May Mahem & Laughs… A Birthday… Crashing A Wedding… Fireworks

Who would have thought my Wife & I could have so much fun! And that’s what yesterday was – FUN! It was Tara’s XX birthday (that’s right: I’m smart enough not to reveal a lady’s age) and I think I was more excited than her to celebrate.

For years, there was NOTHING to celebrate… nothing that mattered to me, anyway.

When I woke up, it was still dark out. Tara was sleeping her sleep of peace, the night was cool, damp & shining from the moisture of a night’s rain. As usual, after getting myself together, I turned on the television, snatched up a legal pad & pen, and started writing… writing a Birthday Letter. That is different from a Love Letter, but not by much.

(I’m not sure what that difference is… it’s just different.)

There were still her presents to wrap. Maybe that is why I chose to write. I’m no good at wrapping. The funny thing is, I only wrote half of the letter – on a legal pad! I still had to type the damn thing up! And FINISH IT! I was bouncing from one thought to the next on WHAT to DO next!

I was excited.

It was my wife’s birthday. It had to be good for her. She is so good to me, she deserved the good birthday I hope she had.

Anyway, I was so excited to give the gifts that she had to slow me down.

“Honey, I need COFFEE first,” she said.

(Totally understandable.)

After the coffee, after about an hour of adjusting from sleep to waking, she opened her gifts. Of course, after the morning merriment, we had to go hunting.

Shadow Line Vinyard

With no success in finding any opossums, we started questioning where to go for lunch. At first, Tara wanted to go to a brewery she liked.

(It was, after all, HER birthday! Whatever her heart desired, I was game.)

On our way to the brewery, on back, country roads, we saw a sign for the local vineyard. And there were several colorful balloons tied to the sign.

“Why don’t we stop here,” she asked.

Like I said, I was game to whatever she wanted to do. The balloons, however, made me a little uneasy – it was too perfect. With it being her birthday, balloons on a sign… was it a SIGN we should stop in? Or was there some private event going on?

Shadow Line Vinyard’s family owned operation began in 2012, when the vineyard was first planted. It’s located at 2550 Shodow Line LN, in the very rural area of Granite Falls, North Carolina… the kind of place/location I now call HOME. 2015: things were well on there way to becoming what it is today. February 13th, 2016: the doors were open to their room.

I didn’t know any of this going into the beautiful building that led to the tasting room. I didn’t know what I was expecting… I do know what I was saw when I sat down at the bar was not what I imagined:

Imagine a curly & green-haired, female, geriatric Joker, amidst middle-aged men in business suits. That’s what was surrounding me. And all those bastards were wearing neon green neck-ties.

It was foolish, but I asked the bartender if it was St. Patrick’s Day.

NO!

We had just walked into a wedding party! Not only was there a professional photographer there, along with the wine & catering, but both my girl & I were in jeans & tees. (Tara, to my great pleasure, was wearing a Ladies red Gonzo V-neck shirt.) Me, with pig farmer’s boots, wild hair & sunglasses…

This is going to be interesting, I thought.

Best of all, one of the things I admire in that wonderful girl that claims me as a husband, she walked proud & fearless & happy towards the newly betrothed & introduced herself. Not only was the couple kind – they were gracious & generous: they invited us to help ourselves to the food.

We sat outside. It was a beautiful & warm day. Tara loaded a plate up with two types of pasta & some spicy buffalo chicken wings. She had ordered four sample glasses of wine.

(NOTE: Tara highly recommends the white, sweet apple wine.)

It was a free lunch…

Why the hell not?

But it was more than that. There was a shared sense of celebration about the whole thing. Yes, I felt like a jackass because I looked like something that was dragged from a feeding pen; however, there was nobody there I saw batting an eye at the get-up.

Before we left, an invitation to return anytime was given. I imagine we will go back to visit. Supporting local businesses is important to me, to Tara. The vineyard is about four miles away from our own front door.

(I’m actually surprised it took us this long to go & give our support.)

Dinner at her mother’s place went well. The whole 24 hr. period of her birthday went well. And it ended with a blast!

As we were picking up some things for dinner, some random things that were required to smoke an entire chicken – apple-flavored, hickory woodchips & such – I found a stand that had a small inventory of low-level fireworks. Smoke grenades, party poppers… nothing grand or great like mortar rounds with a firing tube. I did spot something which stuck out from the harmless novelties. A Boom Box!

Okay, for those of you that don’t anything about fireworks, this box is an aerial, 500-gram shot repeater. 20 shots in the box. Like most fireworks, just light the fuse, step back & enjoy the show.

That’s what I – WE, Tara, her mother, Shane, Tara’s mother’s boyfriend – did. We watched as an exodus-like carnal of colorful sparks & flames & explosions lit up the sky, coming out in two-shot bursts from the Boom Box.

It was an appropriate ending to a happy day.

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