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On the horizon

Living on the prairie, we have the pleasure of many beautiful sunsets and sunrises.

We have those magnificent open views of the horizon that give us the opportunity to clearly see the horizon and the terrific sights associated with it. We are blessed to have such natural wonder freely given to us.

Before the latest spate of winter snow, fog, blowing snow, sleet and ice, we were treated to some absolutely stunning horizon views featuring flaming red/orange/yellow and other colors as the sun either greeted us or said good night to us.

Maybe it can be said the horizon is something to react to, something to let envelop us or to allow our minds to wander into the goodness of life rather than the incivility of much of today’s society. The horizon gives us the chance to dream of better days, to explore new places and, maybe, give us the boast we need to do what we want to do, rather than what we need to do.

Many times I’ve heard someone ask another person, “What’s on your horizon?” — meaning what are you going to do today? Perhaps you’ve been asked the same question. Usually, we throw back a stock answer about whatever is pushing us at the moment. Is it possible for us to think of the horizon as the impetus for fulfilling some of the things that are filling our bucket list?

Let me expand on that a bit.

Recently, I was viewing a program about Switzerland, and, of course, was treated to the many mind blowing landscapes of the country. As the discussion continued, the subject of Swiss wines was discussed. Swiss wines? Never heard of them nor tasted one.

It was revealed the Swiss do have vineyards and do make wine but, because of the harshness of the climate and geography, any wine produced is totally consumed by … the Swiss. In fact, they import over 60 percent of the wines they consume. No wonder I’ve never tasted one of their vintages.

However, now a Swiss wine is on my horizon. Somehow and somewhere I’ll taste a Swiss wine and, if the beauty of wine is as wonderful as the thought of it, that horizon will be beautiful.

I’ve never been to Ireland but have a hankering to go there. There’s a good friend of mine there and it’s way past time for us to have a chat over a pint of Guinness. Yes, I’ve tasted a pint or two of it over the years but think of the excitement of tasting that creamy brew in the Guinness brewery in Dublin.

That would be an iconic moment and it’s on my horizon.

How about a visit to Old Man River — the Mississippi River? I’ve been to the head waters of the river, driven over and by it many times but, periodically, the river calls to me to, once again, visit it and enjoy its beauty.

And what better way to enjoy the river than to sit with a glass of any Minnesota wine and reflect on the wonder of the wine and the river? It makes no difference if the wine is a Marquette, a LaCrescent or any other northern clime wine, to just sit quietly and enjoy the geography of the area sensed through my taste buds and my eyes would be peaceful.

The river is on my horizon.

This past weekend was the birthday of the Scottish poet, Robert Burns. It’s greatly celebrated in Scotland. Many of his poems talk about not forgetting one’s past and to be welcoming to the future. Every New Year’s Eve, one of his poems, set to music, is heard around the world — “Auld Lang Syne.”

What better way to honor the poet’s birthday than with a bit of Scotch –how about a dram of Speyburn Single Malt Scotch Whiskey? Because it’s aged for 15 years in American and Spanish oak casks, the beverage reveals a wonderful toasty oak and vanilla flavor with hints of brown sugar.

Scotland is on my horizon.

So, what’s on your horizon for this year? A vacation/long overdue honeymoon to Jamaica? Is it kind of a working trip to Florida? How about a family vacation to Hawaii? There are so many ways we can not only see the physical horizon but also, satisfy our mental horizons.

Robert Burns’ “Auld Lang Syne” (translated as “Times Long Past” )says it very well in this part of the poem: “…and surely you will buy your cup, and surely I’ll buy mine. And we’ll take a cup of kindness yet, for Auld Lang Syne….”

May your horizon be fulfilled and your cup runneth over this year.

As always, eat and drink in moderation but laugh with reckless abandon!

Cheers!

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