Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Grapes of Wrath

The great winery adventure has begun.

My flight in to Portland arrived 3 hours late, around midnight. I have to admit, not having a car is a real pain in our country, and relying on my housemate Stephen is rough. But, Stephen, God Bless him, was there to pick me up and take me to our humble abode in the rolling hills and vineyards of Oregon. The road to our house is much like Rt. 421 for all of my Kentucky readers. Very windy and dangerous. We have a spectacular view of Mt. hood out our back door. Lush, ripened grape vines line the roadsides with white fences and the rolling hills run all the way to Mt. hood, with it's pronounced, snowy peak.

The house itself is ... rustic. there is no air or central heat. The heat is controlled by a giant wood furnace in the basement. The air is controlled by the Lord. The structure of the house is sound, but it is most assuredly a guy's house. Seat up.

The winery has been an adventure thus far. Stephen drove me to work on the first day and we were the first to arrive. We entered the main building and immediately I was taken in by the vastness, the history and the beauty of the craft. Aged oak barrels filled the cool warehouse and the sweet scents of the wine filled the room. One of the great perks of the winery is that we get lunch and sometimes dinner provided for us during harvest. They keep two professional chefs on staff whose only job is to cook for us. So far, we have had seared salmon, pasta, cucumber soup, smoked pork sandwiches, and all the Owen Roe Wine one can drink.

My boss, Jerry, is a saintly man. He and his wife have 8 daughters and one son, the youngest, and they are a spectacular example of God's love and how to have a loving Catholic family. On my first day, Jerry took me up to Portland, about a 45 minute drive, to install some shelves at the Catholic school he and his family helped start. Apparently, my carpentry skills have been vastly over-estimated. But, I think I did a pretty good job ... they seemed sturdy. We didn't get back to the winery until around 6 so Jerry invited me in for dinner with his family. It was truly astounding and touching for me really. Here I was, more or less a stranger, and Jerry invited me in for a dinner of home-raised chicken, mashed potatoes and home made gravy, home made biscuits and home made jam as well as Owen Roe wine (very high end) and home made pie. His family is delightful as well. The older ones take care of the younger ones and everyone is polite and gracious to the utmost. It was moving, and full of Blessings.

After dinner, Jerry gave me a ride home to the 100 degree shack and I called it a first day. I was exhausted, having only gotten 4 hours of sleep the night before. I went straight to bed.

Cheers ya'll.


Anonymous said...

That great Catholic family likely will believe THEY have been blessed as they come to know you and your faith. Let it shine!

Katherine said...

sounds great Handyman..also send me some contact info besides your blog!