Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas, from Vern.

I called Vern this morning. He's wintering in beautiful, balmy Michigan. He was eager to hear how his favorite (and not so favorite...) winos were doing. He misses everyone here and wishes them a Merry Christmas.

Chris wondered why I didn't decorate for Christmas. "Because this is Geneva," I told him; "We're neutral." (Respite.)

Nick came in today from NYC. Originally from Glendale, he lived up in the bay area for a while before moving to NY. His collection was scattered between here and up north until his parents gathered it all up for him and dropped it off here last month. (Nice parents.) I was like - just throw it into a bunch of lockers and we'll figure it out. Today Nick figured it out. He managed to get three lockers down to two - which is why I didn't charge him for the interim. And when Jonathan came in later tonight with new deliveries, stressing over his space issues and his overwhelming options towards resolution - each loaded with unknown variables - it was like coaxing a man from the ledge to back inside where it's safe, calm, and where it will all work out. Because I'm not going to be like that about it; we'll take our time and figure out what the right answer is for you, your excess wine tucked away somewhere safe and secure until we can figure it out.

It takes an army to keep this building-Cave included-crawling along, and that army is Max, from El Salvador, and Freddy, from Guatemala.

From the Seattle Post Intellegencer:

"For many families, Christmas is tamalada time, the time to crowd into a fragrant kitchen to make tamales. Wrapped in corn husks or banana leaves and filled with anything from pork to pineapple to squash blossoms, the steamy corn dumplings are most delicious.

"But it is the process of making them with family and friends: the scooping, smearing, wrapping and tying, that makes tamales such an endearing food. Each tamal is swaddled with such care that in some parts of the Yucatan, it is referred to as 'the baby.'"

Freddy came in today, on his day off, to drop off these freshly made tamales from his family's kitchen. I confess, with all the generosity around here this season this was the one that got me. (I may have a little crush on Freddy.)

Yes, it has been a generous and giving season indeed, but it's not a requisite and not why I'm here. While Vern and I today were talking about the generosity of the people here (except for that one guy...), it was about how generous they are of person, their innate decency. When you have this good a customer base (and I thanked Vern today for his and Joe Burns efforts in making that so) it is an absolute pleasure to do what you can to make it just a little bit easier - stay an hour, wait a day, think it through, figure it out. The world is stressful; wine shouldn't be.

I love being here; I love my job. Thank you.
Merry Christmas, kids.

(Guatemalan tamales)