My new favorite is a Cranberry Peach Bellini. After working all week, I am all about the easy when it comes to Sunday afternoons. No elaborate cooking or drink making and the Cranberry Peach Bellini is as easy as opening up the bottle of Ocean Spray Mocktails and one of those little mini champagne bottles. Half and half in a glass and I am ready to see if the Packers can somehow salvage the season.
Another sports team that is having a super year is, of course, the Los Angeles Dodgers, now on their way to the World Series. I moved to California twenty-nine years ago. I was reminded of this, because it is the last time the Dodgers were in the World Series. I remember seeing Kirk Gibson hit that home run in a bar in Los Angeles and having the place go absolutely wild.
I was born in San Diego, during a time my parents were living in California. Growing up, I heard countless stories about the good times in Cali. My parents moved back to Wisconsin when I was a toddler after my father got laid off. He told me many times, if he had it to do over, he would not have gone back. He often referred to their time in California as the happiest time in his life and in their marriage.
It is no surprise then that it was always where I felt I would end up some day.
Twenty-nine years ago, I was not sure I had made the right decision. Although I didn’t come out alone, the guy I was living with, was working as a sound man and traveling all the time. The stress of trying to get settled in a new city made the cracks in our relationship widen to a hole the size of the Grand Canyon and I knew it was a matter of time until we were over.
I was working in retail, in a store that sold sports paraphernalia. I had met a couple of people who are still close friends today, but at the time, I felt homesick, lonely and generally displaced. Trying to get something going with music wasn’t happening, I did not want to spend the rest of my life working in retail and I was starting to feel like I had made the biggest mistake of my life.
The home baseball team in the World Series provided a little diversion. Of course it was great for business and I still remember unpacking boxes of new Dodger shirts every day. We had the games on in the store and other mall staff and customers would come in to watch. It made a job I really disliked a little more fun, even though I had never been much of a baseball fan. I was thinking about that time in my life while I was drinking my CPB this morning. What did John Lennon say? “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.”
Many things I had hoped for at that point in my life, never came to be. Yet so many things that I never even knew to hope for have. Twenty-nine years ago, I had no idea what I was capable of doing and how strong I would become. The career I have in software right now, didn’t even exist and who knew I would actually one day build a deck?
I have heard people say that the best years of their lives are behind them. That they give up ten years off the end of their life to relive one year from their past. Frankly, I can’t imagine that. I wouldn’t even know which year to pick! There were some that definitely wouldn’t make the cut, but all of them had great times, laughter and things I accomplished that I couldn’t imagine.
As I finish writing this and you finish reading this, let us raise our Cranberry Peach Bellinis in a toast. To the Los Angeles Dodgers, my struggling Packers and to what comes next. Whatever that might be!