I’m a huge wine lover. HUGE. Like, bigger than huge.
Each year, myself and a couple of friends do a trip to a wine region and with each trip I fall more and more in love with wine and all of the accessories that accompany it. I tend to not only buy a LOT of wine but also a plentiful variety of cheese boards, bottle stoppers, fancy serviettes and cheese knives. Over the years, I’ve purchased many amazing wines. Wines that are almost too good for me to drink once I get home unless I can 150% justify to myself that it’s the right occasion and the right company to share it with.
I feel so guilty buying these amazing wines and then letting them do nothing except collect dust until an honest justification can occur for me to be able to enjoy it. The whole point of purchasing them is of course, to drink them. Or, in unfortunate circumstances, give your $390 bottle of wine to your mother to look after while you move house only to find it open in her fridge; the cork hacked out, then strained through a pair of stockings to remove excess cork, before adding it to her spaghetti bolognaise. But, that’s a different story!
Good wine, in many ways, is similar to all of those other ‘fancy’ things that we all tend to have in our homes, but never use. Basically, I’m referring to all of those special things sitting in the sideboard/china cabinet/buffet/display cabinet (I’m not sure what the U.S translation is – sorry) such as your great-grandmother’s tea set, the fine china, crystal wine glasses, and the Royal Doulton. The stuff that we NEVER use (or in my case, NEVER drink) because we just can’t justify it.
Every now and then though, something happens that shines a light on these hidden treasures and puts it all into perspective. This ‘something’ happened to me just yesterday.
A while back you may have read the story about my brother and the fatal car accident that he was involved in just near the little rural school where I work. Yesterday, there was another fatal car accident just near there. I had left school only 15 minutes before the accident occurred and was able to reach the nearest town safely. Sadly, I passed the west-bound vehicle that was involved during that journey; little did they or anyone else know what was about to happen.
Although I did not witness the accident, it rattled me. For this to happen again, on the same stretch of road, within only a tiny, short distance of where my brother’s accident occurred; this was enough to totally smack me in the face. Too close. It was far too close to myself and my family’s situation and heartache. I remember all too well what it was like to receive that phone call. I wept last night for the family members of those involved who would have received that call as a result. Everyone is somebody to someone.
The thing is, that since my brother’s accident and the devastation, stress, anger and heartbreak that my parents and family have endured since; I know that I am not, under any circumstances permitted to cause any emotional upset. No waves. No disappointment. I don’t know if my parents could survive this again. And yesterday was far too close. Too close in proximity. Too close as the only route on my one hour commute to work. Too close in timing.
It wasn’t until I had two of my parents from school and several friends on Facebook contact me to make sure I’d arrived home safely, to realise that that could have been anyone. It could have been me. It could be me next time. I realise how dramatic this sounds as a type it, but if it was any other stretch of road, I wouldn’t be.
When I got home, grateful and shaken, I sat and glanced over at things in my China cabinet. I spied my antique hollow stem wine glasses and it sparked a thought in my mind. Life is short and it can change in an instant. What if that special occasion never comes? What if it’s all wasted? So I made a decision. A decision to just use it all. I got my grandmother’s hollow stemmed wine glasses out, went to the wine fridge, chose an expensive bottle of wine I’d been ‘saving’ and opened it and drank. All of it. Every last drop. And you know what? I don’t regret it for a second.
As I enjoyed it, I rang my parents to tell them I loved them.
Live for today. Regret nothing.