I've not been posting much lately because the real world and paying work have taken over. Oh, I've thought about blogging a lot . . . but time has been limited. Once I get through the next few days, things will get back into a better order and I can catch up with reading and other things.
This week was filled with new experiences for me. You know how it is when you live somewhere for a long time and you never bother to notice or visit the local attractions because you can always do it "sometime."
My book group likes to do some fun things in addition to our discussions. We're one of those groups where the book is the excuse for getting together, but finishing it is optional. The wine is mandatory. When we read Pride and Prejudice, we met for dinner first, talked about the book, and then watched the movie. Same with the Princess Bride (yes, we actually read the book).
This time around, one of the members had a gift card for up to 10 friends to go to a tour and tasting at the local winery, and everyone got a free wine glass along with the (rather generous) tastes of six wines. The winery has been opened since 1990. I had a friend who used to live about a half mile from the winery (which I had forgotten about until we drove by said friend's former home), yet, I'd never been there. Neither had half of the other book group members. It was a pleasant surprise. About half of the wines were very good.
After our tastings, we returned for the book discussion -- with popcorn as a snack, based on the conversation at the last meeting about the death of my 30-year-old popper.
The woman who hosts our book group has told us about a local wine trail throughout March, and this is the first March where a group of could participate. Several of us bought tickets, and counted our Thursday tasting as the first visit (and got a cute little cheese knife). On Saturday, we went to another local winery on the trail. Again, for years, we've seen the signs on the interstate, but we'd never bothered to stop. At book group, we often tell stories of other wineries we visit -- in New York state, on Lake Erie islands, a stopover at a winery on a drive south. But never the local places. The place we visited on Saturday is less than 30 minutes from our home town, and we heard about their plans for the summer, with weekend music festivals and special events. Stuff we would love to do but have never bothered because it is too close.
I think a book discussion in the midst of a vineyard, with musical entertainment afterwards would be about perfect.
Incidentally, the book we read for our wine tour book was A Wedding in December by Anita Shreve. It was so-so. Next book up, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. I blew through the first 100 pages last night by the fire. I don't think it will take me long to finish. It's finding the time.