Notes From All Over

The Beginning
First Baptist Church

For me, the Christmas season does not begin on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or even Giving Tuesday. It begins on the evening when Brown University holds its annual Latin Carol Service at Providence's First Baptist Church.

I was not a Latin major. I do not currently live in Providence. I am not a Baptist. But sitting in those ancient pews, while the lights of the city gleam through soaring windows and the pipe organ's majestic tones blend with words of a beautiful language long dead, I feel a wake-up call to the glory of the season.

What Day Is It?
Doughnut Girl

Well. We have all-apparently-survived Black Friday. And Small Business Saturday. Cyber Monday. Giving Tuesday. And in case you thought you were done with randomly-created 'holidays', you are SO wrong. Tomorrow is National Cookie Day. Dec 9 is National Anti-Corruption Day. The 12th? Gingerbread House Day. And-my current favorite-Dec 15th is Cat Herder's Day. Query: How do you celebrate that? By engaging in futile acts all day?

Deck the Halls
Trimming the Tree

Weather more in tune with autumn notwithstanding, we're now on the far side of Thanksgiving. Time to break out the holiday decorations! Driving back from yoga on Saturday, we passed quite a few neighbors out hanging lights and wreaths. Inevitably, the blowups will follow, and -Boom!- it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Gratitude & Hospitality
Cornucopia

Thanksgiving: If you're the one doing the entertaining, it can feel like a marathon. Clean the house. Buy the turkey, plus all the other groceries. And wine. Beer. Etc. Cook furiously for a few days. Set the table, serve it forth, and then clean some more. Under these circumstances, it's possible to lose sight of the holiday's original purpose: taking the time to reflect on the plentiful blessings in our lives.

The Last Word
Fat Twitter

Do you know a 'last word' person? No matter how trivial the text or email, they answer it.
Thanks.
No, thank you!
Ok.
Great.
Alright.
Sure, no problem.
Arghhh! This drives me crazy! But now I have new perspective. Maybe they picked up this habit while trying to retain their Very Responsive badge on Facebook.

We're 5 & We're Throwing a Party! Sun, Nov 5 2-5 PM
Birthday Cake

Once upon a time, I decided I wanted to open a wine shop. Many months, towers of paperwork, and a few pairs of running shoes later, we did just that.

Now-somehow-five whole years have gone by. Five years filled with Beer Extravaganzas, Pennywise Sales, Wine Club, the Bargain Boat, and the Gin Bathtub. Five years of partnering with great local and regional nonprofits. Five years of Drink Pink and Bubbles & Bark. Five incredible years of building our very own community centered around delicious beverages and wonderful people.

RIP, Benny's, aka the Value of Local
Benny's

The big news in Rhode Island this week was the impending closure of the Benny's chain. When CEO Arnold Bromberg announced that the beloved retailer, 93 years young, will close all 32 stores, the whole state practically went into mourning.

Grace Under Fire
Sonoma Fires

This week, as New England basked in unseasonably gorgeous sunshine. Northern California burned. And burned. Wildfires raged throughout Napa, Mendocino, and Sonoma Counties, killing 23 (at this count), injuring many more, and causing billions of dollars in property damage.

When you think of fire damage, what comes to mind? A house, a barn, a hotel? Maybe a business or 2? Do you ever imagine entire neighborhoods burned to the ground? Because that's what happened in CA this week. And then there are the vines...

Unexpected Treasures
Bismarck Churchills

Bismarck, North Dakota is a very white place. Even today, the population is 92.5% white and 4.5% Native American, with all other groups at a combined 3%. Now imagine what it was like in 1935. How comfortable would it have been for an African American athlete to live and work there?

Passion, Distilled
David Suro-Pinera

Before I started Pour Richard's, I worked for wine distributors and importers. And although I enjoyed that work, there were some days that just made me tired. Tired and sad.

For someone who is passionate about what they do, there is nothing worse than trying to relate to people who just don't appreciate that passion or knowledge. (And before you get your pitchforks out, I am NOT saying everyone has to agree with me.) But.

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