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January 10, 2014 / coalstovesinkguest

January Visit

It’s January 9, 2014…still adjusting to the last digit being a 4 instead of a 3. So now we also have to adjust our commentary to the fact that “what we plan to do in the new year…is already here so it’s no longer, next year…it’s this year.

Of course this becomes a little more challenging with discussions of the obligation of attending a company Holiday party in January instead of December. I’m glad my company doesn’t have January Holiday parties because evidently the thought of gathering together with colleagues after the hustle and bustle of the holidays to celebrate holidays from last year just seems wrong in so many ways. Mostly since the holiday spirit reinforced in December through lots of holiday cheer has given way to the introspective time of January.

Shenandoah scene (photo by Amy Barley)

Shenandoah scene (photo by Xena)

I’m clearly in my retrospective mood as I join my gracious hosts for a brisk walk down river with Puck, Sofie and Skillet leading the way. On the way back the sun peeks out of the cloud cover and we enjoy a luminescent burst of yellow light against the trees and ice bursts on the river as a sparkling reminder that the day is coming to a close.

Golden walk (photo by Amy barley)

Golden walk (photo by Xena)

It’s time to head inside and try a Cat’s Pajamas that lives up to its reputation and takes the edge off. Next up is a soft and smooth Priorat from Spain that is paired with a wonderfully prepared Tenderloin with the famous pink Bearnaise sauce that exceeds high expectations.

I learn the secret to preparing a wonderful roast beast is timing…specifically 18 minutes per pound. I also learn that the recipe past down from Mom includes a magical Yorkshire Pudding made in the pan that has become a [host] family classic.

Post dinner conversation is a mixture of technical discussions (on the use of Google Chromecast) along with more reflective thoughts on the “mellowing” that comes with age. Would we be in any less of a hurry to learn and achieve if our lives were extended by 20-50 years? We debate this over our first Berryville Passage which lubricates the lively debate. Consensus ends up supporting the assertion that we would pursue achievements aggressively despite eternal life.

We then discussed plans for skiing out west in March and April respectively. The snow reports are not great now but likely to change in time for some deep fluffy stuff later in the spring.

Another Berryville Passage launched serious reflection between two friends and colleagues evolving their relationship to one even more sturdy despite the uncharted waters ahead and a mellowing that comes with age.

My hosts were nice enough to assign me an escort on my walk up to the Cottage as Puck sprinted through the open doorway at the same time I turned around to look for him. He was kind enough to turn down my bed and keep me nice and toasty with warmth all night.

Coal Stove Sink escort service (canine division)

Coal Stove Sink escort service (canine division)

In the early morning light I encouraged him to take a walk and he abruptly declined when he noticed the freezing rain. So he escorted me down for my fresh breakfast of eggs on an English muffin. A great way to start the day.

Another visit comes to a close and fond, warm memories endure.

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