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The Cold Filtered Ramblings of Gene Mueller

And now, back to real life...already in progress

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"The coldest winter I ever experienced," said Mark Twain, "was a summer in San Francisco."

Technically, my visit came at the start of autumn and, speaking as someone born and raised in the Midwest, I can honestly say the gentleman from Missouri is a better author than meteorologist.

Then again, I didn't spend a night at Candlestick Park during my stay.

It's truly good to be back at the keyboard again after a week away, belatedly celebrating my 30th wedding anniversary with my wife, LuAnn.  San Francisco and wine country were our mutual choice.  Five days in Sonoma and Napa showed me that there are more wineries than one could ever hope to visit/tour/taste in a lifetime (Lord knows we tried) and proved that my uncultured palate will NEVER be able to distinguish "notes of vanilla" in a liquid made of grapes.  I taste fruit.  And alcohol.

I've been lucky to see a lot of the world but never spent more than a few hours in San Francisco until last week--my mistake.  What a place.  We walked it up one side and down the other before hopping a cable car back home.  We ate and rubber-necked and shopped and listened to a world full of languages along a single block of urban sidewalk.   And, there wasn't a spoonful of Rice-a-Roni to be found.

Yet for all that we saw, there's no more pleasant a sight than that of your home growing larger in the windshield as you complete the ride home from Mitchell International (where our luggage was waiting for us on the carousel--how often does THAT happen?).   Saturday night meant laundry in the washer, pizza on the grill and Bucky vs. Ohio State on TV.  Speaking of television, what's with that new cable channel at 1004?  THAT wasn't here when we left.

Change is in the air, as Saturday's unseasonable warmth gave way to Sunday's chill.   The front yard tree that was all green when we left shows hints of red and brown upon our return.  The government is on the verge of a shutdown.  Okay, some things stay the same, but you get my drift.

There's a reason for vacation--it clears the head, changes the routine, mixes stuff up.  It also makes you appreciate all that you have when you go back to your "normal" life.  

Among those things for me is the person who was at my side the entire week--my wife, with whom I start a fourth decade with this year.  The trip was great but the companionship was priceless.  Want to test a marriage? Try hanging wallpaper together, or traveling with each other (and doing the navigation jointly, even with Garmin or Google).  We've done both and I'm proud to say our union survived.   I guess that means we're meant to be together, and this time away proved that with an exclamation point.

And now, back to real life, already in progress.  And time to futz with that 1004 thing on my TV.

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