. Our vintage.

The nearby grapes, so wee just a few weeks ago, are now hanging low under their own burgeoning weight.

There's something oddly hopeful about walking amongst the vines on these long, bright evenings. I don't know if it's my own bias, knowing the fall will bring juicy, ripe grapes that will render that red liquid love in my glass. Or maybe it's the birds shouting out, or the wine train calling just down the track, or the temperature gently falling as evening comes on. Or maybe it's the subtle reminder that there will be a day soon when the grapes will turn, and there will be a day after that and another. Maybe it's the reminder that even though we just celebrated the summer solstice, just down the road a piece, we will be celebrating a harvest. The grapes remind me that there is a tomorrow and, after that, a tomorrow.

The hope calls me out, and then it follows me home, lightening my step and brightening my heart.

Today, I'm grateful for grapes and hope.

Sunday, June 15, 2014


St. Helena, CA

Chip says he wants to change the world, with a "we can DO this" sort of earnestness that would seem misguided if you didn't know him. What he doesn't realize is that he already has changed the world. He is part of a new brotherhood of fathers who have decided to get in the game. And they didn't just run out onto the field. They built a new stadium.

With some mysterious collective consciousness, these new dads decided to face down their fathers' demons: machismo, violence, stoicism and emotional unavailability, to name a few. They revolutionized fatherhood, making it vibrantly relevant, and have left a game plan where there wasn't one before, one already being followed by a young generation.

Chip embraces fatherhood with a rare passion and mad skills that he learned on the raucous field of parenthood. He's not afraid to get right in there, shoulder to shoulder with the kids, seeing their best selves and helping them get there. He's not afraid to show them how much he loves them, to be proud of them or to weep because of it. He taught Casey and Dylan how to make wise decisions, to use their instincts and how to live with purpose and self-reflection. He teaches them by his actions that there's a greater good, and that the universe is better when we contribute to it.

Thank you, Chip, for continually investing so much of yourself in changing the world, for setting a new high standard of manhood for Dylan and Casey.

Thank you, to Chip's brothers in arms for living, loving and learning alongside your kids, elevating them and by proxy every generation to come. The world is a better place because of you.

What will our children do in the morning if they do not see us fly? --Rumi

Monday, June 9, 2014


St. Helena, CA

Our culture has some collective soft spot for bicycles. I guess it brings back all those warm memories from childhood, that first little burst of freedom and independence. Walking through Walmart pushing that little blue beauty felt like being in a Huffy ad. People were smiling, nodding, giving me the thumbs up.

"See you on the road," one guy called as I was wheeling it out.

In our pre-sailing life, we would have bought a second car, but we're still wallowing in the luxury of having just one. But since Chip's working at Silver Oak five or six days a week -- with the car -- he bought me a bike with his tip money. Lucky me!

And now that Napa Valley's getting its summer on, it's a welcome relief to wheel the groceries home.

Who needs fuel when you've got legs? And look at that happy girl.

Today, I'm so, so grateful for a blue bike -- with a basket and a cup holder!

Sunday, June 1, 2014


St. Helena, CA

Ted Talk by Graham Hill.

Can less stuff mean more happiness? I know it's absolutely true for me. The fewer things I own, the happier I am, and the freer I am to enjoy life on my own terms. Downsizing and living small are common themes around here, but now here's someone else saying it. This is a Ted Talk by Graham Hill with tips for simplifying and enriching your life.

Now, go do some editing!

Today I'm grateful for: our always beautiful view.