A few months ago, our son, Danny’s, in-laws, Lisa and John, invited us to go with them to Virginia – Loudon County to be exact – to visit a vineyard where they had found some wonderful wine – and they told us they couldn’t find any better wine elsewhere in our area. So…not one to pass up an opportunity to go through Western Maryland and, more importantly, to drink good red wine, I agreed with alacrity. John (the one I’m married to, not the in-law) also agreed for much the same reasons, LOL. Today was the day!
We had a blast. And you couldn’t have asked for better weather. The sun was shining. It was about 65 degrees Fahrenheit outside. How bad could it be? The wine was amazingly good. We did what was called a “vertical tasting” of the same type of wine (from the Nebbiola grape) but from different times, ranging from the newer to the more aged. We enjoyed ourselves and bought a few bottles to take home. John (the in-law) drove the entire way and watched his alcohol intake. But seriously, I don’t think any of us got intoxicated. It was enough to truly enjoy, but not so much that you didn’t have the brains to appreciate it.
We got back to Ellicott City and decided to go out to dinner. We went to Outback Steakhouse. It was a tough job, but somebody had to do it. We had a nice time.
The only regret I have tonight is that St. John’s had a service for the fallen students at Virginia Tech. I wanted to be there to lend support and sing with the choir, but we had already arranged this and I could not change plans. But I was with them in spirit.
Funny thing, “in-law” John , Lisa, and “out-law” John are all somewhat conservative Republican types. “In-law” John is an ex Marine and ex Army guy. Lisa is a little more liberal than John. “Out-law” John is a dyed-in-the-wool Catholic. But we all managed to have a good time and to agree to disagree on some things. In other words, we are Americans who love our country and yet know we have the right to a different opinion. Wish there were more of that in our politics!
Yesterday, I attended a conference about ADR (alternative dispute resolution) in CINA (Child in Need of Assistance) cases. It was actually quite good. I got to catch up with colleagues from other parts of the state and hear about some new types of extra-judicial team decisionmaking. We had two moments of silence for the Virginia Tech victims, who at this time are never far from the minds of those of us in this part of the country. One thing I took away from this (ironically in the wake of those awful shootings) – and it was about mediation. Our keynote speaker, a woman by the name of Mary Margaret Golten of a Colorado ADR firm called CDR Associates, said that in mediation, “Our job is help each side be their best selves.”
I thought that was an excellent thought and a worthwhile goal for all in mediation. And lest those of you who have suffered abuse, in particular I am addressing this to dear Colin and Chris, (you know who you are:)) I do NOT negotiate away the safety of my clients!
I have finally finished what ultimately became a silk/cotton blend summer T for a friend. I have a lot of mixed emotions about the thing. It has a lot of errors. Although the color should be perfect, I don’t know if she’ll like it. I have also started back again on Madison’s sweater and the prayer shawl. It’s nice to sit and do a little knitting after a long day:). We are now watching the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner on C-Span. Rich Little was very funny. It’s now over and so, I’m going to knit on:)