Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Year's Last Sunset

New Year's Eve 2014: All done now, and an evening befitting the year as a whole — spent with Kimberly, filled with moments of beauty, of reflection, of humor, of angst, and of renewed commitment. Late afternoon, we hit the road for Harvest Grill at Shelton Vineyards, near Dobson, NC, in Surry County, where we also had last year's New Year's Eve dinner. We had been so taken with the place that we decided to do it over again, though last year we were staying at the nearby Vineyard Cabin; this year, alas, we had to truck ourselves all the way back to Greensboro. On the trip up, I had stopped for a couple of caches (and grabbed a couple of more on our way back to Greensboro). The moment we turned into the vineyard's entrance, we saw the spectacular sunset pictured above, so we had to stop and snap several photographs. Of course, none of them did the view justice, but it was a unique and rather special sight for the final sunset of the year 2014.

Shelton's wine is decent enough, and we quite enjoyed our tastings of five wines each, all neatly presented in a wine "tree," arranged from lightest to most full-bodied; however, relative to other wineries in the Yadkin Valley, their products are merely satisfactory. None are standouts compared to the wines produced by many of their smaller neighbors, the Merlot we had with dinner being the best of the lot. That said, dinner itself was fantastic, the atmosphere at the grill warm and intimate, our server(s) prompt, cordial, and efficient. Kimberly and I left well satisfied, and who knows but that we may make Harvest Grill a New Year's Eve tradition.

Despite having been together five years now, Kimberly and I still most enjoy celebrating holidays just the two of us. Not to dismiss any of our many treasured friends, with whom we've celebrated any number of special occasions, but the fact we still find real joy in each other's company at times such as these has helped us retain a true "specialness" about our relationship. I hope we can continue this particular brand of bonding for the rest of our days, whatever our personal circumstances. But as with the events and emotions of the year itself, the evening also forced us to face and reflect on some of our own personal foibles, the details of which are certainly not to be related here. In the end, I believe we ended our night and our year with entirely new perspectives and resolutions regarding each other's innermost selves. In vino veritas.

Our New Year's Eve ended somewhere around 3:00 AM, accompanied by plenty of gunfire in lieu of fireworks from the neighborhood brain trust.

New Year's Day saw the continuation of a geocaching tradition that began four years ago: the Polar Plunge, an event held at nearby Belews Lake, where daring, brave, and foolish geocachers leap from the pier into the frigid water. This year, attendance was good, but only one man, our brash event host, Mr. Rich "Night-Ranger" Colter, up and took the plunge. It did make its way to video, and you may catch the action right here: Night-Ranger Takes the Plunge

Afterward, Mr. Rob "Robgso" Isenhour and I went after a couple of nearby caches that daunted me on previous excursions, but this time we were victorious. Happy day.

May your 2015 be happy, prosperous, profound, and silly. We all need a little silly.

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