Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Catching Up...

ANNIVERSARY TRIP TO CALIFORNIA: In September, Fred and I took a little trip to Northern California and visited the Napa Valley wine country. This year marked the occasion of our thirtieth anniversary, and when Fred asked me where I wanted to go to celebrate this milestone, I said, "Italy." His response was that as long as he is still in the working world, which means he travels constantly, he wanted to postpone the trip to Italy until such time as he is retired so he could thoroughly enjoy it and not have to turn right around from an international trip and immediately hop on another plane for work. Being the agreeable soul that I am, I totally understood and chose the next best thing: The Napa Valley.
Our weather was fabulous, and we toured several vineyards including Mondavi, Staglin, Miner, Gargiulo, and Castello di Amorosa. Each vineyard was distinctive in some way, and I learned a great deal about the process of wine making. I now know why some wines are far more pricey than others, something I never quite understood before walking through the actual details of the process. Several people said that the Napa Valley reminds them of Tuscany, but I'll have to wait a little bit longer to decide that for myself. I was especially impressed with Staglin Vineyards and their charitable contributions to mental health via their Salus wine collection and extensive fund raising efforts.
We enjoyed three rounds of golf with friends at Eagle Vines, Wente, and Poppy Hills. At the first two, the fairways weave in and out of the vineyards, which is rather interesting. Wente is an intriguing layout with lovely grounds, and Poppy Hills is very close to Pebble Beach. We had to stop in to absorb the breathtaking views of Pebble Beach.
We ventured south to Monterey for a brief overnight stay and then moved onward along the Coast Highway (where there must have been 500 people participating in a bike event) to tour Hearst Castle in San Simeon before we stayed in Ventura Beach. Moving on the following day, our final destination was the Ritz Carlton at Laguna Niguel, which was beyond amazing. It was an anniversary trip to forever remember--good friends and great times in northern and southern CA.
BACK IN SOUTH CAROLINA AGAIN: The truth is, however, that wherever I go, I love coming back to our home in SC, where the beaches are beautiful, the climate is generally pleasant, and people are friendly, warm and happy to be here. I'm teaching workshops in November through Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Coastal Carolina University-Litchfield location, and look forward to meeting the people who will attend. I hear the most fascinating stories, and LOVE helping people write their life stories to pass along to future generations. This truly is my passion. Details are on my web site at
2011 MEMOIR PRESERVATION CRUISE: Don't forget to call Kate to choose your cabin for the Bermuda cruise to be held in October, 2011. Deposits are required by 12/7/10, so contact Kate at (843) 294-9904 to secure your spot. We'll have a fabulous time!!! You will learn how to get started on a memoir preservation project, or if you've already taken my workshops, we'll have a workshop for those who have the tools to complete the project, but seem to be stuck in the mud without a shovel. Visit for additional information.
INSPIRATION: I have to say that God continues to bring the most incredible people into my path. I don't believe for a moment that we coincidentally run across these people. I do believe that He orchestrates circumstances that bring us into contact with certain individuals for a particular reason. We can't fool Him, you know. Sometimes people do things for others, and on the surface it would appear that they are ultra-generous and helpful. On occasion, it turns out that they actually have selfish motives for what they do, but God knows our hearts. We can't hide our secret motives from Him, and my point is that when you do something for someone else, let it be for unselfish reasons. Let it be because they need a hand, or an emotional lift, or a meal, or a ride to a medical appointment, or just an ear to listen. Don't make a mental note that they now owe you something in return. .....Lord, you know everyone's heart. Acts 1:24 (NIV) ....A happy heart makes the face cheerful...Proverbs 15:13 (NIV) You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV)
Until next time, put a smile on the face of someone just because you want to do something special for them....and it will bring a smile to your own face as well.