Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sierra Madre

In 1998, I tied the knot. The same year I began a love affair with a beer. Scot and I were living in San Francisco and the most popular beer served in bars was Sierra Nevada. Honestly, I choked the first couple back. This new amber brew was heartier than the Silver Bullets I had slung back in college. I wasn't sure I deserved something hearty, rich, and cultured. But, like the San Francisco fog, I grew to appreciate it. I drank it on Polk St. in a cozy bar with velvet couches, and on a concrete bench on Haight. We left San Francisco, and I returned to Arizona with a whole new appreciation for beer. Since then, there have been many different liquid loves. I like me a good Octoberfest, Kirin, and Fat Tire.

On Monday, I spent a blissful morning with my mother. We did some shopping at Williams-Sonoma, and then went for a bite to eat. We sat at a trendy restaurant, talking about life, death and how the two seem to be co-mingling in our circle lately. We shared a pizza, and when my mom ordered a Sierra Nevada, I joined her. Sure it was a Monday at noon, but why not? The first sip sent me over the edge. It was as if I had kissed Scot for the first time. I could only describe it as pure palatal pleasure, deliciousness and nostalgia mixed into one. My life did a rapid rewind in glorious technicolor. I slammed the table and had a long overdue heart-to-heart with myself.

Why had I neglected this beer? Had I forgotten how much it meant to me? Why didn't I indulge in this beer more often? Was the extra $1 a six-pack really holding me back?

Monday I went to Fry's a bought 2 six-packs. Thank God I came to my senses. I had missed Sierra Nevada, and hadn't even realized it. I'm so glad it was still there for me.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pretty Is As Pretty Does

Hey , Scot ! Come out here! I want you to see the beautiful thing that's sprung up out back!

With this baby up, I hope he spends more time inside, and less time in the open garage yelling at his wife :) (you're looking at the satellite dish, not my ugly yard)

Monday, October 26, 2009


I spent Saturday night in Las Vegas, relaxing at Joelle and Mike's outdoor table. The weather was breezy and slightly crisp, and we dined on grilled steak and veggies and sipped red wine. After dinner, Mike and I took it upon ourselves to purge Joelle's wallet. The monstrosity had grown too large to close. Joelle kept reiterating that her wallet was "just fine" and couldn't understand why we needed to help her organize her life. Or, quit fretting about something that wasn't that important, and frankly none of our business. It was then the phone rang.

Scot's brother's daughter (our niece) had passed away. Ryleigh is Keith's daughter. She was born 2 1/2 years ago, perfectly healthy apart from a small hole in her heart. She grew from an infant to a toddler, never needing surgery. Her growth kept pace with her peers, and she suffered no ill effects from her heart. It was only recently that doctors thought it prudent to perform the "routine" surgery. Better now than before it became a problem.

Three weeks ago, the surgery went off without a hitch. It was only when Ryleigh returned home that complications set in. A small cough led her parents back to the doctor. A stomach bug necessitated a visit last week. On Saturday, Ryleigh went into cardiac arrest, and left us.

Losing a parent is part of the price of living. Losing a spouse can happen. Losing a child is not expected. It is not normal. It is a slap in the face of everything we do daily (from wiping butts to crossing at crosswalks) to protect our angels. And it is a grief no parent can imagine.

I hung up the phone and glanced at Joelle and Mike's crestfallen faces. All three of us, parents, were devastated.

"Wallets don't matter, you guys, " Joelle said. "Wallets don't matter."

We love you Ryleigh. And we love your parents.