Hotdogs and Vino for the Win

Today’s a perfect day for a hot dog. It’s not bright and sunny, but rather a bit grey and misty. As a result, we decide to stay at my place as opposed to the common area with the gas grills, fire pit, tables and chairs. The wine and deviled eggs from Petit Marlowe linger in my head — a delightful spot for dining and drinks walking distance between the office and the ballpark in San Francisco. Back to our hot dogs, just like Ernie who’s game for two, so too I decide to have two — a taste test between the Hebrew National and Boars Head. Behind me, Bruce has gotten a guitar, and “learned how to make it talk.” Listening to him is also my best pal. While I’m sitting on the balcony, Taylor sits on the other side of the screen door. In my mind’s eye, she’s with us both. Her “dress waves, like a vision, she dances across the porch while the radio plays.”

Not to be outdone, instead of a beer accompanying a bbq in the Midwest, I opt for wine from Silverado Vineyards to represent the West. The 2014 Petit Verdot from Mt George Vineyard perfectly complements both dogs. I’m no vino expert and don’t even know how to spell somm (ok, that’s not true — “sommelier”), but the wine really does complement the dogs while I compliment Taylor. “You’re a good boy Taylor!! And you know it!” He always gets excited when I feed his ego.

The skies clear after a while, as I savor one bite after another. Summers in the Bay Area — especially in the city and Marin — are different than summers anywhere else. Mark Twain knew it best when he reminisced about his coldest winters. Turns out, he never claimed the San Francisco summers were cold. Even if he hadn’t, he would have been right. Cold or hot, bright or not, my balcony in Marin always invites deep thoughts by Jack Handy.

“What if you could see your whole life from start to finish?”

I’ve been accused of many things. All of the good ones, and even many of the bad, all boil down to one thing. I feel. I feel very strongly about feeling. For the most part, I communicate that empathy. And while I don’t have the supernatural ability to see both ends of my life and everything in between, I’ve got this sense of the most important moments of my life the moment I live them, and of the most important people in my life, the moment I meet them. Some I’ve a feeling will last beyond both ends of my life into and out of eternity, some just passing by, lending their love and wisdom at those very specific moments when I need them the most or conversely when they need me most.

That’s what I think about as I’m bite into my hotdog, shove a spoonful of potato salad, and crunch into my pickle while having a swig of wine. The 2014 Silverado Petit Verdot is really, really, ridiculously good.

It’s strange to think that in three months, “I’m pulling out of here to win.”

Originally written 3 July 2017, a couple months before
I left the Bay Area to move back to Chicago.

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