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Puppies and pints

Oh, the holidays and the fun they bring.

For many of you, this may seem a bit offbeat given the date stamp on this issue. It is indeed the February/March 2019 issue of our latest 209. It also happens to be Valentine’s and Saint Patty’s season. 

Last year at this time I touched a little on the ‘single’ scene and what that was like, personally speaking in my mid-years. Valentine’s Day can mean many things for many people.

A year later, I can honestly say I’m still not all that wrapped up in the given day and the fanfare that comes with it. Actually… probably less so than last year. 

Not to take the thunder from the reader with that perfect red dress for a hot Valentine’s date or the gent who has planned a show stopping meal to prep for his someone special. Cheers to each of you and by all means, enjoy it!

For the curious, yes, I do have a valentine and no I don’t feel compelled to expand beyond that.

I do, however, have a new love as well as an old one which are bringing me much joy in this quarter of the holiday happenings.

In late summer of last year I became the proud owner of a female black lab puppy. I’m a dog person and had lost my previous fur baby on Christmas Eve of 2017. There’s no way to fill the void left from the loss of a pet, yet somehow we go on. 

As the year went on, I recognized more and more how much I missed having that four-legged companion trail my steps. I also thought of how nice it would be to have a running companion and as chance would have it, I knew someone with a litter of pups on the way.

Born in August, Charlotte, our black lab pup, filled our home with joy again in mid fall. I’ve always been a rescue dog girl, so this puppy business is all new to me, as well as for my children. Charlotte, however, has been patient with our ignorance and learning curve and has become quite the addition to our family.

It’s hard to stay grumpy long with an active puppy around. Her jobs are many and she keeps us quite entertained as she waits by the car door to take the kids to school each morning or unloads her toy basket of all her play things. Naturally, just like with a toddler, throughout the day, the toys are returned to the basket and like clockwork Charlotte empties it once again. I love it.

As the title indicates, I also have a soft spot in my heart for a pint on occasion. When I say pint, I’m not talking ice cream, as an Irish girl this is a beer thing.

The past few years as I sought balance between staying healthy/fit and living a full life, I’ve found venturing out to breweries with friends a favorite pastime. I’m a beer girl, a stout or porter suit my taste buds best, but I’m always down for a nice hoppy IPA with good company. 

I’m equally fortunate to live in a community with a small brewery frequented not only by regulars, but just good down home people. 

One Friday night not long ago, a few friends and I shared a table with some strangers whom quickly became friends. A few weeks later, the same held true for a girlfriend and I sitting at the bar. The Sierra Nevada Resilience release was just a few days away. As we chatted up a disappointed patron who stopped in just for that purpose we learned of his passion for a good pint as well. As the conversation went, he also shared how jealous his wife would be to learn he had such a great time with a few ladies she’d love. Needless to say, we look forward to seeing them again at our local brew house in the future and no, I don’t feel as if we were being “played.” 

So what’s the point of all this really? Well, as I see it, it’s quite simple – love is alive and well. Whether your love be for a person, a pet, a pint or people in general – cheers to living and loving, one holiday at a time. ■