Because of two early learned lessons, I realized the value of balance quite early in life.

First, I learned to balance work and play — an attribute owed to my parents. Farm life was mostly hard physical labor and I was introduced to the balance of break time and work time.

Yes, we worked hard at cleaning barns (By hand shoveling, you know what!) , feeding and caring for livestock and, of course, tending to the fields. Therefore, we always took “breaks” — a mid morning coffee and snack time, a mid afternoon coffee and snack time, and if we worked into the night, there was a break time before dark to balance to days efforts.

Secondly, baling hay was a back breaking balancing endeavor. For some reason, fields always seemed rougher — even when they weren’t — when you were the one stacking hay bales on the hay wagon. One learned very quickly how to carry a 50-60 pound bale of hay on a bouncing, weaving and undulating surface — a true balancing act. However, there was more to that balancing act.

The short of it, is this: if you didn’t properly balance the bales on the wagon, you got to stop, pick them up from the field and stack them again. Ugh!

Balance became a central part of my life and, now, with more than a couple of decades behind me, I use what I learned on the farm to balance my life. For instance…

First, I try very hard to strike a balance between work and play — between being serious and laughing. There are times to take life very consequentially and times to realize there’s humor to be found in a situation. It’s that balance that allows us to not get bogged down in one or the other attitude and, so, how about a glass of wine to honor that balance?

An exciting tasting and pleasing sight to behold is a glass of Prosecco. I’ve found Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore to be a wine to celebrate with after work and during play time. It’s crisp, acidic and full of pleasing citrus tastes. After a hard work out, play with a glass of this wine — you’ll love it!

Secondly, I have learned to stick with the truth. There are times when doing so will make you feel bad and maybe even look bad but, it’s the right thing to do. Be honest with yourself and with others — always! Trying to hide falsehoods only leads to more falsehoods so be true to yourself. I always enjoy a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon to find truth.

Louis M. Martini’s Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is fantastic and very true to what this wine should give to us. It’s full bodied, lusciously full of black cherry tastes with a hint of vanilla — what’s not to like. If you give this wine your full attention, you’ll be fulfilled with the balanced taste and aroma of this gem.

Thirdly, I realize now how important that farm work was because it taught me exercise is life giving. Get out and walk! Take in the fresh air and actually feel the sun shine on you — properly sunscreened, of course. It doesn’t hurt to get some dirt on your hands or to stand in the rain and feel the wetness. Enjoy the outdoors and a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand will perfectly round out your walking time.

I’ve found Starborough Sauvignon Blanc with its refreshing citrus aromas and sharp acidity a wonder after a time of exercise. Who doesn’t like a lively taste of lemon/lime?

Fourth, talk to someone! We are social animals and we need to balance our alone time with socializing. In today’s world, that can be challenging but we have technology at our disposal. Use it! Have a Face Time with your friends, your children, your grandchildren — talk to them and you’ll be filled with enjoyment. It’s like taking a sip of Malbec.

A long time ago I discovered Casillero del Diablo Malbec — a terrific wine from Chile. It’s very full bodied, earthy with lots of cherry flavors, a bit of spiciness and a long loving dry finish. Pour a glass, sit at a safe distance from your chosen partner or dial them up on the laptop and just enjoy a talk.

Lastly, fall in love. Fall in love with your children all over again, with a new found friend, a good book, a natural view, music or a river. Don’t hesitate to let your emotions flow because being in love is paramount to life. Go for it and enjoy a glass of Chardonnay as you feel the emotion.

Kidnappers Vineyard’s Craggy Range Chardonnay is a lovable wine. It has the required creamy taste but allows for some soft tannins to shine through at the finish. What a great wine to love!

I guess what I’m talking about is some guidelines for living sanely. Lord knows, we need some positive guidelines today!

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



Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)


Starting at $4.38/week.

Subscribe Today