Even though food has always been "in" and by "food" I do include beverages...
I have really come to enjoy a few things even more this year.
This, unassuming, dare I say it "blended" wine is quite amazing...
but more than the flavor, it will forever signify the night I finally went "home"...
And what a name... ha Menage a Trois.
The breeze was subtle, the stars were twinkling (you can see them there), and my mind was reminiscing.
How many spring and even more summer nights I spent under the stars in Iowa. How many nights I insisted on camping in tents, on the trampoline, inside various forts made out of those huge Maytag appliance boxes, in lounge chairs, in the back of our van, on the roof of our van, on the roof of our house... they never let me camp there...
Almost inevitably I'd wake up wet with dew, eaten alive by mosquitos, to my mother shaking me awake because the tornado sirens were going off (i'm a deep sleeper) or to the feel of wet heavy cardboard boxes on top of me and the flow of water beneath me - since I insisted to sleep at the bottom of the hill... We later learned to use a tarp if we could rig one up, although it still didn't protect us from the dew. But it didn't matter. It was our own "place". Those forts were our castles, huts on stilts perched above the ocean, or dream homes, high rise apartment buildings, anything we'd seen or heard or read about. We'd even stay up late and make extravagant meals in our "other lives". Decorating the plate of pasta with leaves from celery, pretending to season like we'd seen the professionals do, with only a jar of parmesan and salt and pepper. And candles, a necessity... as we sat down to enjoy our fine dining experience before venturing back to our "homes" in the backyard. As a kid, I always imagined my life somewhere else.
But the other night.... it dawned on me as I sat on my parents porch, eating a pasta dinner I made for them, that my "imagination" then... had become a reality - in some ways I suppose.
Here I was plucking fresh basil from their plant, tossing in the olive oil and tomatoes and serving it to them. We talked about the "castles" I saw while I was in Scotland and showed them pictures from our ocean front view in Kona...
But after they'd all gone to bed... I stayed out on the back patio and took it all in.
Not only was it home, in the springtime, my family nearby and a great glass of wine in my hand, I was enjoying this place all to myself while the the rest of the world was asleep... but the most fascinating realization I had was that...it wasn't "new".
I'd been here before, countless times before. But it wasn't until then that I finally understood Thomas Wolfe's quote "you can't go home again".
Home is never the same because, you're never the same.
So many nights I imagined "home" to be something else, somewhere else.
But that night... I was there. Fully there. I didn't want to be anywhere else.
I was home... perhaps for the first time.