Making choices

We had a lovely evening last night with our neighbor. On the menu was a mixed green salad with roasted butternut squash, wine-braised short ribs and creamy white polenta, and a flourless hazelnut torte.

Our conversation meandered through a variety of topics, but kept returning to the overall theme of lifestyle and priorities.

As many people know, I have a long-standing fantasy of owning a LEED-certified home/estate in the wine country. WHICH wine country (Napa, Sonoma, Santa Barbara, Carmel Valley, Paso Robles) is not that important. Except Lodi. I don’t want to live in Lodi, even part time.

What I dream about, frankly, is to once again experience real summers: warm fog-free days, dinner outside, tomatoes and fresh basil in the garden, wearing shorts and summer dresses. I also dream of quiet and solitude. To hear wind rustling in the trees. And I want to do it more than the occasional furtive weekend.

Let’s face it, a weekend in Napa or Carmel is great, but when you spend half your time arriving, settling in, then packing up and returning, you have precious little time to just STOP and take it in.

The other part of me, however, laments at how pursuing this dream would seriously impede the other dream: to explore the world. Let’s face it, having a second property is expensive and time-consuming. For the price are we better off renting homes and apartments in different parts of the world? No muss. No fuss. Will having a country home tether (chain?) us even more to home?

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