Because Life is Good. And Sweet, and Short.
And you won’t burn in hell for it. I don’t care what the nuns told you.
This blog isn’t about wine, what time you drink, or if you drink.
It’s about my concept of “Wine Before Five,” that’s evolved over the years, grown through witty Facebook exchanges with an eclectic & treasured group of “FB friends,” and blossomed while I ponder the view from my window.
The seed of Wine Before Five began in October of 1989, when the results of my first mammogram showed a spot. Our children were 6 and 3, we had moved four times in two years, covering Ohio, Virginia, & Connecticut, had landed in our second city in Texas & been there for one year. Family was 2,000 miles away. You could say I was stressed. After several weeks of sheer, utter & desperate panic, lots of research, solid and reassuring advice from a respected, trusted old friend who is a surgeon in Columbus, Ohio, I faced surgery in Fort Worth with the terror of what would happen to my children.
Good news: it had not been a tumor, would not return, required no other treatment, and my children would not grow up without me as “mommy.” I hugged my kids, breathed a sigh of relief, said “Thank you, God!” hugged my kids again, and took a new look at life.
Several days later, I came upon a quote:
“Oh, Normal Day! Let me be thankful for what you are!”
Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s all small stuff. Savor the small stuff.
Be kind, be thoughtful, be respectful & responsible, but ignore the silly rules. I don’t mean to shout, but: IGNORE THE SILLY RULES. Especially: ignore the silly voices in your head. I can say that. I grew up in a mostly-Irish and seriously Catholic family and spent eight years in a parochial grade school. With all respect, I know a lot about silly voices in the head. Double check that comment up there about not burning in hell. I can talk about these things with confidence.
A treasured childhood-to-this-day friend who shared that grade school experience once told me she believes God wants us to be good here on earth so we can go to heaven. Then she leaned toward me, as though sharing a special secret, and added with a mischievous grin, “Don’t you think he really wants us to have a little fun while we’re here?!” I love her. She’s my idol.
Along the path of many states we lived in, there was another truly special friend. She lit up everyday life with her smile, her optimism, her joyful outlook. You’ll hear more about her fairly soon in this blog. We will all be raising a glass – of your beverage of choice – to Nancy. I promise to share her recipe from a simple lunch we shared in her cheerful Virginia sun-filled yellow kitchen. Good memories are among the things that truly call for the idea of Wine Before Five.
Winebeforefive is about my outlook, memories, treasured friends, much-loved dogs, and whatever I happen to be feeling good about when I scoot my chair up to this aging eMac. I will likely climb upon my soapbox now and then to share my thoughts on the things I care deeply about – but I promise to do so from the most positive perspective I can muster. This is Wine Before Five, not Whine B4 Five.
A promise to family and friends: I will not write about you or identify you in my blog without your permission. So far, I haven’t even identified myself. I have this thing about privacy.
Now, about wine: Don’t be a lush. If you choose to drink, please do so responsibly. One is good. Two is more than enough for me. Know your own limit. Never, ever, ever, ever drink and drive.
Now read — or re-read — Erma Bombeck’s “If I Had My Life to Live Over.” (This link shows a popularly shared version, and then the original version, written in 1979, long before Erma Bombeck was facing her last days.)
Now read that column again. Now read this line one more time:
“But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute… look at it and really see it … live it…and never give it back.”
Thanks, Erma. That’s it. That’s Wine Before Five.
April 13, 2011 Philosophy The View From My Window