(Photo Details: Croquet at Meadowood—July 2006)
A lot of people have asked me if I’m sad to have sold my wine country vacation home. I do get very attached to my real estate—it’s personal to me. So it’s surprising that I’m not sad at all.
For 15 years we’ve made wonderful memories there. Each year my girlfriends and I would go up for spa weekends. Most years Doug and I would go for Fourth of July, no one does Fourth of July better than Calistoga. Friends would join us once or twice a year for Silver Oak’s release party. We played croquet at Meadowood, picnicked at Sherwin Family Vineyards, and housed wall-to-wall guests the night we celebrated a friend’s milestone birthday at The French Laundry.
We used the house to swap for vacations to Australia, Montreal, Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Vermont, and of course year after year in New York City. We made wonderful memories in other places by virtue of owning our house in Calistoga.
We escaped bad weather when we lived in San Francisco. We donated the house to charity auctions. We gave the house to friends for weekends. We made some money renting it out on occasion. We met wonderful neighbors. I was introduced to my favorite writing teacher by taking classes at Napa Valley college. We took beautiful walks with our dog on Bennett Lane.
We made many wonderful memories.
But here’s the thing. We get to have those memories whether we own the house or not! And we weren’t creating new wonderful memories at the same pace over the last couple of years as we were over the first decade or so. All I can really remember over the last year is getting the house ready for sale: backbreaking yard work, window cleaning, trimming shrubs and scrubbing ivy off the side of the house, packing, moving, fixing. And traffic jams driving back and forth.
Most of the new fond memories we’ve been creating are here at our main home. Pizza parties with friends and family, playing bocce until the sun goes down. Gathering family for Christmas. Smoking ribs for our annual rib-fest with friends. We don’t need a vacation home to create wonderful new memories.
And with all the money we are saving on carrying costs of that house, we are off to Bali to ride our bikes through rice terraces, snorkel in crystal waters, and hike tropical trails.
Nothing to be sad about.
Can’t keep track of my non-existent posting schedule? Subscribe—it’s free!