Happy 35th Anniversary


Continuing the festschrift in honor of my parents’ 35th wedding anniversary, as started on my sister’s blog:

…erm, well, no one could possibly have said it better than my sister did. But I’ll just say this: When I think about how two unpretentious farm kids from opposite sides of the Mason Dixon line managed to raise a pair of liberal city kids like us, I thank heaven that they didn”t kill us before we reached maturity. Our continued existence is tribute to their supreme patience and skills as parents.

But I will second many of the thoughts that my sister raised in her post. And I’ll raise another one, borrowed from a powerful sermon that Dr. Nancy Taylor preached last December at Old South:

When my husband and I were married, our friend who officiated at the wedding spoke of dance as a metaphor for marriage. He described marriage as a way of moving in synchronicity with another. He said that to love and cherish each other for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, was a kind of dance. For the dance to flow, each partner must be keenly sensitive to the moves and moods of the other.

Nancy and Peter continue to be an inspiration to me as they dance the slow dance at the end of Peter’s life.

I only know one other couple who has anywhere near that grace. That couple danced their first dance in North Carolina over 35 years ago, in a church music conference. They danced their way into each other’s families…as challenging as that must have been for someone whose families had always been in the remote valleys of North Carolina and in the Mennonite farmlands of Pennsylvania. They danced their way through 35 years: through NASA and music lessons and church music and ultimately retirement, of drawings and PTA meetings and ballet and soccer and orchestra. Of MGs that were never quite finished in the garage. Of back deck barbecues, vegetable gardens, church potlucks. Of making music together. And they’re dancing now, probably on the deck of that house overlooking the Smokies. Hopefully after a good dinner.

Thanks, Mom and Dad.

Alcohol free at Erdinger

Me in front of the big Alcohol-Free Erdinger truck outside Munich

One thing I forgot to highlight in my discussion of our visit to the Erdinger brewery was their product line, which is a lot more diverse than I had previously realized. In addition to the fact that they are currently the leading producer of wheat beer in the world, they also have a number of other products, including a slightly lower alcohol, low-CO2 version of their wheat beer designed for consumption in nightclubs, and an alkoholfrei version (see picture to right).

When I was a snotnosed punk, new to good beer and full of sneers for all things bad beer, I didn’t understand the point of alcohol-free beer. Why not just drink a Coke? I thought. Now I think I get it better, thanks to the experiences of some friends and family members who can no longer drink the full-alcohol variety. If one of the big points of beer is the taste, why should NA beer drinkers be limited to just a few different flavors? In fact it seems that a number of German breweries produce at least one NA flavor, including Erdinger, Paulaner, Clausthaler, and others. I didn’t get a chance to taste Paulaner’s version so no detailed tasting notes this time. But the picture is fun at least.