On the back roads in Napa, I took photos of the first blooms of wild yellow mustard, the sleeping vineyards, the Mayacamas Mountains, and green valley. None of my photos turned out except for horses. That's okay. I love horses. I think the last time I petted a horse was when Scott took me to the Cornish Christmas in Grass Valley, California the Christmas before last. A policeman on horseback stopped in the middle of the fair, so visitors could take a selfie with his horse. I was able to pat the horse and touch his dark chocolate mane before I got pushed out from the crowd.
At the Cornish Christmas in Grass Valley, it was the first time I tasted a smoke fired chestnut. It was a real chestnut roasting on an open fire like the song we used to sing in Glee Club at our annual holiday show in elementary school. When Scott found out I had never tried a roasted chestnut, he searched under the winter night sky until he found a tall older gentleman in a period costume, dressed in dark leather boots turning the chestnuts on an open pit fire in the middle of the road blocked in for the festival. We waited, bundled up in the freezing cold, as he roasted the nuts over the crackling flames. I remember the man in his top hat gently placing the warm chestnut in my hands showing me how to roll it, to get to the middle. It didn't taste like I thought it would. I was glad to have tried it, though.
Yesterday, driving through the Napa Valley, so many trees charred and burned from last year's fire. So many houses and buildings gone. The past folds into the future. The green grasses sprouting new life were so rich in color, it was surreal with the dark mountains surrounding the valley, the magnificent white clouds bursting through the vast blue sky, the vineyards stirring with wild mustard the color of lemons.
You can't help yourself for want of a glass of wine. Locals and visitors braved the bite of cold to eat and drink at the outdoor dining areas up and down the valley road.
I left the valley flooded with thoughts and emotions of good times past and hope for good memories in the future.