Tuesday, March 26, 2013

An Evening at Verde Ranch

When Chris and I first started hanging out years ago while in the Peace Corps, we spent most of the time in the back porch of my little house in Honduras. Like any couple getting to know each other we talked a lot about our past, about our family, and about our friends. As the sky would darken and the billions of stars would shine bright we'd sip on rum and reminisce. It was in this way that I got to know some of his closest friends - Magnus, Eddie, David, etc. I'd heard so much about them all that when I  met them for the first time it was as though I'd known them for much longer.

As most young people are apt to do, they had all been given interesting nicknames - Beef and Moose were particularly catchy ones but none intrigued me as much as the nickname Big Gay Sarah. It actually took me a while to realize that Sarah was neither big nor gay, just a happily married young woman who had the misfortune of being friends with a few guys that took the name of Big Gay Al from South Park and rechristened her with it.  They hadn't done it with the intention of being cruel and, luckily, Sarah has a fun sense of humor and the nickname doesn't bother her, which is good because it has stuck. (Plus, there's nothing wrong with being big and/or gay so why would it bother anyone, right??). I am also pleased that they remain friends because now that we live nearby we get to hang out with her, her talented husband, and sweet sister at their awesome home - Verde Ranch.

On Saturday they invited us over for pizza and wine so we loaded the dogs in the car, grabbed the camera, and drove over. Sarah, Jett, and Carla are a spiritual, clean-living, environmentally conscientious family and their home reflects their ideals so well. I was happy snapping pictures of the lovely place they created for themselves - from the rainwater capture tank that nourishes the garden to the tepee they recently had erected in the yard.

Sarah owns a nursery so her gardening and landscaping skills are on point. It's not uncommon for Chris to get off the phone with her and relay to me, "She's doing fine, just installing solar panels", or, "Sarah's good, just digging holes for new trees."

Signs of their joy for life and nature are all over their beautiful house and it was a pleasure discovering those little treasures behind the lens of the camera (even the coyote bones that Jett found during a hike were carefully arranged).

*Jett's art adorns the walls

The vegetarian pizzas and fresh salad were very tasty, the company was top notch, and the wine kept flowing. And even though I was definitely hungover the next morning (I couldn't even drink coffee!) it was still worth it because the memories of that night can't be erased with a couple of ibuprofen and an alka seltzer. Thankfully their house is also large enough to allow for a couple and their dogs to comfortably stay the night...

As a cynic and pessimist it's good to be around positive people who will help you remember just how blessed you are. Lucky me, lucky us.


Kallmen said...

Love the post as always! The new camera is paying for itself with the addition of all these great pictures!
BTW you are the most positive, upbeat pessimist I've ever met.

Ana Maria said...

Ha! Most positive, upbeat pessimist...I embrace that wholeheartedly, thanks!