Saturday, August 23, 2008

The only ground I ever owned was sticking to my shoes

Maybe I should start from the beginning. My first full week at the winery is over. Harvest has not started yet, and probably won't start until September first when the grapes come in. So, I have spent most of my time doing all the work no one else wants to do. I have cleaned drains, cleaned old wine barrels and cleaned bungs for the bungholes (by the way, I am having a really hard time not laughing every time someone says the word "bunghole"). Also, I have climbed into a 10,000 gallon stainless steel tank to clean it for wine. Lastly, I took apart and reassembled three very expensive and very complicated water well filtration tanks. It's a good thing I'm my father's son or I never would have been able to do something that technical or that mechanical.

Stephen, my housemate, and I went to dinner with the O'Reilly family. The O'Reillys are the other family who own the winery. They have 8 children and are just as hospitable and kind as the Owens. Their eldest son was leaving for college and they were having a send off dinner. We had steaks as big as your head, potatoes and tomatoes grown from their garden, as well as some wonderful wine. We had Orien pinot, some Murphy's Law red, and also Dubrul Cabernet. We also had some Owen Roe dessert wine from 2001. After dinner with the family we all sat down and Dom played his fiddle as we all sang "The Parting Glass." The walls are decorated with icons of our Blessed Mother as well as several saints. Mr. Oreilly is from Ireland, as is evident when he says the word "Ire-lund". So the singing was plentiful and much like an old town pub. I felt close to home, or at least closer than I have lately.

Lastly, and most excitingly I have obtained a vehicle. Jerry told me that if I could get the old truck in the barn running, then I could drive it around while I'm in Oregon. Able, the Mexican farm worker of the Owens and I knocked off the cobwebs, put in some gas and a new battery, moved all the old crap off of the vehicle and turned the key. What resulted was a resounding roar of pure beauty. She is a 1971 Ford 250 truck, green and rust colored. She's made of 100 percent steel (and magic) and to top it all off, has a gun rack in the rear window. To prevent tailgating. I said in incorrect Spanish to Able, "This is the most beautiful car in the world." He looked perplexed and laughed. I'm pretty happy because previously I was driving around a van from the 80's that had 211,000 miles on it. The van also had a "check engine" light that would blink on and off like a Christmas tree. But, my hope is restored and as soon as I get insurance and stickers, The Green Machine and I will be off at the speed of smell.

Hope you all are well. If you think I miss you, I probaly do.

Check out for more on the winery.

quote of the day:

Kentucky you are the dearest land outside of Heaven to me
Kentucky your laurels and your red bud trees
When I die I want to rest upon your graceful mountain so high
Kentucky that is where God will look for me


dies irae said...

"Speed of smell"? Son, you need to clean yo'self up.

I thought you went out to work. Sounds like you do more feasting than anything.

Anonymous said...

Be sure the tanks have no residual gases in them if there is any chance of them igniting.

Cleaning those is a 'tankless' job!

Those are big steaks.

If you want, we could send Bumpy's old bebe gun out to you for the rack. Are the brakes OK?

If you think we miss you, you are probably right.

KJ said...

You don't even own A gun. What are you going to do with a gun wrack?