The eerie Santa Ana winds are dying down and so is the sense of doom they seem to carry. The fires still burn, but the spread has slowed, my mom is back in her home, and the local news is actually signing off to allow for primetime network television (God forbid we miss our "So You Think You Can Dance"). I even went in to work for a few hours today, though I was the only one in the building. But don't get me wrong - things here will probably never get back to "normal" again.
Wine Guy and I are heading out of town tomorrow, making our way up to California's Central Coast. An amazing place and one that actually isn't on fire (that I know of anyway). I have to work the first 2 days but then the two of us will get to do something we've never done before as a couple - enjoy a weekend away together.
Under normal non-fire circumstances, this trip would have warranted a speculative blog entry about what we might learn about each other on this significant relationship "first." Traveling with someone for the first time is always a milestone, whether it's a friend or romantic partner. You know, those little stresses that reveal a new (usually undesirable) character trait, a partner's tendency to overpack, another's unacceptable preferences for road trip "munchies" (When I road tripped with Mendoza Line for the first time, I was deeply wounded when she forbid me from bringing beef jerky into the car. A road trip without jerky? Are you kidding me??).
I'm sure Wine Guy and I will have all of these little experiences together this weekend, but they will just seem so small compared to what what we've just experienced - our first disaster.
It was reassuring when I realized early on this week that Wine Guy was as deeply affected as I with all that has been going on. Sure, everyone is feeling this tragedy on some level, but some differently than others. Instead of being near each other during all of this, we were with each other. Does that make sense?
And not only is it nice when your partner shares your vibe during a disaster, but it doesn't hurt when he feeds you as well. Yes, the quickest way to my heart is, without a doubt, through my stomach.
The other night as Mendoza, Gouda and Scotty were arriving for an evening of blowing off some steam, Wine Guy walked through the front door weighed down with Trader Joe's grocery bags. When he went back to the car to get the next load, I peeked in to see carne asada for grilling, guacamole, pita and hummus, wine, beer and bars of dark chocolate. I popped my head up out the bag, turned to Mendoza who was standing beside me and boldly stated, "THIS is why I love him."
I hadn't "declared our love" (ugh) in front of anyone but Wine Guy yet. But this time was a no-brainer.
Hope everyone is safe, sound and eating well too.