Tag Archives: Rhode Island

Today: Wine about it.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]This weekend I took a little road trip to Little Compton, Rhode Island with my family to Sakonnet Vineyards to celebrate my mother’s birthday.  Why whine about growing older more experienced, when you can wine about it?

While the rest of the gang enjoyed their tasting, I got to enjoy some time with my niece (she’s underage by… um… 20 years and 9 months) and walked around the grounds a bit.  My sister-in-law showed me how to feed Nora with a bottle, just in time for my little babysitting adventure next week.  I am going to teach her so many swear words.  Just kidding.  Obviously.

I made it back to the tasting room to sneak a few sips from my sister’s glass.  I usually gravitate towards the whites, but I really liked the Cock of the Walk Red(awkward name; tasty, spicy wine), and brought a bottle home to share with Nick.  Thirtieth birthday parties, bachelorette parties and Bruins games aside, I rarely drink beer (truthfully, I rarely booze anymore period), so avoiding gluten in that way hasn’t been an issue.  Wine’s sort of tricky though, because I’ve read that some vineyards use flour in their barrels, or during the wine making process.  I figure a sip won’t kill me.  And if it does… welp, that’s probably a good way to go.  Thoughts about death and diets aside (I am delightful, no?), we had a lovely afternoon.

After the tasting, we enjoyed a cheese plate on the patio as the sun started to emerge.  The property is absolutely gorgeous and the atmosphere is very relaxed and warm.  It is definitely well worth a day trip from Boston.  There’s much more to see in the area now called the Farm Coast, including specialty shops, antiques, working farms, vineyards, breweries and lovely scenery.   When I worked in Rhode Island I called the area “the miles between my office and home, where I get speeding tickets and then cry because I am hungry, stuck in traffic and generally crabby.”  The Farm Coast has a much nicer ring to it.  Less whine, more wine.

Also On Tap for Today:

Are you a wine person?  I tend to pick the prettiest label… clearly, I have a lot to learn.

Today: Brighten up.

When I was a sprightly, more youthful twenty-something (I am officially over the hill when it comes to the twenties), I worked in a little state by the name of Rhode Island.  It’s not actually an island, and I wouldn’t exactly qualify the state’s leadership as Rhodes Scholars.

In fact, there are a lot of things about Massachusetts’ neighbor to the south that continue to baffle me.  But that’s a dramatic story– of RI Troopers and speeding tickets, and regional meetings in a state the size of my largest Michael Kors bag– for another day.  If you’re lucky, that day will not be in the foreseeable future.

From Colt State Park

I did a lot of things down there, including occasionally driving the speed limit.  I got to work with a lot of great people.  And I learned a lot.  My first few years out of the Eagles Nest were not easy, but they were certainly formative.  One of the most lasting lessons I learned was from a fourth grader.

“Are you a sad person, Miss Elizabeth?” the little human asked after we finished up a lesson on local architecture.  Considering that just hours prior, I had moved my car to find that yet another feral cat had chosen the underbelly of my Focus as its final resting place, this was perhaps the wrong day to ask such a question.  Was I a sad person?  Possibly.  Was I a pathetic person? Highly likely.

The boy’s question was a loaded question, and on top of that, a personal question.  In other words, a question not to be answered truthfully.  “Nope, I’m as happy as a Lisa Frank rainbow,” I said.  Except I probably didn’t reference only the greatest Trapper Keeper designer of all time.

“Then why do you wear all black, Miss Elizabeth?”  Oh.  So thaaat’s where we’re going with this.  His question had nothing to do with dead (likely diseased) cats, or my (lack of) salary, or my two hour commute.  It was about my gloomy wardrobe.

The boy’s great-grandmother was recently widowed and, following the customs she brought with her from the Azores, she had taken to wearing all black as she mourned her late husband.  She would, in fact, wear all black until she passed away.  I can’t imagine her great-grandson thought I was a widow– that would have required someone being willing to marry me in the first place– but he certainly thought my outfit could stand to be brightened up.  “If you wear pink,” he said, “it tells people that you’re happy and funny.”

Happy and funny (sometimes even intentionally).  That’s me to a tee.

Also On Tap for Today:

Do you have a daily uniform?  Are you an all-black dresser, or are you bright and bold?

Today: Remember George

old friend

I was thinking about my (very) old friend George this week and wondered what he was up to these days. During the three years I worked in Rhode Island, George’s frequent visits to the office stood out as definite highlights. We’d talk (or more accurately, he’d talk and I’d listen) for a while and then he’d be off to accomplish any great number of things. And all before noon.

A pioneer in the cable television industry, George hosted a weekly show on a very formal set (think studded leather chairs and giant floor plants) where he would interview community members about local events and programs. Toward the end of my tenure in RI, George asked if I would be a guest on the show.

I think we were supposed to be talking business, but I found myself talking about my “studies” at BC and what I liked most about working in the historic statehouse that George had been instrumental in restoring. I think, though surely this was not my on-camera answer, what I liked most was spending time with him. And then he asked when I was going to go ahead and get married already.

I remember taking a group of school children for a walking tour (they were learning about historic architecture) and when we bumped into George outside the bagel shop, he stayed with the group until every last fourth grader had his autograph. Well into his eighties at the time, his energy rivaled that of the children. A few nights later I would see him, dressed in a tux, holding court at a fund raiser for our building. No one could captivate an audience quite like George. As I approached, he took a step back and bowed deeply. He was an old school gentleman.

carl_fredricksen_600

My last trip down there was to celebrate the courthouse being renamed in George’s honor. I finally wrote that note I’d been meaning to write about how much I appreciated him. He congratulated me and Nick on being engaged. We weren’t (and had only been dating a few months), but he’s not the kind of person you correct. Like Mr. Frederickson in his floating house, George had lived a life. He had wisdom to impart and I was intent on soaking it all in.

George passed away this Sunday at the age of eighty-nine, and after such a full, accomplished eighty-nine years, I’m sure he left with few regrets. I only wish I checked up on him sooner.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Convince anyone and everyone to go see Pixar’s Up.

How do  you toast your friends who have gone ahead?  Have you ever been on local television?  Do tell!

[Photo: www.movietrailertalk.com]